Installation

VMware Horizon 7 version 7.5 and later

Installation

Introduction to Installation

The exercises in this Installation chapter are sequential and build upon one another, so make sure to complete each exercise before moving on to the next.

Most of the exercises explain, step by step with screenshots, exactly what to do. The one exception is the exercise Create VMs for the Connection Server and Composer. The steps in that exercise point to another, companion document, which in turn includes detailed steps and screenshots. That exercise uses vSphere Web Client and involves vSphere tasks rather than showing you how to use Horizon 7. If you are already an intermediate or expert vSphere user, you can use the exercise just to note the specifications for OS and virtual hardware to be sure you have VMs you can use to host the Horizon servers.

The exercises Set Up the Composer Database and Install the Composer are required only if you want to explore creating and using linked clones. Composer is the legacy method of optimizing your use of storage space and facilitating updates. For production environments, VMware recommends using instant clones rather than Composer linked clones.

This Installation chapter guides you through installing the necessary Horizon servers and databases. Installing and setting up Windows RDSH servers is not part of this initial installation and configuration. Setting up RDSH servers for use in linked-clone and instant-clone server farms that provide RDSH-published desktops and applications is discussed in the chapter Creating RDSH-Published Desktops and Applications.

Download Horizon 7 Installers

If you have purchased Horizon 7, you can download the installers (installation files) from the Download VMware Horizon page. This exercise shows you which installers to download and how to download the installers from the VMware Product Evaluation Center, which gives you a free 60-day trial.

2. Note the License

In the Product Evaluation Center, scroll down to the License Information, and make a note of the Horizon 7 Enterprise license.

3. Download the Horizon 7 Packages

Scroll down to Download Packages, expand the VMware Horizon Enterprise Binaries section, and download the following packages, and note where you store them for reference during the installation process:

  • Horizon Connection Server (64-bit)
  • Horizon Agent (64-bit)
  • Horizon Composer

4. Download vSphere Packages

If you do not already have a vSphere environment set up, scroll down and expand the Hypervisor and Management Server Binaries section, and download the following packages:

  • VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi ISO) image (Includes VMware Tools)
  • VMware vCenter Server and modules for Windows

Before you can perform the exercises in this guide, you must have a VMware vSphere 6 infrastructure that contains at least one VMware ESXi host and one vCenter Server instance. This guide does not provide instructions for installing these vSphere components. For instructions see the vSphere Product Documentation.

5. Download Horizon Client

Navigate to Download VMware Horizon Clients and download VMware Horizon Client (64-bit). Horizon Client is required for exercises in other chapters.

Infrastructure Requirements

Before you begin the installation exercises in this guide, make sure  that your environment meets the following infrastructure requirements:

  • VMware vSphere and vCenter Server – Before you can perform the exercises in this guide, you must have a  VMware vSphere 6 infrastructure that contains at least one VMware ESXi host and one VMware vCenter Server instance. This guide does not provide instructions for installing these vSphere components. For instructions see the vSphere Product Documentation.
  • Active Directory domain controller – The authentication infrastructure for your setup must include Active Directory, DNS, and DHCP is required. Horizon 7 integrates with your Microsoft Active Directory, a Windows service for authenticating and authorizing users and computers, applying and enforcing security policies, and installing and updating software. The Connection Server joins to Active Directory and sets up a lightweight directory service instance for the storage of View configuration information.
  • SSL certificate – (Optional) By default, Horizon 7 includes a self-signed certificate that can be used for testing purposes. For a production environment, we recommend that you replace the self-signed certificate with an approved certificate signed by a certificate authority, a trusted entity that issues digital certificates verifying another digital entity’s identity on the Internet.
  • SQL database server – This is the database server on which you will create the event database. For the example in this exercise, we used Microsoft SQL Server 2016. To simplify the setup for completing this tutorial in a lab setup, we recommend that you use the same SQL Server instance for the event database, the Composer database, and the JMP server database. For a list of databases that support all three of these components, see Database Requirements for JMP Server.
    Note: You can download and install Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express with Advanced Services to get both database and management tools, or use an existing SQL server in your environment.
  • Network – VMware recommends a network connection speed of at least 1 Gbps between all the required Horizon 7 components and desktops.

Create VMs for the Connection Server and Composer

For the exercises in this guide, you must have VMs on which to install the Connection Server, the Microsoft SQL Server database server, and, optionally, the Composer server. For this purpose, you create a VM template and clone it to create the required VMs for the server components.

Note: If you already have a vSphere environment set up and VMs with Windows Server installed, you can probably use those or clone them. If not, you can use the procedure in this exercise.

Prerequisites for Creating the Connection Server and Composer Server

To perform this exercise, you need a  VMware vSphere 6 infrastructure that contains at least one VMware ESXi host and one VMware vCenter Server instance. This guide does not provide instructions for installing these vSphere components. For instructions see the vSphere Product Documentation.

 

1. Create a VM

Step-by-step instructions for using vSphere Web Client to create a VM are beyond the scope of this tutorial, and are already provided in a companion guide. See the section Create a Virtual Machine, in the guide Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop.

Use the following specifications.

Attribute Specification
OS Windows Server 2016
vCPU 4
Memory 4 GB
Hard Disk 40 GB
SCSI Controller LSI Logic SAS
Compatibility level ESXi 6.7 and later
Windows version Windows Server 2016 Standard (Desktop Experience) or
Windows Server 2016 Datacenter (Desktop Experience)
 

2. Install the Windows Server Operating System

Step-by-step instructions for installing the OS in a VM are beyond the scope of this tutorial, and are already provided in a companion guide. See the section Install Windows, in the guide Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop. For the Windows Operating system, we recommend using one of the following:

  • Windows Server 2016 Standard (Desktop Experience)
  • Windows Server 2016 Datacenter (Desktop Experience)

For a list of all possible supported operating systems, see Supported Operating Systems for Horizon Connection Server.

3. Update Windows

Step-by-step instructions for updating Windows are beyond the scope of this tutorial, and are already provided in a companion guide. See the section Update Windows and Run Ngen and DISM, in the guide Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop.

4. Install VMware Tools

Step-by-step instructions for installing VMware Tools are beyond the scope of this tutorial, and are already provided in a companion guide. See the section Install VMware Tools, in the guide Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop.

5. Change the Network Adapter to VMXNET 3

Step-by-step instructions for changing the network adapter type from E1000 to VMXNET 3 are included in the procedure Optimize the Hardware, in the guide Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop.

Important: Do not perform the exercises in Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop for installing the RDSH role. For the purposes of creating Horizon Connection Server, the database server, and the Composer server, the servers should not have the RDSH role installed. That role is for servers that will be used to create RDSH server farms.

6. Clone the VM to a Template

For instructions cloning a VM to a VM template, see the vSphere product documentation topic Clone a Virtual Machine to a Template.

7. Deploy VMs from the Template

Deploy VMs as needed for the following Horizon servers:

  • Connection Server
  • Microsoft SQL Server, if you do not already have a server to use
  • Composer, if you plan to perform the exercises for creating linked clones

For instructions on deploying VMs from a VM template, see the vSphere product documentation topic Deploy a Virtual Machine from a Template.

You can edit the virtual hardware settings for the number of vCPUs and the amount of memory as you complete the Deploy Template wizard. You do not need to edit these settings, but you can if you wish. For information about minimum requirements, see the following product documentation topics:

Install Horizon Connection Server

After downloading the installation files, start the installation process by installing the Connection Server on a virtual machine.

The Connection Server acts as a broker for client connections by authenticating and directing incoming user desktop requests. When you install the Connection Server, the Horizon Administrator is installed as well. The Horizon Administrator is the web-based interface for the management, provisioning, and deployment of virtual desktops. As an administrator, you can centrally manage thousands of virtual desktops from a single Horizon Administrator.

Prerequisites for Connection Server Installation

To perform this exercise, you will need the following:

  • User account – When you log in to the OS to run the installer, the account you use must have administrative privileges.
  • Installer – If necessary, you can download the installer from the Download VMware Horizon page or the VMware Horizon 7 Product Evaluation Center. You must download and copy the installer file to the Connection Server VM, or, alternatively, you can copy it to a location accessible to the system.
  • VM that satisfies virtual hardware requirements – If you performed the exercise Create VMs for the Connection Server and Composer, you have an appropriate VM. If you did not perform that exercise, make sure that the VM you have adheres to the specifications listed in the product documentation topic Hardware Requirements for Horizon Connection Server.
  • Windows OS – The system must be running a supported Windows version. We recommend Windows Server 2016. for a complete list of supported operating systems, see Supported Operating Systems for Horizon Connection Server.
  • Static IP address – The system must have an IP address that does not change. In an IPv4 environment, configure a static IP address. In an IPv6 environment, machines automatically get IP addresses that do not change.
  • Supported browser with Adobe Flash installed – The last step of this procedure has you log in to Horizon Administrator, which requires a web browser with Adobe Flash 10.1 or later installed. The latest versions of most browsers are supported. For a complete list, see Horizon Administrator Requirements.
  •  

1. Run the Connection Server Installer

Navigate to the Connection Server installation file that you downloaded earlier, and double-click the file to start the installation wizard.

2. Permit Changes to Device

If asked whether to allow changes to your device, click Yes.

3. Click Next on the Welcome Page

On the installation wizard Welcome page, click Next.

4. Accept the License Agreement

  1. Select I accept the terms in the license agreement.
  2. Click Next.

5. Accept the Default Installation Directory

Click Next.

6. Select Installation Options

  1. Select the Horizon 7 Standard Server installation option.
  2. Select the Install HTML Access option to allow users to connect through web browsers.
  3. Accept the default IPv4 protocol option.
  4. Click Next.

7. Establish a Data Recovery Password

  1. In the Data Recovery window, enter the password.
  2. You can enter an optional reminder for future reference.
  3. Click Next.

8. Configure the Firewall Automatically

  1. Accept the default to configure the firewall automatically.
  2. Click Next.

9. Specify the User or Group Who Will Have Full Administrative Privileges

  1. Enter the domain user or domain group to authorize access to the Horizon Administrator.
  2. Click Next.

10. Choose the User Experience Option

  1. In the User Experience Improvement Program window, you can deselect the Join the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program option to opt out of the program.
  2. Click Next.

11. Install the Components You Selected

In the Ready to Install the Program window, click Install.

12. Click Finish

Click Finish to close the wizard.

14. Log in to Horizon Administrator

Log in to Horizon Administrator using an account that belongs to the user or group account you specified in Specify the User or Group Who Will Have Full Administrative Privileges.

For more information about installation and all the options, see the Horizon 7 Installation guide.

Set Up the Composer Database

The Composer database stores information about connections and components that are used by the Composer:

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

Note: If you choose to use instant clones in your enterprise rather than linked clones, no database is required for instant clones.

Prerequisites for Setting Up the Composer Database

To perform this exercise, you need the following:

  • SQL Server instance – This is the database server on which you will create the Composer database. For the example in this exercise, we used Microsoft SQL Server 2016. To simplify the setup for completing this tutorial in a lab setup, we recommend that you use the same SQL Server instance for the Composer database, the event database, and the JMP server database. For a list of databases that support all three of these components, see the product documentation topic Database Requirements for JMP Server.
    Tip: If you performed the exercise Create VMs for the Connection Server and Composer, you can also clone a VM for your SQL Server instance.
  • Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio – For the example in this exercise, we used Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio v17.7. The instructions might differ slightly for different versions of SQL Server Management Studio.
  • SA credentials – To create the necessary logins for the Composer server database, you will log in to the SQL Server instance as the sysadmin (SA) or as a user account with SA privileges.

1. Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio

  1. On the VM where SQL Server and SQL Server Management Studio are installed, click the Start button.
  2. Navigate to and select Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.

2. Log In to a SQL Management Studio Session as SA

  1. Select SQL Server instance. By default your Windows login credentials are used, but you are not required to use Windows authentication.
  2. Log in as the sysadmin (SA) or using a user account with SA privileges.
  3. Click Connect.

3. Create a Database for the Composer Server

  1. In the Object Explorer, right-click Databases.
  2. Select New Database.

4. Name the Composer Database

  1. For the database name, enter ComposerDB. You must use only ASCII characters. Use the default settings.
  2. Click OK.

The new database is added under the Databases folder in the Object Explorer pane.

5. Create a Database Login for the Composer Server

  1. Expand the Security folder, and right-click Logins.
  2. Select New Login.

6. Complete the General Settings

  1. Enter a login name, using ASCII characters only; for example, ComposerUser.
  2. Select SQL Server authentication, and create a password.
  3. De-select Enforce password policy. For the purposes of this exercise, you do not need to use password policies.
  4. Set the default database to the Composer database.
  5. Select a default language.

7. Assign the sysadmin Server Role

  1. Select the Server Roles page.
  2. Select the sysadmin check box.

8. Complete the User Mapping Settings

  1. Select the User Mapping page.
  2. Select the ComposerDB database.
  3. Select the db_owner role.
  4. Click OK.

The new login is added under the Security > Logins folder in the Object Explorer pane.

Install the Composer

Horizon 7 uses Composer, also called View Composer, to create and deploy linked-clone desktops in vCenter Server. Composer is the legacy method of optimizing your use of storage space and facilitate updates.

(Instant-clone desktops, another feature, improve and accelerate the process of cloning virtual desktops, and use even less storage and administrative effort, because the desktop is deleted when the user logs out. Both instant-clone and linked-clone desktops are explored in other chapters of this tutorial.)

Installing Composer is required only if you plan to do the exercises for creating linked-clone desktops. For production environments, VMware recommends using instant clones rather than linked clones.

Note: Do not install Composer on the same virtual or physical machine as Connection Server, Horizon Agent, Horizon Client, or other Horizon 7 software components. For this exercise, Composer is installed on a standalone machine.

Prerequisites for Composer Installation

To perform this exercise, you will need the following:

  • Database – Verify that you have performed all the steps in the exercise Set Up the Composer Database, which include creating the database for storing Composer information and a login user with the correct privileges for the Composer server to communicate with the database.
  • SQL Server Native Client 11 – If the driver for the native client is not already installed on the Composer server machine, you can download the installer, which is called sqlncli.msi and is one of the components included in the Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Feature Pack. You will select this driver when you are completing the Composer installation wizard.
  • User account for running the installer – When you log in to the OS to run the installer, the account you use must have administrative privileges.
  • Installer – If necessary, you can download the installer from the Download VMware Horizon page or the VMware Horizon 7 Product Evaluation Center. You must download and copy the installer file to the Composer server VM, or, alternatively, you can copy it to a location accessible to the system.
  • VM that satisfies virtual hardware requirements – If you performed the exercise Create VMs for the Connection Server and Composer, you have an appropriate VM. If you did not perform that exercise, make sure that the VM you have adheres to the specifications listed in the product documentation topic Hardware Requirements for Standalone View Composer.
  • Windows OS – The system must be running a supported Windows version. We recommend Windows Server 2016. for a complete list of supported operating systems, see the product documentation topic Supported Operating Systems for View Composer.

1. Run the Composer Installer

Navigate to the Composer installation file that you downloaded earlier, and double-click the file to start the installation wizard.

2. Click Next on the Welcome Page

On the installation wizard Welcome page, click Next.

3. Accept the License Agreement

  1. Select I accept the terms in the license agreement.
  2. Click Next.

4. Accept the Default Installation Directory

Click Next.

5. Set Up a New ODBC Data Source

Click ODBC DSN Setup.

6. Add a New System DSN

Click Add.

6.1. Select the SQL Server Native Client

  1. Select SQL Server Native Client 11. If you do not see a driver for the native client, you can download the installer, which is called sqlncli.msi and is one of the components included in the Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Feature Pack.
  2. Click Next.

6.2. Enter Data Required to Create a Data Source

  1. Enter a name for the data source; for example, Composer-data-source.
  2. Select the database server instance from the drop-down list.
  3. Click Finish.

6.3. Test the Data Source Connection

  1. Click Test Data Source.
  2. Click OK in the Test Results window.
  3. Click OK in the ODBC data source window.

6.4. Click OK in the Data Source Administrator

Now that the data source for the Composer database has been added, click OK to close the ODBC Data Source Administrator wizard.

6.5. Configure the Data Source

  1. Add a name; for example, enter Composer-data-source.
  2. Select the SQL Server from the drop-down list.
  3. Click Finish.

7. Enter Database Information

  1. Now that a data source is configured, enter the data source name; for example, Composer-data-source.
  2. Enter the user name and password for the login you created in the exercise Set Up the Composer Database.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Click OK. You can safely ignore this warning because the user you created uses SQL Server authentication rather than Windows authentication.

8. Accept the Default SOAP Port

Click Next.

9. Start the Installation Process

Click Install.

10. Click Finish

When installation is complete, click Finish to close the wizard.

11. Restart the System

To finalize the installation, click Yes to reboot the virtual machine.

12. Verify that the Service Is Started

On the Composer VM, open the Services applet, and verify that the VMware Horizon 7 Composer service is running.