Introduction to Installing Horizon View Connection Server
Version: Horizon View 5.1
We are now ready to start our installation of VMware View; we are going to start by installing the VMware View Connection Server. The Connection Server is the core of VMware View offering centralized management, connection brokerage and license management amongst other features. In a finalised installation you will have multiple connection servers in you environment for scale, resilience and use from different types of connectivity mediums such as internal and external users. For now we are going to concentrate on installing our first View Connection Server.
View Virtual Hardware Requirements
Before we install the View Connection Server we should briefly discuss the minimum requirements and the effect of under sizing your View Connection Server. VMware publish the minimum requirements of the View Connection Server in View 5.1 as follows: –
Note that when you install your View Connection server the installer will size the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) heap memory size, when configuring the recommended 10GB or more of RAM the JVM is configured to use 2GB of RAM which will allow for the View maximum of 2,000 concurrent tunnel connections. If you configure it with less memory for example 4GB the JVM heap will be configured with 512MB of memory meaning it can only handle 500 concurrent connections. To increase the memory allocated to the JVM heap in the future you will need to reinstall the View Connection Server. Note there maybe ways to increase the size via the registry but these are unsupported and may lead to further issues. Installing the Connection Server is a breeze, and most of the real work happens in the post-configuration stage that is carried out using an Adobe Flash-based administration tool. VMware recommends a minimum of at least 1 vCPU for the Connection Server, together with 4GB of RAM in a non-production environment. As of View 5.1 the connection server is now only available in 64bit.
Installing the Horizon View Connection Server
1. Create a new Windows 2008 VM and join it to your Active Directory Domain
2. Double click on the VMware-viewconnectionserver-N.N.N-NNNNNN.exe file
3. Accept the usual suspects on the Welcome Screen, EULA and the install path for the software
4. Select ‘View Standard Server’ from the list
This choice is always used to create the first Connection Server, whereas ‘View Replica Server’ is used to add a second or third Connection Server. ‘View Security Server’ is used to add the Security Server role to be placed in the DMZ for external connectivity.
5. You will need to input a password that is going to protect the backups that VMware View will create. Ensure you document this password as it will be required to restore the backup.
6. Next you will be asked if you would like the Windows Firewall configuration settings to be adjusted for VMware View to work correctly: Select this choice.
7. Now you need to select which group or user will be configured to be your first View Administrators
8. Finally you select whether you wish to participate in the User Experience Program before commencing with the installation.
During the process the installation will create a Microsoft AD LDS instance, and you will receive messages about importing a schema using an .LDF file – at no stage is the Schema Master of the Active Directory Domain modified.
Once the installation has completed you are presented with a VMware View Administrator Console icon on the desktop of the VMware View server. This icon merely opens a web browser at http://localhost/admin
In a clean installation of Windows 2008 you will need to download and install the Adobe Flash Player. Be aware that there can be security implications to having Flash components present on a server. Be attentive to security bulletins, and patch promptly if advised of an issue. Once installed, you can reload the View Administrator Console and login with your administrator account.
VMware has done a great job of simplifying the installation of the View connection server, which essentially becomes the central hub of your virtual desktop solution. Certainly compared to other competitive products the time between starting the installation and being able to start using your virtual desktop solution is significantly less. In our next chapter we will be looking in more detail on the post-install and configuration of the Connection Server.