PVS vs. MCS in a VDI deployment
There’s a lot of debate in the engineering community on whether to use Provisioning Services (PVS) or Machine Creation Services (MCS) when deploying a VDI solution. There are clear differences between the two technologies, and depending on the type of deployment, important factors to consider when choosing which one to use.
MCSMCS uses linked clone technology. This means that a snapshot is taken of the master template, which is then used as the parent disk for the clones (VDIs). This is a relatively simple method to deploy, and it doesn’t require any additional infrastructure. Challenges of MCS The main challenges of MCS are storage and scale-out related. With MCS, the clones and the parent disk must be on the same datastore in order to maintain link integrity. If the linked clones are distributed across multiple datastores, a copy of the master must be as well – substantially increasing the storage requirements for a deployment. For this reason, scaling out an MCS deployment can become difficult.
- MCS uses about 21% more IOPS than PVS. Depending on the network infrastructure, this may be an important factor to consider for maintaining consistent performance across the VDIs.
- MCS does not regularly “clean up” old master clones when deploying an update from a new snapshot. Instead, the old files must be manually removed in order to free up disk space.