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Last month, Citrix released a new version of their Provisioning Services product.  You can download the latest version here.  Lots of new and updated wizards in this version (Imaging Wizard, Enhanced Config Wizard, AutoAdd Wizard), Support for SQL server database Mirroring, optimized load balancing algorithm, Jumbo Packet support and other fixes and tweaks. 

The prior versions already had offline database support for local network fault tolerance and now with support for the SQL server database mirroring, DR solutions will be easier to architect.

Aaron Silber did notice an interesting blurb in the release notes concerning ARP Cache timeouts for Vista/W2K8 servers that you may want to take note of :

TR-8435: Occasionally server stops responding to booting target device requests for 2-3 minutes.

The default lifespan of ARP cache entries was lowered from 10min in Windows Server 2003 to a random value between 15 and 45sec in Vista/W2K8. As a result, the PVS bootstraps are twenty times more likely to experience a timeout during a Vista/W2K8 boot. The workaround is to increase the ARP cache entry lifespan for PVS-bound NICs:

1 Open a command shell window. At the command prompt, enter the following command:
netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces

2. To set the ARP cache entry lifespan to 600 seconds, enter the following command:
netsh interface ipv4 set interface <PVS interface number> basereachable=600000

3. To verify the new setting, enter the following command:
netsh interface ipv4 show interface <PVS interface number>

The “Base Reachable Time” should be set to 600,000 ms, and the “Reachable Time” – to a value between 300,000 and 900,000 ms.

About the Author:
Carlo Costanzo is a very active member in the Virtualization Community. In addition to being a full time consultant at IPM, Carlo also publishes tips, tweaks and article posts on his blog at

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