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How to Enable Highly Available Storage for Microsoft Hyper-V in XenDesktop 5.6

This article is a must read if you want to enable HA storage for Hyper-V in XenDesktop 5.6.x, enjoy.


This article describes the steps required for enabling highly available storage for Hyper-V in XenDesktop 5.6.


  • XenDesktop 5.6 (or Feature Pack 1)
  • Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012
  • Two or more Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V machines in a failover cluster with Clustered Shared Volume Storage


To allow XenDesktop Machine Creation Services provisioning, the user has to create a folder share on one of their Hyper-V servers to allow XenDesktop to write data into disk images for the provisioned Virtual Machines. This folder share is tied to a single Hyper-V server and if this server is not available, either temporarily or permanently, then provisioning and/or power on operations are not possible. Customers want their environments to be highly available with no single points of failure.


For highly available access to the Virtual Machine storage folders, a change was made in XenDesktop 5.6 which will allow it to access the Virtual Machine storage folders through the “administration” shares (for example C$) on the Hyper-V server that is the current owner of the Cluster Shared Volume containing the Virtual Machine. This functionality is not enabled by default and the following additional configuration steps are required to allow this process to occur.

  1. Create Connection in Initial Setup Wizard. You must use Full Deploy not Quick Deploy. Select Manually create virtual machines on Connection page, as displayed in the following screen shot:
  2. Expand the Configuration node in the console tree and select the Hosts node.
  3. Select the connection you just created and choose Change details from the menu.
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. In the Advanced Host Details dialog box, in the Connection Options field type the details and click OK on both dialogs, as displayed in the following screen shot:
  6. With the connection still selected, select Add Host from the actions pane.
  7. Select Use an existing Host Connection and click Next.
  8. On the Add Host page, browse for the cluster and select the required Hyper-V cluster.
  9. Select the network that the provisioned Virtual Machines should be connected to after they are created.
  10. Click Next.
  11. Select the storage to be used.
    Note: Only one storage location is required to be selected. If more than one storage location is selected, the master image for the provisioned machines will be replicated to all the storage locations and the provisioned Virtual Machines will be divided up between the defined storage locations. This can be useful if it is necessary to spread data.


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