Connection Server Replica

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Originating Author

Michelle Laverick

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Barry Coombs

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Video Content [TBA]

Introduction to Connection Server Replicas

Version: Horizon View 5.1

What is a Connection Server Replica?

At the moment we only have one Connection Server, and if it went down or became unavailable, we would be in a heap of trouble. The solution to this single point of failure is to install a second Connection Server, referred to by VMware as a Replica. More than one Connection Server is referred to as a View Connection Server Group. It is a very easy task to carry out.

It’s important to understand the limits of what a replica server can deliver. Replica servers are intended to offer availability, not fault tolerance. If a user connects with PCoIP via a connection server that subsequently fails the session stays functional. If the user disconnects and tries to connect via the same connection server that has failed, then they will receive the standard “The View Connection Server failed error message”:

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If the user changes their client to point to the replica – then they will be reconnected to the disconnect desktop without any data loss. This is because View Connection Servers and their replicas share their session data. There is no automatic load balancing or detection built-in to the Connection Server software to detect the failed state of a Connection Server or a replica – nor is there any automatic distribution of load. So you may need to rely on other third-party technologies to distribute the user load evenly between the Connection Servers, these 3rd party solutions should be able to detect an inaccessible connection server and redirect the clients to an available one automatically without the user having to do anything.

Installing a Connection Server Replica

1. Create a new Windows 2008 VM and add it to Active Directory

2. Double click on the VMware-viewconnectionserver-N.N.N-NNNNNN.exe file

3. Accept the usual suspects of the Welcome Screen, EULA and the install path for the software

4. Select View Replica Server from the list

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5. Type in the name of any existing Connection Server to make a View Connection Server Group.

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Allow the Connection Server software to configure the Windows Firewall.

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If the installation has been successful, you will see the replica listed under “Connection Servers” tab in the View Configuration. Additionally, you should be able to load the View Client and configure it for the replica, and still receive the same desktop list.

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Conclusion

As you can see installing another Connection Server is relatively simple process – so long as you can configure communication with another Connection Server on your network the job is relatively trivial task. Our next chapter concerns the last role within the View infrastructure – the Security Server. In comparison the setup of the Security Server is a little bit more tricky, as it requires post-configuration changes to be made. Additionally, by using Security Servers you are accepting that your VDI environment is being opened up to external access. That will mean that you will need to consider using valid trusted certificates with View as well. Both of these topics are covered in chapters 20 and 21.