There are various components of VMware Horizon 6 all working together to construct virtual desktop infrastructure. View Connection server is the core and is the first server in Horizon (View) infrastructure. It acts as broker and authenticates users via Active Directory, associates virtual desktops to users, enables single-sign on, provides web-based View administrator portal, holds copy of LDAP database and much more. In this post I will show steps to install VMware Horizon 6 View Connection server.
Hardware requirements of View Connection server are: –
Install VMware Horizon 6 View Connection Server
The diagram below shows our scenario. We have two ESXi hosts managed by single instance of vCenter (vCEN01). The domain controller is DC1 with mustbegeek.com domain. Similarly, there are two View Connection servers in each ESXi hosts, vCONN01 and vCONN02 respectively. There is also one View Composer server (vCOMP01) and database server (DB01). Linked clone virtual desktops will be rolled out using Windows 8.1 as base image.
Pre-requisites of View Connection Server Installation
- Most vSphere environment will already have vCenter server running. So if you want to use the same vCenter, make sure the version of vCenter is vCenter 5.5 U1. Older versions of vCenter is not supported with Horizon 6. To check compatible versions of vCenter and ESXi go to VMware product interoperability matrixes page.
- You must join View Connection server to the existing Active Directory domain. The View Connection server can not be domain controller or any other View component server like View Composer, View Agent or Security server.
- It is best practice to create separate OUs in Active Directory for virtual desktops. Similarly, create groups for View administrators, and end users.
- The user that installs the View Connection server must have domain Admin rights.
1. Log on to View Connection server. Download the installation file from VMware. Run the installation file. Go through the welcome screen and click Next.
2. Accept license agreement. Click Next.
3. Browse the installation location for View Connection server. Click Next.
4. Choose View Standard Server as Connection Server type and click Next. Standard server is the very first server in View infrastructure. View Replica Server is deployed for high availability of View Standard Server. It replicates all the necessary information from View Standard server. View Security server is deployed to provide VDI connections for users out on the Internet and the server is usually kept in DMZ network.
5. Enter the password for data recovery option. Click Next.
6. Choose to configure windows firewall automatically. Here, you can see the list of ports that VMware View Connection server uses. This option will simply configure the Windows Firewall of this View Connection server automatically and open these ports. You can also allow these ports in your network hardware firewall if exists.
7. Choose to authorize domain administrator for administering View infrastructure.
8. Choose whether you want to participate in user experience improvement program.
9. Click Install to begin the installation.
10. The installation will begin now.
11. After the installation is completed. Click Finish.
12. Open up a browser and type https://localhost/admin or double-click View Administrator Console shortcut in the desktop. Login with your preferred Administrator account, in my case it’s the domain administrator.
13. You can now view the Dashboard.
After the View installation is complete, the very first thing you have to do is add license key. Expand View Configuration, click Product Licensing and Usage as shown below. Click Edit License.
Add license number and click OK. Then, you can see the licensing details as shown below.
Now add vCenter server. Under Inventory, expand View Configuration and click Servers. Select vCenter Servers tab. Click Add as shown below.
Now type the vCenter server IP address and other required info as shown below. Accept certificate warnings. Click Next.
Choose do not use View Composer if you don’t have View Composer server ready yet. Click Next. You can add View Composer later.
Click Finish to finish the adding process. You can see below, the vCenter server has been added.
In this way you can install first View Connection server in vSphere environment. You can now deploy manual virtual desktops. For logging and reporting purpose, setup database for View Event collection. To configure high availability of View Connection server, you need to install View Replica server. Install View Composer server to roll out linked clone virtual desktops.