VMware Horizon View 5.x Basic Configurations

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In our previous articles from the Horizon View section of our blog, we have already covered the steps required for a successful installation of all VMware Horizon View servers and agents. In this article we are going to go through most of the configuration options which View offers and also we are going to configure the environment which we have already installed and prepare it for the creation of our first View based desktop pool.

Before we begin, let’s summarize what is our current state. We have installed a View connection server (connection1.vlab.local),  a view replica server of the first connection server (connection2.vlab.local),  a view composer (composer.vlab.local), a view security server (security2.vlab.local) and a view transfer server (transfer.vlab.local)*

*The FQDN in the brackets are used in our lab environment. For production you should follow your customer naming convention

Let’s begin with the configuration

First we have to login to the View Administrator, which is part of every connection server from our view pod. Since we have a view standard connection server and a replica server, it doesn’t matter which one you will choose. The changes made on each of them are replicated between all connection server in the group (standard and replicas)

1The user name should belong to the domain group which we have configured during the installation of the first View Connection server (Step 8)

Once you login successfully you must apply a licence key which you can obtain from the VMware web page. This can be done from View Configuration -> Product Licensing and Usage (shown on the screenshot bellow)

view license

Once we have applied an valid View license, we can start linking all servers together. The most important part in order to be able to create new desktop pools is the vCenter. To add a vCenter in your View Pod you should go to Servers -> vCenter Servers and click Add

add vcenter

You should enter a Server Address, User name and password. The requirement for the user which you can use can be found here. The advanced settings also could be changed, but you should do it only if you really need to. In most uses cases the Max connection numbers are enough. If you need to increase the numbers it is recommended to add more vCenter Servers in your View Pod.

add vcenter 1

In order to use Linked-cloned virtual desktops you need to use View Composer. vCenter and View Composer relationship is one-to-one. Which means if you have two vCenters and you need Linked-clones desktops managed by two of them, you must have two View Composer server. A Step-by-Step guide how to install it could be found here

View compser

View Composer also could be installed on the same server where the vCenter Server is installed. For a small environments or PoC implementations is an acceptable solution, but for big and production environment it is recommended to install it on a separate server. The requirement for the user which you can use can be found here.

If you use View Composer you must add a domain where the linked-cloned desktops will be joined during their creation and customization.

compser domain

At the next step you can specify two storage settings. First one is Reclain VM disk space, which will enable the View SE disks, so the free space from the desktop thin disks can be automatically reclaimed. The second one is to Enable View Storage Accelerator, which allow you to use the server RAM for caching, which could help you to avoid the storage storms during power cycles. The default size is 1024MB and maximum is 2048MB.

storage options

Before you complete the operation you can verify your choices.

vCenter complete

Once the vCenter is added you can Edit all of the settings which we just configured, by clicking on the vCenter Server and Edit button. Also if you plan to do a maintenance on any of the added vCenter Server, you should Disable Provisioning for this particular server. This can be done through the Disable Provisioning button.

vCente settings

Once we have the vCenter and View Composer configured we can go to check the status of the Connection server, by navigating to Servers -> Connection Servers

connection servers

Add/Remove servers can not be done through that interface. The first Connection server in every View Pod must be installed as a Standard Connection Server. Every additional Connection server from the same View Pod must be installed as a Replica. By doing this it will automatically appears in the Connection Servers list.

You can make individual configurations for each Connection server by selecting it and click Edit button. Let’s review what we can change.

connection server settigns

You can assign Tags, which could be used for kind of manual load balancing. In our test environment, we have assigned tags Local and Internal. Tags could also be assigned on desktop pools, and we can limit through witch connection server we can access every desktop pool. You can also choose Tunnels and Gateways settings for the different type of protocols.

From the Local Mode tab, you can specify SSL, Duplication and Compression settings for Local mode desktops.

local mode settings

From the Authentication tab you can delegate authentication to VMware Horizon through usage of SAML 2.0. Also if you plan to use Smart Card Authentication and 2-factor authentication you can enable it from this Menu.

authenciation

Every Connection/Replica server is doing its own backup or regular basis. From this Menu you can specify the interval, what time a back up to be done and how many copies to be kept. Also you can change the destination of the backups with a NAS server destination, so you can have a copy of your settings even you lost the Connection Server. Each backup is protected by a password which is required if you want to recover. The password is selected during the Connection Server installation (Step 6).

backup

The relationship Connection/Replica Server to Security Server is one to many. You can have more than one Security servers linked to a Connection Server, but you can not have one Security Server linked to two Connection Servers. Pairing a Connection Server with a Security Server is done by selection Connection Server -> More Commnads -> Specify Security Password (this is already covered at Security Server Installation guide – Step 7 and Step 8)

pair security server

Navigating to Servers -> Security Servers, you can see a list with all registered to the View Pod Security Servers and their status. By selecting any of them you can click Edit and change any of the settings bellow.

Security server settings

View Configuration -> Global Settings is where you can change settings like Session timeout, SSO usage and etc (shown on the screen bellow)

global settings1

global settings 2

If you use desktop sources, which are not managed by the vCenter Server used at the View Pod, you are able to check their details from View Configuration -> Registered Desktop Sources

outsite

The permissions for the View Administrator and View Roles could be configured from View Configuration -> Administrators. From the Folders tab, you can create new folders, add desktop pools to those folders and grand permissions on a folder level.

administrators

View Administrator is able to record the view related Events to a database server, syslog server and/or locally. By default nothing is used, so it is recommended to configure it before you start creating virtual desktops. This can be done from View Configuration -> Event Configuration

event configuration

ThinApp and Transfer servers will be covered in a future post.

Another important section related to the basic View configuration is Policy -> Global Polices

What you can change here you can find bellow

Policy settings

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All of those global settings could be overridden on a Desktop Pool or on ‘non-managed’ desktop level.

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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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