VMware Horizon View 5.2 Install Part 1: Basic Installation

In case you missed it, VMware has recently GA’d their Horizon Suite of software. This is a re-branding and expansion of the end user computing portfolio, which includes View, their VDI solution. You can see my blog post for the full announcement here. This series will cover the VMware Horizon View 5.2 install process, which is pretty straight forward.

Last year I started  a View 5.1 install series, but for various reasons I didn’t get all the parts posted that I wanted. So I will endeavor for my View 5.2 series to go end-to-end, time permitting. Thankfully View is much easier to install and configure than vCenter 5.1, so I don’t expect a 15 part series to get through the full process.

Unfortunately the View 5.2 components are NOT supported on Windows Server 2012 (Horizon Mirage IS though), so we will be using Windows Server 2008 R2 for the connection server VM. For the client OS I will use Windows 8 x64 Enterprise, as that is now supported with View 5.2 on vSphere 5.1 (not vSphere 5.0 though).

Additional articles in this series:

VMware Horizon View 5.2 Part 2: SSL Certificate
VMware Horizon VIew 5.2 Part 3: Initial Config
VMware Horizon View 5.2 Part 4: VM and Pool Creation

VMware Horizon View 5.2 Install

1. Provision a Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 VM, and do your normal configuration such as joining it to your domain. Resist the strong urge to use a Windows Server 2012 VM, as that is not supported. Note to View team: Please get with the program. vCenter 5.0 U2 supports WS2012, why can’t you?

2. Download the Horizon Suite 1.0 components from the VMware site. Copy the Connection Server installer to your newly provisioned VM and start the install process.

3. Once you get to the Destination Folder, you can leave the default value or put it elsewhere like on the D drive. For this example I’ll keep it simple and leave it on the C drive.

4. Next up you need to decide what role this particular server will be used for. For this series we will start off with the View Standard server.

5. The wizard will now prompt you for a data recovery password. Should your View server become inoperable or face other technical issues, you may need the recovery password to well….recover your environment. So make sure you write this down and keep it in a safe place. The password can be from 1 to 128 characters.
6. If in your environment you use the Windows firewall, View can automatically configure the appropriate rules. Since I’m using the Windows firewall, I want View to configure the rules for me. Note that if you want to use the Security server, it requires the use of Windows firewall to establish an IPsec connection to the Connection server. So I would advise using the Windows firewall.
7. Now you need to tell View what administrator group will have access into the View console. I would strongly urge the use of a domain security group vice the local administrator group. Following my favorite RBAC naming convention I’m using APP_View_All_Administrator. You should create your own group.
8. Next up it will ask you if you want to send anonymous data to VMware. I most certainly do NOT, but the choice is yours.
9. Click Install and wait for the installer to complete.
10. Unfortunately the View console relies on the very insecure Adobe Flash player. So download it to the computer(s) that you want to access the View console from.
In Part 2 we will configure the SSL certificate for the View connection server. In this area the View team is light-years ahead of the vCenter team. Installing a trusted SSL certificate is cake, and shockingly uses the Windows OS certificate store (yeah!).
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Derek, Any reason why I am getting “Unable to connect” error message in my browser, and I replace the self-signed cert with the one from my internal CA? I can see that ports 80 and 443 are not opening and I’m pretty sure it is related to the ws_TunnelService.exe, but I don’t know how to correct it. Even if I put my self-signed certs back in the Windows OS cert store (adding the vdm friendly name, too), all services successfully start, but obviously something is wrong. I recently rebuilt the Connection server with the assistance from VMware, after having a… Read more »

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