Post Configuration of Horizon View Connection Server

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Originating Author

Michelle Laverick

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Barry Coombs

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Video Content [TBA]

Introduction to Post-Configuration of View Connection Server

Version: Horizon View 5.1

The Connection Server administration web pages are very simple and easy to understand. If you are a VMware Professional, you could perhaps set up the system, but hand it over to desktop support personnel to manage on a day-to-day basis. Like many modern administration tools the webpage opens to a dashboard view. There are four main views - Inventory, Monitoring, Policies and View Configuration, as the screen grab below shows. The administration tool has detected that we are currently not licensed:


The Inventory node allows you to create virtual desktops and pools and assign them to appropriate users along with being able to manage ThinApp groups and assignments. The Monitoring node contains the events log and the ability to monitor remote and local connections. The policy node is used to control global policies such as the ability to allow users to connect USB devices. Finally the View Configuration node is used in the primary set up of the system.

The Users and Groups page simply allows you to see which users have access to which desktops – and manage their sessions.

The post-configuration tasks contain two primary steps – firstly licensing the Connection Server, and then configuring it so it can communicate with your vCenter.

Licensing VMware View

Before we get started, the VMware View Management interface has been written using Adobe Flex, as such you are going to need to ensure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed to manage your View installation. It is our hope in the future that VMware may adopt HTML5 as the chosen language making manageability a lot easier from a wider range of devices.

1. Open up IE on the desktop of the Connection Server

2. Type: https://localhost/admin and accept the untrusted certificate warning message

3. At the login prompt type your administrator account and password and click Login

We configured the View Administrators during the installation tasks earlier, we can configure additional users or groups later for now you will need to login with the account you configured earlier.

4. In View Configuration, Product Licensing and Usage, select the link Edit License, as shown in the screen grab below:


5. In the Edit Licensing popup, type in your license number

This license number also dictates whether advanced features are available to the system such as offline desktop and the composer feature.


Adding in vCenter(s)

1. Next supply the vCenter information by clicking the Add button in the Servers section under the >View Configuration node. You will notice there are several tabs across the top for configuring other Horizon View services, the vCenter Servers tab allows you to configure which vCenter system the connection server will use to locate virtual desktops


2. We are going to start the Add vCenter Server wizard by inputting the details of the vCenter we wish to connect to along with the user name and password to use.


We would not recommend using a real administrator account for the Connection Server’s communication with vCenter, as such you should create a dedicated service account ensuring the permissions for this user are met as below. This account is required for the provisioning process and for the broker to validate the user login process and then select a desktop from the inventory.

The user account that you use for this will need the following permissions within vCenter

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Not when clicking “Next” if you aren’t using valid certificates with your vSphere environment you will see the following error.


With View 5.1 VMware are now expecting you to be using valid certificates, if you aren’t you will need to configure View to allow the untrusted certificate.

To do this select “View Certificate” in the Invalid Certificate Detected pop-up box, and then Accept the certificate.


The subject of creating valid certificates for your vSphere environment isn’t one that is covered in this book but if you are looking for more information we would highly recommend looking at Julian Woods blog as he has covered the subject extensively.

3. The View Composer tab option does exactly what you think it would – it allows you to add in the details of the service that handles your “linked clones”. New with 5.1 is the option to install the View Composer on a dedicated server rather than having to installing it on the vCenter.


As we have yet to install the View Composer service we will leave “Do not use View Composer” selected for the moment.

4. Next you get the option to enable a new feature in View 5.1, Host Cache. With Host Cache you are able to reserve up to 2GB of Host Memory to use as a Cache for commonly read blocks, this will be of assistance during boot storms for example. You also need to keep in mind that Virtual Desktop environments do tend to be more biased towards writes rather than reads and whilst this may assistance by reducing the overall IOPS required your storage does still need to be able to cope with the writes. We are going to choose to enable this on all hosts with the default 1GB reserved.


Finally, we are ready to confirm our selection and finish the wizard.

We are now able to see our vCenter has been added to the vCenter Server tab


Enabling Event Database

The Event Database was introduced in View 4.5 and allows you to store events that occur in the product to an external MS SQL or Oracle Database. You can tell whether the Event Database is configured or not by checking out the Dashboard.


Unlike many other VMware products, there is no need in this case to use the Microsoft ODBC Administrator tools to create a DSN configuration. The configuration is carried out entirely from within the View administration web pages. To configure your connection to the database carry out the following steps:

1. Open the >View Configuration, and select Event Configuration

2. Next click the Edit button

3. Completed the dialog box like so:


We think most of the information above is pretty clear, except the Table Prefix option. This allows you to have one Event Database shared by many deployments of View, this is achieved by inserting a string of characters as a unique identifier. The Table Prefix is a required field even if you don’t intend to use this functionality.

If you are using SQL Express for your SQL database there may be some additional steps that you need to take. For instance, SQL Express uses dynamic TCP ports rather than the standard TCP port 1433, so you will need to use the SQL Server Configuration Manager to find this TCP port.

Using the SQL Configuration Manager select SQL Server Network Configuration Node for your SQL Express instance, then select Protocols for {your instance name} for us this was SQL Express


Then open the properties for TCP/IP, on the IP Address tab right at the bottom the port number will be listed under TCP Dynamic Ports.


Once enabled, you are able to reconfigure the retention of data in the Event Database like so:


Once the Event Database is enabled you will see events in most locations in the management interface, as well as a dedicated events node in the inventory. There is a small icon that appears as an ellipsis that provides additional information:


Dashboard View

The main dashboard view is intended to be your overall window on how your View environment is behaving. This is an increasingly popular way for various ISV’s to display the core information they need to flag up to the administrator. When you first install View, many of these alarms, alerts and flags will be in red simply because the configuration has not been completed yet. Once the configuration of View is complete, it should look more like this:


Note: If you use VMware’s DPM (Distributed Power Management) you will find you will get red alerts against the ESX hosts have that have been placed in standby mode.

The main summary area highlighted in red shows you a running total of number of remote sessions, desktop problems and so on. Clicking on the blue links in this area will take you to the relevant location in the administration tools. So, if you clicked the number next to Remote Sessions, it would take you to the Remote Session node within Monitoring. As you have probably gathered, anything highlighted in blue is usually a link that leads you on to a more detailed set of properties or settings.

In the System Health areas, each node that makes up the components of View is listed. If there are any problems, these will be highlighted in red. Clicking on these links when they are red or green will bring up slightly more detailed data.


You will soon know if you have an issue with the components that make up View when these icons turn red. Sadly there is no way at the moment to link these alarms to an SNMP Trap or email system, however it is possible to output to a syslog server by using the vdmadmin command line. Please refer to the VMware View Administration Guide for more information on this.


In the right-hand corner of the Dashboard View, the Desktop Status panel gives us numerical data on the desktops being prepared, any desktop provisioning errors and desktops that have been prepared for use.

Finally, the Datastore panel enumerates your VMFS and NFS datastores, flagging up datastores that could potentially be over-committed from the perspective of the linked clone.


Users and Groups Node

The users and groups node allows you to see the users and groups that have been entitled to use the system. Most of these list views also come with a small disk icon in the far right-hand corner; this allows you to export the information you see below in .CSV format:



In this chapter we have configured the basic settings inside the View Administrator, we are now in a position to start creating our desktop images to begin testing our basic View deployment. We have learnt how to install your VMware View license, how to configure the connection to your vCenter and how to register a database to be used for events as well as finding your way around the View Administrator user interface. In our next chapter we will focus on configuring the virtual desktop with View Agent. Your main goal here is to stand-up the product in the shortest possible time – getting you from nothing to the first active and working connection to a virtual desktop. There are many options and settings allow the administrator granular control over practically every aspect of the environment. Lets focus on making sure all the pieces deliver basic functionality before we delve any deeper.