SYN219- Getting up close and personal with MCS and PVS

It’s almost time for Citrix Synergy, and if you’re interested in XenDesktop’s provisioning technology, come visit session SYN-219 – Getting up close and personal with MCS and PVS.

Here’s a little background:

Virtual Desktops and provisioning go hand in hand. The promise of VDI is to simplify the deployment of desktops to end users leveraging the benefits of virtualisation. The fun thing is that one of Citrix’ Provisioning technologies in XenDesktop didn’t even come from the virtual desktop world. Provisioning Services as it’s now called, and Ardence before that, did however still have the same goal as it has now: be a huge time saver for the admin.

Remember this awesome video back in the days?

It sure made a few jaws drop. Little did we know how important the technology would become at that day, and hundreds of thousands of virtual desktops would run using it.Over time more vendors developed technologies to make provisioning the same desktop over and over more simple, make it more robust to use a standardised desktop and easy to repair. Citrix even went as far to really integrate a whole solution right into the heart of XenDesktop with Machine Creation Services.

So now you have the dilemma of choice. Which one to pick?


We know PVS vs MCS always has been an almost religious debate. This session is not aimed to take sides (although both presenters have their own favourite) but it’s focused on broadening your understanding of both technologies in such a way that you’ll benefit the most of your choice.There is no real right or wrong, just as long as you keep customer requirements in mind to base your choice on. To help you make the correct choice for your environment we will take you through the history and most importantly, the “Why” of both Provisioning Services and Machine Creation Services.

How do these technologies work from an architecture perspective, how does it work from a storage perspective, how do they interact with XenDesktop and the different hypervisors and how can you optimise the use of them? Also we’ll have a special guest on stage to tell you how they have they evolved, and show you what’s new and coming for both PVS and MCS.

And with the current datacenter status quo firmly changing, due to the rise of hyper-converged technologies, distributed storage fabrics and even new hypervisors; how do these new constructs impact, or help both PVS and MCS?

One thing we will talk about is the use of a technology called Shadow Clones, which can really make difference when using distributed filesystems to base your environment on.


This session will be both a good refresher course on the topic of provisioning, but is also very useful as a guide into the future of managing your Citrix XenDesktop environment.

Your hosts for this session will be Kees Baggerman (CTP) and Martijn Bosschaart (ex-Citrite), long time members of the Citrix community and currently working at Nutanix.

Both presenters frequently blog about Citrix related topics on their own websites as well which you can find here: and

Oh, and we’ll bring some of these:


Come see us at Synergy, for session SYN219!




Comments are closed.