Part 4 | Installing VMware Horizon View Composer – Step-by-Step guide

VMware View Composer is a optional feature for your VDI deployment, but it is a mandatory part of you plan to use Linked-clone desktop pools.

VMware Horizon View series:

Installing VMware View Composer component is the last piece of  a complete full-featured VMware Horizon View deployment, except the Transfer Server which is required for offline virtual desktops. Although only the VMware Horizon View Connection Server is the mandatory from the VDI servers which you need to have a basic featured working VDI, in most cases Replica Server and Composer are also a must for a VDI which will be accessed only through the corporate LAN and Security Server if the VDI will be accesses from outside. Having the guides in Part1-5 you should be able to do a complete VDI installation.

Before we begin the with the installation step of the View Composer itself, let’s see the hardware and software requirements which we must satisfy before the installation. View Composer could be installed on a separate server or on the vCenter server. Both implementation have pros and cons and which one will you choose depends on the requirements and the size of the VDI.

Hardware requirements for a standalone installation

Table.1

Hardware Component Required Recommended
Processor 1.4 GHz or faster Intel 64 or AMD 64 processor with 2 CPUs 2GHz or faster and 4 CPUs
Networking One or more 10/100Mbps network interface cards (NICs) 1Gbps NICs
Memory 4GB RAM or higher 8GB RAM or higher for deployments of 50 or more View desktops
Disk space 40GB 60GB

 Supported Operation Systems

Table.2

Operating System Version Edition
Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit Standard or Enterprise
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit Standard or Enterprise

Microsoft .Net 3.5 SP1 is required for View Composer installation.

View Composer requires a database where to store the following information:

  • vCenter Server connections
  • Active Directory connections
  • Linked-clone desktops that are deployed by View Composer
  • Replicas that are created by View Composer

View Composer can use the same SQL server as your vCenter uses, but it requires a separate database and an ODBC connection.

Supported DB servers

Table.3

Database vCenter Server 5.1 vCenter Server 5.0 vCenter Server 4.1 vCenter Server 4.0
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (SP4), Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter(32- and 64-bit) Yes Yes Standard only Standard only
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express (R2 SP1)(64-bit) Yes Yes No No
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (SP2), Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter(32- and 64-bit) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (R2), Standard and Enterprise(32- and 64-bit) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Oracle 10g Release 2, Standard, Standard ONE, and Enterprise [10.2.0.4](32- and 64-bit) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Oracle 11g Release 2, Standard, Standard ONE, and Enterprise [11.2.0.1]with Patch 5 (32- and 64-bit) Yes Yes Yes Yes

How to create the DB itself you can find here

Let’s begin with the installation

First we will have to create an ODBC connection poiting to the DB which is created using the steps from the link above. We are going to user MS SQL server for our example.

View Composer ODBC connection creation

  1.  Login to your Windows Server which is purposed for View Composer installation and navigate to ->Start Menu -> Administrative Tools –>Data Source (ODBC)ODBC Data Source
  2. Click on Add and select SQL Native Client (you can download it from Microsoft’s web page if you do not have it) SQL NativeClient
  3.  Enter a Name for the ODBC connection (you will need it for the View Composer installation) and SQL server hostname or IP address. Click Next to continue …ODBC Name
  4. Enter the SQL authentication data. The username must have sufficient permissions on the View Composer DB. Click Next to continue …SQL authenication
  5. Select the DB which is created for View Composer and Click Next to continue …Select DB
  6. Leave the settings by default and click Click Finish …FinalStep
  7. If everything is fine with the DB and ODBC creation you should see a window like this ODBC verified

View Composer Installation

The View Composer installation file you can download from VMware download page

  1.  Run the View Composer Installer View Composer Installer
  2.  At the welcome wizard click Next to continue … welcome wizard
  3.  Read and Accept the ALUA to continue and click Next … Composer ALUA
  4. Choose a destination installation folder and click Next to continue … composer destination
  5. Now you have to enter the data about the ODBC connection which we just have created. Click Next to continue … ODBC
  6. If no reason to change the default SOAP port leave it by default. If you change it do not forget to add it to your environment documentation for future usage. If a non-default certificate is already installed for View Composer usage, you will be able to select it from this step. We use the default self-signed certificate. Click Next to continue… SOAP port
  7. Verify and click Install in order to start the installation Ready for installation
  8. If the installation is successful, a window like this should appear View Composer ready

In the next parts of the VMware View Horizon article series we are going to link the View Composer to a Connection Server.

References:

VMware Horizon View Installation

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Nikolay Nikolov

VDI Engineer
Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.

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About Nikolay Nikolov

Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.
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