MS Terminal Services over VMware Horizon View

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As we have already mentioned in our previous article it is possible to use a windows server providing Terminal Services as a source for a View Desktop Pool. At this article we are going to do a basic configuration of terminal services role, View agent installation and Terminal Service pool creation. The possibility of providing terminal services using the same interface as you provide virtual desktops could bring you several benefits. For example you do not have to configure and maintain two different clients on the end-user devices. You just need to make proper entitlement and one user can access its terminal session and its personal virtual desktop using one authentication and one client. Terminal Services over Horizon View use RDP protocol by default and can not be changed (at least at version 5.x).

Let’s begin with configuring Terminal Services

Assuming you have prepared a clean installation of Windows 2008 x64 or 2008R2. Those two versions are the only supported version of terminal services when you use View 5.2/5.3.

From the Server Manager, right click on Roles and click Add Roles

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From the first windows of the wizard you can identify all requirements for the roles. Click Next to continue…

before you begin

Select Remote Desktop Services and click Next…

Choose Roles

Introduction to the Remote Desktop Services. If you are familiar with this service, just click Next to continue…

Introduction

Now, you can choose what you want to install. RDS host is the mandatory part which is required for View TS. Click Next to continue…

RDS

You are warned that you might need to re-install the applications on the server, that’s why it is good to have a clean installation before you configure the TS role. Click Next to continue…

Warnings

The authentication through VMware Horizon View is managed by the View Administrator. If you choose NLA you might have problems in accessing the TS outside the corporate LAN. For our test purpose we are going to use the less secured authentication. Click Next to continue…

authentication

The following option should be consider according the license type which you use in your environment. Since it is a test environment we will use the 120 days trial. Click Next to continue…

licenses

At the next phase you need to choose a group which will be able to login to the server. This is only if you use direct RDP connection. Make sense to leave your administrator groups which will install applications and make configurations when it is required. The end users which will be able to use the TS will be configured through the View Administrator. Click Next to continue…

gropus

According the features which you want to provide you need to make a appropriate choice. We will choose Audio and Video only. Click Next to continue…

features

Summarized information is displayed. If not issues are found, click Install to complete the installation. A server reboot is required.

Install

For more information about Terminal Service installation you can visit Microsoft web page

Next step: Install View Agent

Although we have already installed View Agent  on a desktop image, there are few differences when you do the installation on ‘non managed’ pool source. The same installation procedure could be used if you want to add a standalone physical or virtual machine to the View environment.

You can download the agent from VMware download page. Since only x64 versions of Terminal Servers are supported, you must use the x64 version of the View Agent.

choose installer

Welcome wizard with information what will be installed and the version of the product. Click Next to continue…

welcome wizardRead and Accept the ALUA in order to continue the installation. Click Next to continue…

ALUA

If you compare the installation of the Agent of a desktop OS based VM and TS VM or physical machine, you will see that all of the options as PCoIP, ThinPrint, USB redirection, SMART card authentications, are not available at the current installation and you will not be able to use them. You can just install the Agent module which will allow the session to be managed by View Administrator and the clients to be able to connect using the Horizon View Client. Click Next to continue…

agent options

This is a new step for agent installation on non-managed desktop/desktop pool. You must choose one of the connections server which the TS will register to, and credentials which must have sufficient right to registered desktop sources. Click Next to continue…

CS server

The last step is to make the installation itself. Click Install to finish. A reboot is required again.

confirm and install

Creating and configuring a TS pool

The starting point of all Horizon View management tasks is the View Administrator. It can be accessed via https://ViewCS_address/admin. The user name should belong to the domain group which we have configured during the installation of the first View Connection server (Step 8)

login to view admin

First to verify that the Terminal Server is successfully registered to the View environment and can be used as a source for a pool, navigate to View Configuration -> Register Desktop Sources and take a look at Terminal Services sources number. You can get more details about them by clicking Details.

TS registered Navigate to Inventory -> Pools and click Add and select Terminal Services Pool option. Click Next to continue…

create TS pool

Enter a desired Pool ID and Display Name. If you have multiple pools you may want to add some descriptions. Click Next to continue…

pool name

The settings bellow are the default ones. In some cases they might be sufficient. Before changing any of them evaluate how they could impact your environment and end user. For test purposes we will use the defaults. Click Next to continue…

pool options

Select a Terminal Server for a source. We have only one options and it is the terminal server which we just installed. You can have more than one sources to achieve some level of high availability and load balancing. Click Next to continue…

source

Verify that all options are correct and click Finish to create the pools. Check the Entitle user after wizard finishes and you will be prompted which groups or users you want to be able to connect to the terminal services pool.

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We will add the Domain Admins group.

user selection

Here is how the pool look like at the View Administrator Console.

pool1

Once your users start using the termianl services you can find more details about their session by navigating to Inventory -> Desktops -> Terminal Servers

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You can not use ThinApp deployment through the View Administrator console, but you can use different type of deployments method if you need (SCCM, GP).

thinapp

USB redirection is not available for those kind of desktops.

view client connection

By navigating to Users and Groups and Sessions you can find detailed information of all connections to the View environment. You can also see that the sessions to terminal services pool are through RDP

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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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3 Comments

  1. Have you tried to add RemoteFX in TS, for USB redirection or it’s just isn’t supported at all?

    • USB Redirection for 2003/2008 Terminal Services in View 5.x is not supported. It might work if you enable direct RDP connection and use and RDP client… but in that case you will lose the possibilities to use one client for both TS and VDI connecting.

  2. Pingback: vRealize Operations Manager for View - What's in the Box - The Virtualist

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