VMware Horizon View 7: Deployment and Installation [Part 1]

VMware Horizon View enables users to access virtual desktops and applications through a single pane of glass. There have been many improvements added to the release of Horizon View 7 such as Blast Extreme protocol, Instant Clone, enhanced security and policy management. VMware Horizon 7 What’s New. In this blog series I will be going through installation and configuration of Horizon View 7 in my lab environment.

vBoring Blog Series:

  1. VMware Horizon View 7: Deployment and Installation
  2. VMware Horizon View 7: Apply SSL Certificates
  3. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Events Database
  4. VMware Horizon View 7: Add Microsoft RDS Farm
  5. VMware Horizon View 7: Setup Remote Access through Security Server
  6. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Master Desktop Template
  7. VMware Horizon View 7: Automated Desktop Pool
  8. VMware Horizon View 7: Instant Clone Desktop Pool
Horizon View Components
Horizon View Components

Horizon View 7 Components:

  • Connection Server (AKA Standard Server): This is the core component of View. This is the first role to be installed and where the View Administrator Console is housed. The Connection Server is where you define View desktop pools, applications, permissions, etc.
  • Replica Server: After the initial Connection Server additional Connection Servers are considered Replicas. Their purpose is to provide redundancy and load balancing thus providing availability.
  • Security Server: The security server is placed in the DMZ allowing external users to securely access Horizon View on the internal network from the internet.
  • Enrollment Server: Used to create ‘True-SSO’, not covered in this blog series, will be added at a later date.
  • Composer Server: When installed it enables the use of Linked Clones, not covered in the blog series yet. Instant Clones were introduced with Horizon View 7 which is the Linked Clone successor.
  • View Agent: When installed on a Server or Workstation, it enables Horizon View to use it as a resource.

Hardware Requirements:

You will need a minimum of two servers, one for Connection and the other for Security Server roles. I used Server 2012 R2 with 2 vCPU, 4 GB of memory, and a static IP address on each. You can scale the resources depending on the needs of your environment.

Connection Server Hardware Requirements

Installing the Connection Server:

The first View component to be installed is the Connection Server. Login to the server you have designated to be the Connection Server and launch the installer.

Note: The same executable is used to install both Connection and Security Server services which makes things easier!

Horizon View 1 - Launch ViewConnectionServer Exe

Click Next:

Horizon View 2 - Welcome to the Install

The EULA must be accepted to continue. Click Next:

Horizon View 3 - License Agreement

Change the installation directory if applicable. Click Next:

Horizon View 4 - Destination Folder

Select the Horizon 7 Standard Server, check the box labeled Install HTML access (HTML access uses the Blast Protocol to enable access to your View resources straight from a web browser, very cool!), select your network protocol (IPv4)then click Next:

Note: If you wish to expand past the first Standard/Connection Server you would install Replica servers. 

Horizon View 5 - Installation Options

Enter a password for the backups that View creates. Click Next:

Note: Make sure you keep this password in a safe place in case you need to do a restore from backup!

Horizon View 6 - Data Recovery

Ensure the listed firewall ports are open. Click Next:

Horizon View 7 - Firewall Configuration

Since my server is on a domain I created an Active Directory group for my View Admins. Click Next:

Horizon View 8 - Initial Horizon 7 Administrators

Check the box if you wish to participate in the User Experience Improvement Program. Click Next:

Horizon View 9 - User Experience Program

Click Install to kick off the installation!

Horizon View 10 - Ready to Install

Once complete click Finish:

Horizon View 11 - Installation Completed

Creating Pairing Password for Security Server Installation:

Before we can install the security server we must create a pairing password. On the desktop there is a new icon, launch it:

Horizon View 12 - Horizon 7 Administrator Console Icon

You can also open a browser and access the Administrator Console by going to:

https://{FQDN of Connection Server or IP Address}/admin

Login using an account that has permissions given during the installation.

Horizon View 13 - Horizon View Admin Login

Welcome to the Horizon View 7 Administrator Console! You will perform all View setup and administration from here. To create the pairing password go to Servers -> Connection Servers tab -> More Commands -> Specify Security Server Pairing Password…

Horizon View 14 - Specify Security Server Pairing Password

On the pop up window, enter a password and select a timeout period then click Ok:

Horizon View 15 - Set Pairing Password

Now, login to the server you designed as the  Security Server instance and launch the same installer that was used for the Connection Server.

On the Installation Options screen select the Horizon 7 Security Server option, select your network protocol (IPv4) then click Next:

Horizon View 16 - Install Horizon 7 Security Server

Enter the hostname or IP address of your Connection Server then click Next:

Horizon View 17 - Paired Horizon 7 Connection Server

Enter the pairing password you created above. Click Next:

Horizon View 18 - Enter Pairing Password

You can leave this default, we will edit this at a later step. Click Next:

Horizon View 19 - Security Server Configuration

Ensure the listed firewall ports are open. Click Next:

Horizon View 20 - Firewall Configuration

Click Install:

Horizon View 21 - Ready to Install Security Server

Once finished switch back over to the Click Next:. Under Servers -> Security Servers tab you will now see your Security Server that is paired to your Connection Server.

Horizon View 22 - Security Server Paired

Add vCenter to your Horizon View Setup:

View needs a vCenter! To add vCenter go to Servers -> vCenter Servers -> Add:

Horizon View 23 - Add vCenter

On the pop up window, enter your vCenter information then click Next:

Horizon View 24 - VC Information

If you are still using unsigned certificates you will get the following popup. Click View Certificate:

Horizon View 25 - Invalid Certificiate Detected

Click Accept:

Horizon View 26 - Certificate Information

I am skipping View Composer and going to use Instant Clone. I might circle back and complete a View Composer post. For now proceed without using View Composer. Click Next:

Horizon View 27 - View Composer

Instant Clones requires Storage Accelerator be enabled. Click Next:

Horizon View 28 - Storage

Click Finish:

Horizon View 29 - Ready to Complete

Your vCenter server should now be populated:

Horizon View 30 - vCenter Server Added

Add License to View:

To license View click Product Licensing and Usage -> Edit License:

Horizon View 31 - Edit License

Enter your product key then click OK:

Horizon View 32 - Enter License Serial Number

View is now licensed

Horizon View 33 - License Applied

Proceed to the next step:

VMware Horizon View 7: Apply SSL Certificates

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