A conversation with Ardence's Pete Downing

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As part of the Citrix Ardence EMEA partner conference I'm attending in Nice, France this week, I was able to sit down with Ardence's Pete Downing.

As part of the Citrix Ardence EMEA partner conference I'm attending in Nice, France this week, I was able to sit down with Ardence's Pete Downing. Pete is an SE with Ardence, and we had a geek-to-geek conversation about how Ardence works.

This podcast is the "raw" style that I debuted yesterday--no editing, no music, just a recorded interview.

In this interview, Pete explains how Ardence actually works--how they share disk images, how they deal with shared computer names and SIDs, and how the network connectivity takes place. This conversation is an excellent addition to the white paper I wrote last year about Ardence.

  • How Ardence "fakes out" the Windows computer name and SID
  • Why Ardence chose to use UDP instead of TCP
  • Where the Ardence cache file can be saved
  • How people start using Ardence
  • How the Ardence PXE boot process works
  • How Ardence can share vdisks across multiple hardware platforms

Overall this was a great trip. I'll write more about my thoughts tomorrow. (I definitely have a lot.) Right now it's 4:39am. I've been up all night, but my flight tomorrow leaves at 7:30, so I figured that I should probably just plan on staying up all night and sleep on the plane ride home tomorrow.

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This stuff is totally mind boggling! This is going to totally change the way the data center works.
would have loved a bit more technical detail, but overall a good summary as to how the technology works.

That sounds all great but what is the boot time like? I can imagine that it might be all right being booted of a SAN or a NAS. Can someone tell me any details on that?



I really love the concept; especially in combo with VMWARE's ESX that's the idea of scaling out without the overhead of extra harddisks



Because Ardence is not streaming let's say a whole 10 Gigs of the Ardence VDisk, the boot time is great!  For example booting a machine can pull down on the intial boot 70 MB to 120 MB (depending on the OS) and take in the ball park from 45 seconds to 120 seconds to boot.  Factors like network backbone and NIC card in the machine play into this, as well as netowrk latency.  Overall you will see a favorable performance in the machine and in most cases the user would never know the OS is being streamed.

You can store the VDisks on a SAN or NAS.  Brain does a great job in describing this in the following article:


Hope this helps!



We are fighting with turning our systems to Ardence without losing our previous ghost images, is there any way that this could be pulled off?


I would like to know how i can monitor the performance of ardence....that is ...when does the streamed OS becomes functional.... How much time it took to stream it(automated ofcourse)..Any ideas??

HP Neoware Image Manager is THE other OS Streaming solution.The deployment of HP Neoware Image Manager is much simpler than Ardence/Citrix. And it can run the virtual disk image server standalone on linux servers.Worth a try...  


Very interesting podcast, but I wonder how does the "SID changer" changes the ACLs associated to the files and registry entries?I understand the process with domain SID but not with local SIDs Especially, ACL can contain entries built from LOCAL machine SID, that correspond to the LOCAL user accounts. If you change the LOCAL machine SID, then the existing ACLs must be changed as well, meaning that you need to scan all files and registry entries in order to change them and to replace the "old" SID with the "New SID", just like NewSid from sysinternal did. GhostWalker does the same.Sysprep /reseal removes all the ACLs so that you do not have any issue with existing ACLs but then you loose all the access rights that you have previously set on your files/folders and registry.So how does Citrix Provisionning Server deals with  MACHINE SID ? Thanks in advance    


Add to that (other streaming OS solutions) emBoot's netBoot/i and winBoot/i...