Horizon Group Policy and Profiles

Last Modified: Jan 10, 2021 @ 9:48 am

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This post applies to all VMware Horizon versions 7.0, and and newer, including Horizon 2012 (aka 8.1).

ūüí° = Recently Updated

Change Log

Roaming Profiles Options

There are several options for persisting user profile settings when the user logs off:

  • VMware Dynamic Environment Manager (DEM) ‚Äď DEM is a very configurable product that is generally preferred over Persona and Microsoft Roaming Profiles. It works on both virtual desktops and Remote Desktop Session Hosts.
    • In Horizon 2006 (8.0) and newer, DEM Personalization features are available in all editions of Horizon.
    • In Horizon 7, only Horizon Enterprise Edition is entitled to VMware‚Äôs Dynamic Environment Manager.
    • VMware Dynamic Environment Manager (DEM) is the new name for VMware User Environment Manager (UEM). VMware renamed User Environment Manager 9.9 and newer to DEM to avoid confusion with Workspace ONE Unified Endpoint Management (also UEM), which is actually AirWatch mobility management. User Environment Manager is sometimes called “little UEM”, while AirWatch is sometimes called “big UEM”.
    • DEM persists settings for specific applications instead of persisting the entire profile. Saved application settings are stored in separate .zip files (aka profile archives) for each application so you can restore one .zip file without affecting the other .zip files. Many of these DEM profile archive .zip files can be restored to multiple operating system versions, whereas other monolithic profile solutions are tied to a specific operating system version.
    • DEM restores profile archives on top of other profile solutions. One option is mandatory profiles so that anything not saved by DEM is discarded on logoff.
    • VMware KB article 2118056 Migrate VMware Persona Management to VMware User Environment Manager.
  • VMware Persona saves the entire user profile, meaning it is a “set and forget” roaming profile solution that is similar to Microsoft’s native roaming profiles or Citrix Profile Management.
    • VMware Persona is not included in Horizon 2006 (8.0) and newer. If you are using Persona in Horizon 7, then before upgrading, see VMware Tech Zone Modernizing VDI for a New Horizon to migrate off of Persona.
    • VMware Persona is included in all editions of Horizon 7.
    • However, Persona doesn’t work on newer versions of Windows 10, Persona doesn’t work on RDSH Horizon Agents, and Persona doesn’t work on Instant Clones.
    • In practice, DEM is the only viable profile option from VMware, but DEM requires Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition, or upgrade to Horizon 2006 (8.0)
  • VMware App Volumes Writable Volumes – App Volumes Writable Volumes can store the user’s profile and roam the writable volume to different Horizon Agent machines.
    • App Volumes requires Horizon Enterprise Edition.
    • App Volumes is a separate infrastructure (e.g. separate servers, separate agents) that must be built, learned, maintained, and supported.
    • Writable Volumes are stored as .vmdk files on vSphere datastores. For backup/restore, you can replicate the .vmdk files to multiple datastores, including multiple data centers.
    • When Writable Volumes are combined with DEM, then Outlook search indexes can be stored on the Writable Volumes.
    • Writable Volumes can only be mounted on one Horizon Agent machine at a time.
  • VMware Persistent Disks – VMware Horizon Composer can generate persistent disks for each dedicated desktop machine. User profile is redirected to the persistent disk so the user profile will be available after the machine is refreshed.
    • In Horizon 2006 (8.0) and newer, Composer and Persistent Disks are deprecated. Composer has been removed from Horizon 2012 (8.1) and newer. Before upgrading, see VMware Tech Zone Modernizing VDI for a New Horizon to migrate off of Persona.
    • Persistent Disk only stores the user’s profile. It does not store user-installed applications. If you need to persist user-installed applications, then implement App Volumes Writable Volumes instead.
    • Persistent Disks require VMware Horizon Composer and are not available with Instant Clones.
    • Persistent Disks are only an option for Dedicated Assignment pools, meaning that the Persistent Disks do not float between machines. Administrators can manually detach a Persistent Disk from one machine and attach it to a different machine.
    • Persistent Disks are stored as .vmdk files on vSphere datastores. How do you back them up and restore them, especially if they are not currently mounted on a running virtual machine?
  • Microsoft FSLogix – FSLogix Profile Containers can store the entire user profile in a .vhdx file that is stored on a file share.
    • FSLogix is free for almost all virtual desktop and RDSH customers. If you’re not licensed for DEM, then FSLogix is a viable alternative.
    • FSLogix is known for roaming the Outlook Search Index and other special Office 365 files.
    • FSLogix Profile Container is very similar to VMware Persistent Disks and Microsoft User Experience Virtualization in that the entire profile is stored in the .vhdx file. Watch out for disk space consumption on the file share. And concurrent access to the .vhdx can be challenging.
    • FSLogix Profile Container configuration is “set and forget” since it doesn’t need separate configuration for each application.
  • Microsoft Roaming Profiles – a last-case alternative is native Microsoft roaming profiles. However, there are many limitations.
    • Microsoft‚Äôs Roaming Profiles cause longer login times since the entire profile is downloaded before the user can interact with the desktop or application. This is not a problem in other roaming profile solutions.
    • Microsoft‚Äôs Roaming Profiles do not merge settings from multiple sessions so if you have users connecting to multiple RDS farms (or multiple desktop pools) then each RDS farm should have separate roaming profile shares.

Roaming Profiles File Shares

File Shares Design

This section provides a summary of the required shares. See Create and Share the Folders for Detailed steps for creating the profile shares.

There are typically several types of file share paths:

  • Roaming Profiles¬†– stores DEM profile archives, FSLogix .vhdx Profile Containers, etc.
    • Roaming profiles (or DEM profile archives) are stored in a separate sub-folder for each user that only the one user has access to.
    • FSLogix, VMware Persona and Microsoft Roaming Profiles are monolithic profiles that are tied to a specific operating system version. If you are supporting multiple operating systems, or if users are connecting to multiple, concurrent pools/farms, then create a separate Roaming Profile share path for each operating system version. For example, you might have separate Roaming Profile shares for Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019.
      • Theoretically, DEM Personalization Archives can be used across multiple operating system versions.
  • Folder Redirection – stores profile folders that you want to persist but you don’t want to store with the roaming profile. These folders are typically Documents, Downloads, Desktop, and Favorites. Folder Redirection speeds up restoration of roaming profiles. AppData should not be redirected to this file share path.
    • Each user has a separate sub-folder that only the one user has access to.
    • Folder Redirection can be accessed from multiple operating system versions so there’s no need to create multiple Folder Redirection share paths.
  • Home Directories – users store Documents and other personal data in Home Directories.
    • Folder Redirection can be stored in Home Directories instead of in a separate Folder Redirection file share path.
    • Home Directories might be located on multiple file servers. If these file servers are in branch offices instead of data centers, then Folder Redirection should be stored on file servers in the data center that contains Horizon Agents.
  • DEM Configuration Share – VMware Dynamic Environment Manager (DEM) stores its configuration in a file share.

These file shares for a particular user can only be located in one data center. Neither VMware nor Microsoft support multi-master replication (aka merge replication) of user profiles, home directories, and folder redirection. If you use DFS Namespaces, then the DFS Namespace path must point to only one target.

  • Horizon users should connect to Horizon Agents in the same data center as the file servers that contain the user’s profile, folder redirection, and home directory. If you have active Horizon Agents in multiple data centers, then you can configure Horizon Cloud Pod Home Sites so that specific users connect to specific data centers.¬†If users connect to a Horizon Agent that is not in the same data center as the user’s file servers, then the files are retrieved across the Data Center Interconnect, which might take longer than desired.
  • The DEM Configuration Share is primarily read-only so multi-master replication is less of a concern.

Here are NTFS permissions for each of the profile file share types:

DEM Profile Archives share:

  • \\server\DEMProfiles
    • DEM Admins = Full Control
    • DEM Support = Modify
    • DEM Users = Read/Execute, Create Folders ‚Äď this folder only
    • Creator Owner = Full Control

Dynamic Environment Manager (DEM) Configuration share:

  • \\server\DEMConfig – stores DEM configuration
    • DEM Admins = Full Control
    • DEM Users = Read
    • DEM Support = Read
    • Domain Computers = Read – for DEM computer ADMX

Non-DEM Monolithic Roaming Profiles share: (example includes multiple shares for multiple operating systems)

  • \\server\Profiles\Win10
    • Admins = Full Control
    • Support = Modify
    • Users = Read/Execute, Create Folders ‚Äď this folder only
    • Creator Owner = Full Control
  • \\server\Profiles\Win19
    • Admins = Full Control
    • Support = Modify
    • Users = Read/Execute, Create Folders ‚Äď this folder only
    • Creator Owner = Full Control

Folder Redirection share:

  • \\server\Redirect
    • Admins = Full Control
    • Users = Read/Execute, Create Folders ‚Äď this folder only
    • Creator Owner = Full Control

According to VMware 2113665 Imports and exports in VMware User Environment Manager are slow, the two DEM shares should be excluded from antivirus scanning. The article also details some antivirus exclusions for the FlexEngine installed on the Horizon Agent machines.

Create and Share the Folders

  1. On your file server, make sure file and printer sharing is enabled.
  2. On the file server that will host the file share, create a new folder and name it  DEMConfig, or DEMProfiles or similar. See File Shares Design for design info on the share paths that should be created.
  3. Open the folder’s Properties.
  4. On the Sharing tab, click Advanced Sharing.
  5. Check the box to share the folder.
  6. Click Permissions.
  7. Give Full Control to Everyone. Click OK.
  8. Click Caching.
  9. Select No files or programs. Click OK twice, and then click Close.
  10. According to VMware 2113665 Imports and exports in VMware User Environment Manager are slow, the two DEM shares should be excluded from antivirus scanning. The article also details some antivirus exclusions for the FlexEngine installed on the Horizon Agent machines.

Folder Permissions

The following procedure works for any of the profile and redirection folders listed in the file shares design except for the DEMConfig folder.

Lieven D’hoore has VMware Horizon View ‚Äď Script to create Persona Management Repositories, Shares and Permissions.

  1. Open the Properties of the new shared folder.
  2. On the Security tab, click Advanced.

    1. Click Disable Inheritance.
    2. Click Convert inherited permissions.
    3. Click OK to close Advanced Security Settings.
  3. On the Security tab, click Edit.

    1. For the Everyone or the Authenticated Users entry or the Users entry, remove Full Control and Modify. Make sure Write is enabled so users can create new folders.
    2. Add CREATOR OWNER, and give it Full Control. This grants users Full Control of the folders they create.
    3. Click OK to close the Permissions window.
  4. Click Advanced again.
  5. Highlight the Everyone permission entry or the Authenticated Users permission entry or the Users permission entry and click Edit.
  6. At the top of the window, change the Applies to selection to This folder only. This prevents the Everyone permission from flowing down to newly created profile folders.
  7. Remove all other permission entries that grant access to Users, Domain Users, Everyone, or Authenticated Users. There should only be one of these types of permission entries.
  8. Click OK twice to close the Security and Properties windows.

VMware Fling – Horizon View Persona Management Share Validation Tool:

  1. Download the tool, and extract it.
  2. From a command line, run VMWVvpValidator.exe with the share parameter, the path to the Persona or RDSProfiles share, and the group that should have access to the share.
  3. This will create a VMWVvpValidatortxt file in the same folder that contains the executable. Open it.
  4. Scroll down and there should be no errors. If there are, fix them as detailed in the report.

Access Based Enumeration

With access based enumeration enabled, users can only see folders to which they have access.

  1. In Server Manager, on the left, click File and Storage Services.
  2. If you don’t see Shares then you probably need to close Server Manager and reopen it.
  3. Right-click the new share, and click Properties.
  4. On the Settings page, check the box next to Enable access-based enumeration and click OK.

GPO Templates

Windows Group Policy Templates

Unfortunately, there are some differences between the GPO templates for Windows Server, and the GPO templates for  Windows 10. You’ll need to download the full set of templates.

Follow the procedure at https://www.carlstalhood.com/group-policy-objects-vda-computer-settings/#admtemp to download and install the Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10.

Horizon Group Policy Templates

Some of the policy settings in this topic require group policy templates from the Horizon GPO Bundle, which can be downloaded from the VMware Horizon Download Page.

For Horizon 2012 (8.1), download Horizon GPO Bundle (aka VMware-Horizon-Extras-Bundle-2012-8.1.0).

For Horizon 7.13 (ESB), download Horizon 7.13.0 View GPO Bundle (aka VMware-Horizon-Extras-Bundle-5.5.0).

For Horizon 7.10.3 (ESB), download Horizon 7.10.3 View GPO Bundle (aka VMware-Horizon-Extras-Bundle-5.5.0).

Install the Group Policy files:

  1. Go to the downloaded VMware-Horizon-View-Extras-Bundle.zip file, and extract the files.
  2. Copy the .admx files, and en-US folder, to the clipboard.
  3. Go to \\domain.com\sysvol\domain.com\Policies\PolicyDefinitions (if it exists), or C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions on the group policy editing machines¬†(if PolicyDefinitions doesn’t exist¬†in SYSVOL), and paste the .admx files. Overwrite any older files.

  4. Horizon 7.3 and newer have an .admx file in the ThinPrint\ADMX folder. Note: Horizon 2006 (8.0) and newer no longer include ThinPrint so this .admx is not available in Horizon 2006 (8.0) and newer.
    1. Copy the .admx file, and en-US folder, to the clipboard.
    2. Go to \\domain.com\sysvol\domain.com\Policies\PolicyDefinitions (if it exists), or C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions on the group policy editing machines¬†(if PolicyDefinitions doesn’t exist¬†in SYSVOL), and paste the .admx files. Overwrite any older files.
  5. When you edit group policy objects, you can now edit Horizon settings.

Dynamic Environment Manager GPO Templates

Download and copy the DEM GPO ADMX templates to PolicyDefinitions. Note: UEM 9.1 and newer can also work without Active Directory (Group Policy); see VMware 2148324 Configuring advanced UEM settings in NoAD mode for details.

In Horizon 2006 (8.0) and newer, DEM is available in all editions of Horizon. There are two editions of DEM, each with different downloads and different ADMX templates.

In Horizon 7, DEM is only available for Horizon Enterprise Edition customers. Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition customers can download DEM 2009 Enterprise Edition.

  1. Download Dynamic Environment Manager 2009 (aka 10.1) Enterprise Edition, Dynamic Environment Manager 2009 (aka 10.1) Standard Edition, or Dynamic Environment Manager 9.9.0 (ESB)¬†if you haven’t already.


  2. Go to the extracted Dynamic Environment Manager files, and in the Administrative Templates (ADMX) folder, copy the files and the folder.
  3. Go to \\domain.com\sysvol\domain.com\Policies\PolicyDefinitions (if it exists), or C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions on the group policy editing machines¬†(if PolicyDefinitions doesn’t exist¬†in SYSVOL), and paste the files and folder. Overwrite any older files.

  4. If you are upgrading from UEM 9.8 or older to DEM 9.9 or newer, then look in PolicyDefinitions for VMware UEM.admx files and delete them.
  5. You will find VMware DEM GPO settings in the User Half of a GPO.

Chrome GPO Templates

VMware Horizon Browser Redirection requires installation of a Chrome extension. Install the Chrome GPO Templates so you can force install the Chrome extension.

  1. Download the Google Chrome ADMX templates from Set Chrome Browser policies on managed PCs.
  2. Extract the .zip file.
  3. Go to the extracted files. In the \policy_templates\windows\admx folder, copy the chrome.admx and google.admx files.
  4. Go to PolicyDefinitions in your SYSVOL (e.g. \\domain.com\sysvol\domain.com\Policies\PolicyDefinitions) and paste the .admx files.
  5. Go back to the extracted Google Chrome templates in the \policy_templates\windows\admx folder and copy the en-US folder.
  6. Go to back to PolicyDefinitions in your SYSVOL and paste the en-US folder. It will add .adml files to the existing en-US folder.

Create Group Policy Objects

  1. Within Active Directory Users and Computers, create a parent Organizational Unit (OU) to hold all Horizon Agent computer objects (virtual desktops and Remote Desktop Session Hosts).
  2. Then create sub-OUs, one for each pool or RDS Farm.
  3. Move the Horizon Agent machines from the Computers container to one of the OUs created in step 2.
  4. Within Group Policy Management Console, create a Group Policy Object (GPO) called Horizon Agent Computer Settings and link it to the parent OU created in step 1. If this policy should apply to all pools, then link it to the parent OU. Or you can link it to pool-specific sub-OUs.

  5. Modify the properties of the GPO, on the Details tab, so that the User Configuration portion of the GPO is disabled. User settings do not belong in this GPO.
  6. Create and link two new GPOs to the Session host OU (in addition to the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO). One of the GPOs is called Horizon Agent All Users (including admins), and the other is called Horizon Agent Non-Admin Users (lockdown). The Non-Admin Users GPO can either be linked to the parent OU, or to the session host sub-OUs. Locking down sessions is more common for Remote Desktop Session Hosts.

  7. Modify the properties of both of these GPOs, and disable the Computer Configuration portion of the GPO.
  8. Click the Horizon Agent Non-Admin Users GPO to highlight it.
  9. On the right, switch to the Delegation tab, and click Add.
  10. Find your Horizon Admins group, and click OK.
  11. Change the Permissions to Edit settings, and click OK.
  12. Then on the Delegation tab, click Advanced.
  13. For Horizon Admins, place a check mark in the Deny column for the Apply Group Policy permission. If desired, you can also deny the GPO to Domain Admins and Enterprise Admins. Click OK.
  14. Click Yes when asked to continue.
  15. For the other two GPOs, add Horizon Admins with Edit Settings permission. But don’t deny Apply Group Policy. The deny entry is only needed on the Lockdown GPO.

GPOs for Roaming Profiles (Persona and RDS)

You will need separate profile configurations for each Horizon Agent type (virtual desktops, RDS, operating system version, operating system bitness, etc.) Each profile configuration needs a different GPO. Note: if you are licensed for Dynamic Environment Manager, then you can skip this section.

  1. Right-click one of the Remote Desktop Session Host sub-OUs, and create a new GPO.
  2. Name it Horizon Agent RDS Farm 1 Profiles or similar. This policy will use Microsoft’s native roaming profiles instead of Persona. Note: each RDS farm should have a separate roaming profile share.
  3. Select the new GPO to highlight it. On the right, on the Delegation tab, add the Horizon Admins group, and give it Edit Settings permission.
  4. If you have additional Remote Desktop Session Host sub-OUs (one for each RDS Farm), right-click one of them and create another GPO with a different name. Each RDS Farm needs a different profile path.

  5. Right-click a virtual desktop sub-OU, and click Create a GPO in this domain.
  6. Name it Horizon Agent Persona Win10 or similar, and click OK. Each operating system version should point to a different file share, so include the operating system version in the GPO name.
  7. Select the new GPO to highlight it. On the right, on the Delegation tab, add the Horizon Admins group, and give it Edit Settings permission.
  8. If you have additional virtual desktop sub-OUs of the same operating system, right-click the OU, and click Link an Existing GPO.
  9. Select the Horizon Agent Persona Win10 GPO, and click OK.
  10. For desktop pools running a different operating system, create a new Persona GPO. Each Persona GPO will point to a different share.
  11. The final group policy object framework will look like this: some GPOs linked to the parent OU and pool-specific GPOs linked to the sub-OUs. Each sub-OU needs different GPOs for different roaming profile configurations.

Agent Computer Settings

These GPO settings should be applied to the Horizon Agents.

General Computer Settings

  1. Right-click the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO, and click Edit.
  2. Configure the GPO Computer Settings as detailed at https://www.carlstalhood.com/group-policy-objects-vda-computer-settings/#computer.

Remote Desktop Users Group

  1. Right-click the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO, and click Edit.
  2. Under Computer Config > Windows Settings > Security Settings, right-click Restricted Groups, and click Add Group.
  3. Browse to the group of users (e.g. Domain Users) that will be added to the Remote Desktop Users group on the virtual desktops. Click OK.
  4. In the bottom half of the window, click Add to specify that this group is a member of:
  5. Enter Remote Desktop Users, and click OK twice.

VMware Integrated Printing

Horizon 7.7 and newer have a new Universal Print Driver named VMware Integrated Printing or VMware Advanced Printing, which replaces ThinPrint. Integrated Printing is an optional feature of the Horizon Agent installer and requires Horizon Client 4.10 for Windows, Horizon Client 5.1 for Linux and Horizon Client 5.1 for Mac.

You can use Group Policy to configure Integrated Printing. (e.g. select whether Native Print Drivers are preferred over the Universal Print Driver). The GPO settings only apply if the VMware Integrated Printing feature is installed on the Horizon Agent.

  1. Make sure the Horizon 2012 (8.1) or newer GPO Templates are installed. Some Integrated Printing GPO settings are available in Horizon 7.7 and newer.
  2. Edit the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO.
  3. Go to Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware View Agent Configuration | VMware Integrated Printing (or VMware Advanced Printing). This node only appears in ADMX templates from Horizon 7.7 and newer.
    • In Horizon 2012 (8.1) and newer, the GPO settings were moved under the VMware View Agent Configuration folder.
    • In Horizon 2012 (8.1) and newer, the Integrated Printing settings are also available in the user half at User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > VMware View Agent Configuration > VMware Integrated Printing. User settings override computer settings.
  4. In Horizon 2012 (8.1) and newer, Do not change default printer prevents the client default printer from overriding the remote default printer.
  5. Edit the setting Printer Driver Selection.
  6. Enable the setting, and then consider setting it to Always use UPD to avoid needing to install any printer drivers on the Horizon Agent machines. This is particularly beneficial for multi-user RDSH machines.
  7. In Horizon 2012 (8.1) and newer, Printer Name Schema lets you change the names of the redirected printers.

Horizon 7.8 and newer supports filtering of redirected client printers.

VMware Integrated Printing also supports Location Based Printing.

  1. In the Horizon 7.7 or newer Extras Bundle (GPO templates), find the file named LBP.xml.
  2. Edit the file. This is an XML document that can contain multiple <Policy> nodes. The file is commented.
  3. When done editing the LBP.xml file, copy it to¬†C:\ProgramData\VMware on each Horizon Agent machine. It’s probably easiest to use Group Policy Preferences (or computer startup script) to download this file when the Horizon Agent machines boots.

Dynamic Environment Manager (DEM) Group Policy

Most of the Dynamic Environment Manager GPO settings are user settings, not computer settings. DEM 2006 (aka 10.0) and newer support ADMX files for computers.

Note: UEM 9.1 can also work without Active Directory (Group Policy); see VMware 2148324 Configuring advanced UEM settings in NoAD mode for details.

From Chris Halstead VMware User Environment Manager (UEM) ‚Äď Part 1 ‚Äď Overview / Installation and VMware Deployment Guide VMware User Environment Manager Deployed in 60 Minutes or Less:

  1. Make sure Prevent access to registry editing tools is not enabled in any GPO. This setting prevents the FlexEngine from operating properly.
  2. Dynamic Environment Manager requires one computer setting. Edit the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO.

    1. Go to Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | System | Logon.
    2. Double-click Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon.
    3. Enable the setting, and click OK.
    4. Close the group policy editor.
  3. If you use DEM 9.10 or newer to roam File Type Associations, then enable the GPO setting Do not show the ‘new application installed’ notification at Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer. ūüí°
  4. The remaining settings are user settings. Edit the Horizon Agent All Users GPO. This GPO should apply to the Horizon Agents, and Loopback processing should already be enabled on those machines.
  5. Go to User Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware DEM | FlexEngine.
  6. If you are running Dynamic Environment Manager on top of mandatory profiles, then double-click Certificate support for mandatory profiles.

    1. Enable the setting, and click OK.
  7. Double-click Flex config files.

    1. Enable the setting.
    2. Enter \\server\demconfig\general. The general folder will be created by the Dynamic Environment Manager management console. Click OK.
  8. Double-click FlexEngine Logging.

    1. Enable the setting.
    2. Enter \\server\demprofiles\%username%\logs. Dynamic Environment Manager will create these folders. Click OK.
  9. UEM 9.0 and newer has a setting named Paths unavailable at logon. By default, users are blocked from logging in if the DEM file share is not reachable.

  10. Double-click the setting Profile archive backups.

    1. Enable the setting.
    2. Type in \\server\demprofiles\%username%\backups.
    3. Enter the number of desired backups, check the box for daily backups, and click OK.
  11. Double-click Profile archives.

    1. Enable the setting.
    2. Type in \\server\demprofiles\%username%\archives.
    3. Check the box next to¬†Retain file modification dates. Source =¬†Anyway to save ‘Date Modified’? at VMware Communities.
    4. Click OK.
  12. Double-click the setting RunFlexEngine as Group Policy Extension.

    1. Enable the setting, and click OK.
  13. If you are using the Privilege Elevation feature, consider enabling Privilege elevation logging to the Windows event log.

  14. Same for Application blocking logging to the Windows event log.
  15. Go to User configuration | Policies | Windows Settings | Scripts (Logon/Logoff).
  16. Double-click Logoff.

    1. Click Add.
    2. In the Script Name field, enter C:\Program Files\Immidio\Flex Profiles\FlexEngine.exe.
    3. In the Script Parameters field, enter -s.
    4. Click OK.
  17. If DEM 2006 or newer, you can optionally enable DEM Computer ADMX settings.
    1. In the DEM Config share, make sure Domain Computers has Read permission to the folders.
    2. Edit a GPO that applies computer settings to the Horizon Agent machines (e.g. Horizon Agent Computer Settings).
    3. Go to Computer Configuration | Preferences | Windows Settings | Registry.
    4. Add a New Registry Item.
    5. Key Path = SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\VMware UEM\Agent\‚ÄčComputer Configuration
    6. Value name = Enabled
    7. Value type = REG_DWORD
    8. Value data = 1. Click OK.
    9. Create another registry item.
    10. Key Path = SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\VMware UEM\Agent\‚ÄčComputer Configuration
    11. Value name = ConfigFilePath
    12. Value type = REG_SZ
    13. Value data = the path to your DEM Config share, including the general folder. Click OK.
    14. For more registry values, see See VMware Docs FlexEngine Configuration for Computer Environment Settings.

Now that DEM is enabled, you can configure Dynamic Environment Manager by using a separate console application. See the instructions at https://www.carlstalhood.com/vmware-user-environment-manager/.

DEM Changelog

From YouTube video¬†User Environment Manager 9.6 What’s New Overview:

  1. On the left, click the node named Management Console under VMware DEM
  2. On the right, UEM 9.6 adds two new settings for Changelog.
  3. Log changes to disk stores the log in the DEM share at \\server\DEMConfig\Changelog\general. Note that administrators usually have permission to modify this location so they could modify this changelog.
  4. Log changes to the Windows event log stores the log in the Application Log in Event Viewer of the local console machine and not in any central server.
  5. You can also enable the Changelog in the DEM Management Console by clicking the ribbon button named Configure.
  6. Switch to the tab named Configuration Changelog to enable the two settings.
  7. Each configuration item in DEM Management Console shows a tab named Changelog after changes are recorded.

Persona Configuration

This section does not apply to Remote Desktop Session Hosts, Instant Clones, or newer versions of Windows 10. It also does not apply to Horizon 2006 (8.0) and newer.

If you are using Dynamic Environment Manager then skip this section.

  1. Verify that ICMP is enabled between the Horizon Agent and the domain controller, and as well as the Horizon Agent and the Persona Management Repository.
  2. Install the Horizon GPO ADMX files if you haven’t already.
  3. Edit one of the Horizon Agent Persona GPOs that applies to the virtual desktops (not Remote Desktop Session Hosts).
  4. Configure the following GPO settings:
    • Administrative Templates | System | User Profiles
      • Add the Administrators security group to roaming user profiles = enabled
      • Do not check for user ownership of Roaming Profile Folders = enabled
  5. Go to Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware View Agent Configuration | Persona Management | Roaming & Synchronization.
  6. On the right, double-click Manage user persona.
  7. Enable the setting. It defaults to 10 minutes. Click OK.
  8. Double-click Persona repository location, and enable the setting.
  9. Enter the path to the file share created for Persona. Append %username%.
  10. Check the box next to Override Active Directory user profile path. Click OK.
  11. Double-click Roam local settings folders, and enable it. Click OK.
  12. Double-click Files and folders excluded from roaming, and enable it. Then click Show.
  13. Enter the values shown below, and then click OK twice.
    $Recycle.Bin
    Tracing
    AppData\LocalLow
    AppData\Local\GroupPolicy
    AppData\Local\Packages
    AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync\Tracing
    AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
    AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Burn
    AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\CD Burning
    AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live
    AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts
    AppData\Local\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client
    AppData\Local\Microsoft\Messenger
    AppData\Local\Microsoft\OneNote
    AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
    AppData\Local\Windows Live
    AppData\Local\Temp
    AppData\Local\Sun
    AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache
    AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cached Theme Images
    AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\JumpListIcons
    AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\JumpListIconsOld
    AppData\Roaming\Sun\Java\Deployment\cache
    AppData\Roaming\Sun\Java\Deployment\log
    AppData\Roaming\Sun\Java\Deployment\tmp
  14. Double-click Files and folders excluded from roaming (exceptions), and enable it. Then click Show.
  15. Enter the exceptions shown below and click OK twice.
    AppData\LocalLow\Sun\Java\Deployment\security\exception.sites
    AppData\LocalLow\Sun\Java\Deployment\security\trusted.certs
    AppData\LocalLow\Sun\Java\Deployment\deployment.properties
  16. Configure %AppData%\Thinstall as a folder to background download. If you are using Thinapps, this will speed up the launch time of Thinapps.

RDS Roaming Profiles

This section applies to Remote Desktop Session Hosts, not virtual desktops.

If you are using Dynamic Environment Manager or FSLogix, then skip this section.

  1. Edit the Horizon Agent RDS Farm1 Profiles GPO.
  2. Configure the following GPO settings.
    • Administrative Templates | System | User Profiles
      • Add the Administrators security group to roaming user profiles = enabled
      • Delete cached copies of roaming profiles = enabled
      • Do not check for user ownership of Roaming Profile Folders = enabled
  3. Go to Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Remote Desktop Services | Remote Desktop Session Host | Profiles.
  4. On the right, open the setting Set path for Remote Desktop Services Roaming User Profile.
  5. Enable the setting and enter the path to the file share. Do not append %username%.
  6. If you haven’t already done this in a parent OU, also configure the Remote Desktop Services settings as detailed at¬†https://www.carlstalhood.com/group-policy-objects-vda-computer-settings/#computer.
  7. If you wish to enable the Aero style for Remote Desktop Session Host sessions, go to User Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | Control Panel | Personalization.
  8. Open the setting Force a specific visual style file.
  9. Enable the setting and enter the following path:
    %windir%\resources\Themes\Aero\aero.msstyles

  10. VMware recommends enabling RunOnce as detailed at https://www.carlstalhood.com/group-policy-objects-vda-user-settings/#runonce.

Horizon Agent Settings

  1. Install the Horizon GPO ADMX files if you haven’t already.
  2. Right-click the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO, and click Edit.
  3. On the left, expand Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware View Agent Configuration. Click Agent Configuration.
  4. Horizon 7.10 and newer has an Idle Time Until Disconnect (VDI) for virtual desktops. Note: RDSH idle timer is configured using Microsoft RDSH GPO settings, not Horizon GPO settings.
  5. In Horizon 7.10 or newer, you can use Group Policy to configure a Disconnect Session Time Limit for virtual desktops. This GPO setting overrides the pool setting Logoff after Disconnect.
  6. If Horizon 7.8 or newer, on the right, double-click DPI Synchronization Per Connection.
  7. This setting is disabled by default. You can optionally enable it so DPI is reconfigured on reconnect instead of only on initial logon.

PCoIP Configuration

Steve Dunne:

Here are some general PCoIP optimization settings:

  1. Install the Horizon GPO ADMX files if you haven’t already.
  2. Right-click the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO, and click Edit.
  3. On the left, expand Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | PCoIP Session Variables. Click Overridable Administrator Defaults.
  4. On the right, double-click Configure clipboard redirection.

    • Enable the setting, and select Enabled in both directions. Click OK.
  5. Horizon 7.6 and newer have a setting for¬†Configure clipboard audit that audits to the Agent’s Event Viewer any clipboard copy/paste from agent to client.

  6. Horizon 7.7 and newer have a setting named Configure drag and drop direction.

  7. Horizon 7.9 and newer have settings for Configure drag and drop format (drag and drop direction for each format) and Configure drag and drop size threshold.


  8. Horizon 7.0.2 and newer have the ability to filter specific clipboard formats.
  9. Double-click Configure the PCoIP session audio bandwidth limit. For WAN connection users, VMware recommends setting this to 100 – 150 Or you can start with 300 Kbps and reduce as needed.

Real-Time Audio-Video

VMware validated Horizon 7.9’s Real-Time Audio-Video feature with Microsoft Teams. Here are sizing recommendations:

  • Minimum setting of 4vCPU 4GB RAM as a published desktop configuration
  • RTAV video resolution configured with 640 x 480p

Real-Time Audio-Video (RTAV) is one of the options that can be selected when installing Horizon Agent. To ensure that Audio is captured by RTAV instead of by USB redirection, exclude audio from USB redirection is described in the next section.

To configure RTAV video resolution, do the following:

  1. Install the Horizon GPO ADMX files if you haven’t already.
  2. Right-click the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO, and click Edit.
  3. Expand Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware View Agent Configuration, expand View RTAV Configuration and click View RTAV Webcam Settings.
  4. On the right, double-click Resolution РDefault image resolution height in pixels
  5. Enable the setting and set it to 480 pixels. Click OK.
  6. On the right, double-click Resolution РDefault image resolution width in pixels.
  7. Enable the setting and enter 640. Click OK.
  8. There are two more GPO settings for Max height and width. If these are not configured then there is no maximum.

USB Redirection Settings

VMware TechPaper USB Device Redirection, Configuration, and Usage in View Virtual Desktops details the following:

  • PCoIP zero clients use a PCoIP virtual channel for USB. No extra network ports needed.
  • All other PCoIP clients, including Windows, Mac, etc., use TCP 32111 between the Horizon¬†Client and the Horizon Agent.
  • If Secure Tunnel is enabled, the USB traffic is sent to the Horizon Security Server on TCP 443. It is then forwarded to the Horizon Agent on 32111.
  • USB performance across the WAN can be slow.
  • Webcams are only supported using RTAV (Real-Time Audio-Video).
  • USB3 uses too much bandwidth for most WANs. USB3 is supported in Horizon Agent 6.0.1 and Horizon Client 3.1.
  • Linux clients do not let you choose USB devices. Instead, all USB devices are redirected.
  • USB device redirection can be filtered. Multi-interface USB devices can be split. See the TechPaper for details.
  • In Horizon 6.1 and Horizon Client 3.3, USB storage devices can be redirected to Remote Desktop Session Host.
  • Client Downloadable only GPO settings are downloaded to the Horizon¬†Client when the Horizon¬†Client first connects to the Horizon Agent.
  • USB GPO Settings on the Horizon Agent can either override or merge the Horizon¬†Client USB GPO settings. Merge means that if Horizon¬†Client settings exist then the Horizon Agent settings are ignored.
  • The Exclude All Devices setting is overridden by other Include
  • USB Redirection logs are located at %PROGRAMDATA%\VMware\VDM\logs\debug-*.txt. Look for <vmware-view-usbd>
  • How to configure USB Redirection rules on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

If you intend to use the Real-Time Audio-Video feature, then disable USB redirection of audio and video so it is instead accessed through the optimized virtual channel. RTAV and USB Redirection do not apply to Remote Desktop Session Host.

You can also use this procedure to block USB storage devices from being mapped.

  1. Install the Horizon GPO ADMX files if you haven’t already.
  2. Right-click the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO, and click Edit.
  3. Expand Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware View Agent Configuration, and click View USB Configuration.
  4. On the right, double-click Exclude Device Family.
  5. Change the selection to Enabled.
  6. Enter o:audio-in;o:video.
  7. If you want to block USB storage devices, add o:storage to the list. Click OK.

Blast Settings

The full Horizon Client 4.0 and newer can use UDP when connecting to Horizon 7 Agents using Blast.

  • VMware Tech Zone VMware Blast Extreme Optimization Guide
  • VMware Blog Post¬†Deep Dive into VMware Horizon Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport¬†–¬†Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport is enabled by default in VMware Horizon View 7.1 and Horizon Client 4.4. If the clients are connecting from outside the demilitarized zone (DMZ), you would also need to have VMware Unified Access Gateway (not Security Server) to take full advantage of the new transport. The adaptive transport will automatically sense the network for UDP availability and will fallback to legacy Blast TCP if UDP is not available.

Blast by default only allows clipboard redirection from client-to-server. This can be changed in group policy.

If you want file transfer in HTML5 Blast, then you must configure clipboard from server-to-client (or both directions). (Source = VMware UEM release notes)

  1. Install the Horizon GPO ADMX files if you haven’t already.
  2. Right-click the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO and click Edit.
  3. In Horizon 2012 (8.1) and newer, expand Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware View Agent Configuration and click Clipboard Redirection.
    1. In versions earlier than Horizon 2012 (8.1), expand Policies | Administrative Templates, and click VMware Blast.
  4. On the right, double-click Configure clipboard redirection.

    • Enable the setting, and then make your choice. Click OK.
  5. Horizon 7.6 and newer have a setting for¬†Configure clipboard audit that audits to the Agent’s Event Viewer any clipboard copy/paste from agent to client.

  6. Horizon 7.7 and newer have a setting to¬†Configure drag and drop direction. In Horizon 2012 (8.1) and newer it’s under the separate VMware View Agent Configuration | Drag and Drop node instead of VMware Blast.

  7. Horizon 7.9 and newer have settings for¬†Configure drag and drop format (drag and drop direction for each format) and Configure drag and drop size threshold.¬†In Horizon 2012 (8.1) and newer it’s under the separate VMware View Agent Configuration | Drag and Drop node instead of VMware Blast.


  8. In the VMware Blast node, Horizon 7.6 and newer have settings to add DSCP markings to the Blast protocol. See VMware Blast Policy Settings at VMware Docs.
  9. On the right, double-click UDP Protocol.
  10. You can optionally enable UDP protocol. Click OK.
  11. Horizon 7.4 introduced the H.264 High Color Accuracy setting.

  12. Horizon 7.0.2 and newer have a setting for H.264 Quality Levels.

  13. If you enabled UDP protocol, then on your master image, reboot the machine so it reads the GPO settings. Look in the file C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Blast\Blast-Service.log to make sure UDP is enabled. If not, reboot the machine again. After it’s enabled, snapshot the master machine and push it to your Pools.

Watermark

Horizon 2006 (8.0) and newer has a Watermark feature. It works for both apps and desktops.

For limitations of this feature, see Configuring a Digital Watermark at VMware Docs.

  1. Make sure the Horizon 2006 or newer GPO Templates are installed.
  2. Edit the Horizon Agent All Users Settings GPO. This is a User GPO setting so make sure GPO Loopback Processing is enabled in the Computer Settings GPO.
  3. Go to User Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware View Agent Configuration | Watermark.
  4. Edit the setting Watermark Configuration.
  5. See the Help text for explanation of the setting.

Teams Optimization

Horizon 7.13 with Horizon Client 5.5 can offload Microsoft Teams media (audio/video) to the client device.

Horizon Agent 2006 (or newer) and Horizon Client 2006 (or newer) can offload Microsoft Teams media (audio/video) to the client device.

This feature is disabled by default. For requirements and limitations, see Configuring Media Optimization for Microsoft Teams at VMware Docs.

  1. Make sure the Horizon 7.13 or Horizon 2006 or newer GPO Templates are installed.
  2. Edit the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO.
  3. Go to Computer  Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware View Agent Configuration | VMware HTML5 Features | VMware WebRTC Redirection Features.
  4. Edit the setting Enable Media Optimization for Microsoft Teams.
  5. Set it to Enabled.

HTML5 Redirection

VMware Browser Redirection requires Horizon 7.10 GPO Templates or newer, Horizon Agent 7.10 or newer, and Horizon Client 5.2 or newer. VMware Browser Redirection only supports Chrome.

HTML5 Multimedia Redirection is the older feature in Horizon 7.3 and newer.

  1. Edit a GPO that applies to the Horizon Agents.
  2. Expand Computer Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, expand VMware View Agent Configuration, and click VMware HTML5 Features.
  3. On the right, enable the setting Enable VMware HTML5 Features. This setting is probably only available in Horizon 7.10 and newer.

  4. In Horizon 7.10 and newer:
    1. On the left, under VMware HTML5 Features, click VMware Browser Redirection.
    2. On the right, enable the setting Enable VMware Browser Redirection.
    3. On the right, configure the setting Enable URL list for VMware Browser Redirection.
    4. Enable the setting and click Show.
    5. Add a list of URLs that you want the client to render. Use wildcards in the path.
  5. The older feature is VMware HTML5 Multimedia Redirection, which you can optionally enable. See Configuring HTML5 Multimedia Redirection at VMware Docs.
  6. Install the Chrome GPO Templates if you haven’t already.
  7. In either the computer half or user half of a group policy, expand Policies, expand Administrative Templates, expand Google, expand Google Chrome, and click Extensions.
  8. On the right, double-click the setting Configure the list of force-installed apps and extensions.

    1. Enable the setting and click Show.
    2. For VMware Horizon Browser Redirection in Horizon 7.10 and newer, enter the following:
      demgbalbngngkkgjcofhdiiipjblblob;https://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx

    3. For the older HTML5 Multimedia Redirection in Horizon 7.3 and newer, enter the following. You can do either extension, but not both. If you enable both extensions, then they will conflict with each other.
      ljmaegmnepbgjekghdfkgegbckolmcok;https://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx

    4. When you log into a Horizon Agent session, the extension should automatically be added to Chrome.
  9. When you navigate to a URL on the configured URL List, if the redirection feature is working, then the Chrome extension will show REDR.

  10. And you’ll see HTML5VideoPlayer.exe on the client side.

URL Content Redirection

URL Content Redirection allows IE URLs to be redirected from Agent-to-Client or from Client-to-Agent. This feature requires:

  • URL Redirection component installed from command line on Horizon Agent.
  • URL Redirection component installed from command line on Horizon Client.
  • If Horizon Client is installed on a Horizon Agent machine, you can install URL Redirection for one or the other, but not both.
  • Internet Explorer 9 or later only
  • GPO Settings

URL Redirection GPO settings apply to both Horizon Agents and Horizon Clients depending on the source of the redirection. For Agent-to-Client redirection, edit a GPO that applies to the Horizon Agents. For Client-to-Agent redirection, edit a GPO that applies to the Horizon Clients.

  1. Install the Horizon GPO ADMX files if you haven’t already.
  2. Expand Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates, and click VMware Horizon URL Redirection.
  3. On the right, double-click¬†IE policy: Automatically activate newly installed plugins, and enable it. If you don’t configure this, then users are required to activate the IE add-on manually.
  4. On the right, double-click¬†Url Redirection Enabled and enable the setting. The setting description says it’s enabled by default, but actually it’s not.
  5. On the right, double-click Url¬†Redirection Protocol ‘http’.
  6. For Agent-to-Client, configure clientRules and agentRules. clientRules are redirected from Agent-to-Client. However, agentRules override clientRules. This lets you redirect every URL to client but keep some URLs on the agent. Separate multiple rules with a semicolon.
  7. For Client-to-Agent, configure agentRules. Anything that matches will be redirected to the remoteItem (name of published icon) accessible through brokerHostname.
  8. In the User half of a GPO that applies to Horizon Agents with Loopback Processing enabled, Horizon 7.4 added a new policy setting to automatically install the URL Content Redirection extension in Chrome. This setting should be applied to both the Horizon Agents, and the Horizon Clients.

Collaboration Settings

Horizon 7.4 and newer have a Collaboration feature, which has some group policy settings.

  1. Install the Horizon GPO ADMX files if you haven’t already.
  2. Right-click the Horizon Agent Computer Settings GPO and click Edit.
  3. Expand Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates, expand VMware View Agent Configuration, and click Collaboration.

  4. On the right, you can configure settings like the Maximum number of invited collaborators. The limit is 10.

User Lockdown Settings

Edit the Horizon Agent Non-Admin Users GPO, and configure the settings detailed at https://www.carlstalhood.com/group-policy-objects-vda-user-settings/#lockdown.

User Application Settings

Edit the Horizon All Users GPO and configure settings for applications (Internet Explorer, Office, etc.) as detailed at https://www.carlstalhood.com/group-policy-objects-vda-user-settings/#ie and https://www.carlstalhood.com/group-policy-objects-vda-user-settings/#office2013.

Redirected Profile Folders

In addition to roaming profiles, configure Redirected Profile Folders as detailed at https://www.carlstalhood.com/citrix-profile-management/#redirected. Anything redirected will not be copied locally by Persona, RDS profiles, or VMware DEM.

VMware Flash Optimizer

  1. Horizon Agent installs something called the Flash Optimizer. When a user launches Internet Explorer, a prompt is displayed to Enable the add-on. To get rid of this message, do the following.
  2. We need the add-on CLSID. In Internet Explorer, click the gear icon and click Manage add-ons.

  3. Highlight the VMware Adobe Flash Optimizer and click More information on the bottom left.
  4. Click Copy.
  5. Paste the contents into Notepad. Then look for the Class ID line and copy it.
  6. Edit the Horizon Agent All Users GPO.
  7. Go to User Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Internet Explorer | Security Features | Add-on Management.
  8. On the right, open Add-on List.
  9. Enable the setting, and click Show.
  10. In the Value name field, paste in the Class ID, including the curly braces.
  11. In the Value field, enter 1 to force the add-on to be enabled. Click OK twice.

Related Pages

VMware Horizon Clients 2012

Last Modified: Jan 10, 2021 @ 1:25 pm

Navigation

This article applies to all versions of Horizon Client for Windows, including versions 2012 and 5.5.

ūüí° = Recently Updated

Change Log

Horizon Client Versions

Starting August 2020, the client versioning changed to a YYMM format. Horizon Client 2012 is the latest release.

  • Full Teams Optimization is available with Horizon Client 2006 and newer connecting to Horizon Agent 2006 and newer.
    • Full Teams Optimization is available with Horizon Client 5.5 connecting to Horizon Agent 7.13.
  • Horizon Client 2006 and newer no longer support Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 1809.

The Software Updates feature of Horizon Client 5.5 will not upgrade to Horizon Client 2006 or newer. Instead you must manually download Horizon Client 2006 or newer and install it.

Horizon Client 5.5 and newer resolve security vulnerabilities.

Connection Server can be configured to prevent older clients from connecting.

Windows 10 Support

  • Windows 10 20H2 is supported with Horizon Client 2012 (8.1) and newer.
  • Windows 10 2004 is supported with Horizon Client 2006 (8.0) and newer
  • Windows 10 1909 is supported with Horizon Client 5.3 and newer
  • Windows 10 1803 is supported with Horizon Client 4.8 and newer

Manual Installation of Horizon Client

The Horizon Clients can be downloaded from http://www.vmware.com/go/viewclients.

  1. Logon to the client machine as an administrator. Administrative rights are required for the Horizon Client installation. You can also push the client silently as described in the next section.
  2. Open a browser and enter the name of your Horizon Connection Server in the address bar (e.g. https://view.corp.local). Use https://.
  3. Click the Install VMware Horizon Client¬†link. If the Horizon Clients are installed on the Connection Server, the client will download immediately. Or, you’ll be taken to vmware.com to download the client.
  4. If you are redirected to the Clients download page (https://my.vmware.com/en/group/vmware/downloads/info/slug/desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_horizon_clients/horizon_8), then find the VMware Horizon Client for Windows, and click Go to Downloads. Note: if you are running Horizon 7, then use the Change Version drop-down to select Horizon 7 (5.0) instead of Horizon 8.

  5. Then click Download Now.
  6. On the client machine, run the downloaded VMware-Horizon-Client-2006-8.1.0.exe or VMware-Horizon-Client-5.5.0.exe.

    • If you want to use the URL Content Redirection feature in Horizon 7 and newer, run the installer with the following switch: /v URL_FILTERING_ENABLED=1
  7. In the Install VMware Horizon Client page, click Agree & Install. Or you can click Customize Installation.

    1. If you selected Customize Installation, you can enter a Default connection server, install Skype Pack, Teams Optimization, etc.
    2. Click Agree & Install when done.
  8. In the Success page, click Finish.
  9. Click Restart Now when prompted to restart.

Verify URL Redirection

  1. To verify that URL Content Redirection is installed, verify the presence of the file C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Horizon View Client\vmware-url-protocol-launch-helper.exe.
  2. There’s also an IE add-on.
  3. URL Content Redirection is configured using group policy.

Software Updates

  1. In the Horizon Client, click the hamburger icon on the top right, and click Software Updates. Note: Horizon Client 5.5 will not offer an upgrade to Horizon Client 2006 or newer.


  2. Horizon Client 2012 (8.1) and newer have an option to Show pop-up message when there is an update. The Horizon GPO Templates for Horizon Client have GPO settings to control this. The settings are Update message pop-up and Allow user to skip Horizon Client update.

Install ‚Äď Horizon Client Silent

Installing Horizon Client From the Command Line at VMware Docs has instructions on how to install the Horizon Client silently. Common methods for installing the client silently include: SCCM and Active Directory Group Policy Computer Startup Script.

Launch Horizon Client

To launch a View Desktop or application manually:

  1. From the Start Menu run VMware Horizon Client.

    1. Horizon Client 4.7 and newer has a GPO setting to prevent the Client from being launched multiple times.
    2. Install the Horizon GPO templates if you haven’t already.
    3. Create or edit a GPO that is linked to an OU containing the Horizon Client machines. These are the end-user PCs, not the virtual desktops.
    4. The Block multiple Horizon Client instances per Windows session setting is at Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware Horizon Client Configuration.

  2. To change SSL certificate verification, open the Options (hamburger) menu, and click Configure SSL. This is also configurable using Group Policy as detailed at Certificate Validation below.

  3. If there is no server in the list, then use the New Server button on the top left or click Add Server.
  4. Enter the load balanced FQDN for the Connection Server.
  5. You can click the Options menu to Hide the selector after launching an item.
  6. If you want to perform pass-through authentication, click the hamburger icon, and select Log in as current user. This option is only available if selected during installation, the client machine was rebooted, and is not prohibited using group policy. Also, the Connection Server must allow Log on as current user.
  7. Horizon 7.2 and newer have Recursive Unlock, which is enabled by default. See Using the Log In as Current User Feature Available with Windows-Based Horizon Client at VMware Docs.
  8. If you have apps published to an Unauthenticated User, click the hamburger icon, and select Log in anonymously using Unauthenticated Access.
  9. Before connecting to the server, click the hamburger icon, and then click Configure VMware Blast.
  10. In Horizon Client 4.8 and newer, network condition is determined automatically and no longer configurable in the client.
    1. If your Horizon Client is older than 4.8, then adjust the network condition and click OK. This affects TCP vs UDP for Blast connectivity. Excellent = TCP only. Typical = UDP if the ports are open. Poor = UDP plus packet duplication, which is best for 20% packet loss networks. More info in the Technical White Paper VMware Blast Extreme Display Protocol in Horizon 7.
  11. You can optionally enable Allow High Color Accuracy.
  12. Horizon Client 5.2 and newer have an option to Allow Blast connections to use operating system proxy settings, which is deselected by default. You can configure a client-side group policy to enable proxy. Or users can manually enable it.
  13. Double-click the server.
  14. If the certificate is not trusted, click Show Certificate, and then click Continue. To disable this prompt, see Certificate Validation below.
  15. Enter your username and password, and then click Login.

    • Horizon 7.8 no longer sends the domain list by default but you can enable it in Horizon Console. Or, instruct users to login using their userPrincipalNames.
  16. If you see too many domains in the Domain list:
    1. You can filter them by running the vdmadmin -N command. See¬†Configuring Domain Filters Using the ‚ÄĎN Option at VMware Docs.
    2. Horizon 7.1 and newer have an option to Hide domain list in client user interface. If you enable this in Global Settings, then users must enter UPN, or Domain\Username. This is the same place you can configure Horizon to send the Domain List to the client.

  17. If any of your published applications or desktops are configured with a Category Folder, click Yes when asked for shortcuts to appear in your Start Menu or desktop.

    • Horizon Client 5.1 has an interesting command line switch -installShortcutsThenQuit that connects to a Connection Server, creates the shortcuts on Start Menu and Desktop, and then quits. Here is sample syntax:
      vmware-view.exe -serverURL serverurl -loginAsCurrentUser true -installShortcutsThenQuit
  18. If any of your published application icons have Pre-launch enabled, then a session will be started on one of the Horizon Agents that hosts the icon. All it does is create a session; the icon that Pre-launch was enabled on is not launched until the user double-clicks the icon. When the user launches any icon published from the Horizon Agent, it will launch quickly.

    • After the user closes the Horizon Client, the Pre-launch session remains disconnected for the duration specified in the RDS Farm.
  19. If you have a bunch of icons, click one of the icons and then start typing in the name of the icon and it will highlight.
  20. If the pool settings allow it, you can right-click an icon, click Settings, and then select a protocol. VMware Blast is the recommended protocol.

    1. If you click the gear icon on the top right…
    2. On the VMware Blast page, you can optionally enable High Color Accuracy and/or Proxy.
    3. When editing a pool, you can force users to use a particular protocol by setting Allow Users to Choose Protocol = No.
    4. In Horizon Console, at Monitor > Sessions, if you scroll to the right you can see which Protocol the clients are using.
  21. Horizon Client 5.2 and newer let you synchronize num lock and cap lock status.
    1. Right-click a desktop icon and click Settings.
    2. Check the box next to Automatically synchronize the keypad, scroll, and cap lock keys.
    3. You can also automatically enable this setting by configuring a client-side group policy setting.
  22. Either double-click an icon, or right-click an icon, and click Launch.
  23. When connecting, you might be prompted to access your local files.

    • You can change your file sharing options by clicking the gear icon and switching to the Sharing page.
  24. If you are connected to a remote desktop, you can use the menu at the top of the screen. An interesting option is Autoconnect to this Desktop. This setting is stored on the Horizon Connection Server in LDAP and there doesn’t appear to be any way to automate enabling it.
  25. In Horizon Client 4.4 and newer, administrators can enable a Desktop Pool Setting that allows users to Restart the remote desktop gracefully.

  26. Horizon Agent 7.11 and newer with Horizon Client 5.3 and newer can show the client’s battery status in the remote desktop. The user will have to click the up arrow in the system tray to see the battery icon. The battery icon is shown in both single-user Virtual Desktops and multi-user RDS Desktops.
  27. Horizon Client 5.2 and newer have client-side group policy settings to define a hotkey combination for grabbing and releasing input focus.
  28. The Horizon Client also has a taskbar jump list showing recently launched applications and desktops.
  29. Some of the menu items in Horizon Client 5.0 and newer can be hidden by configuring Group Policy using the Horizon GPO Templates.

VMware Fling View Auto-Connection Utility: The View Auto-Connection Utility allows you to connect the VMware View Client automatically into a View desktop or an application pool when the system starts up.

Shortcuts and Favorites

In the Horizon Client, once you are connected to a server, you can right-click an icon and click Create Shortcut to Desktop or Add to Start Menu.

In the Horizon Client, you can right-click an icon, and Mark as Favorite. Favorites are stored in the LDAP database on the Horizon Connection Server.

  1. This places a star icon on the top-right of the application or desktop.
  2. On the top right of the Horizon Client, you can switch to the Favorites View so that only icons selected as Favorites are displayed.
  3. Or switch back to the All View.

Support information

  1. On the Question Mark menu is Support Information.
  2. Users can click this to find the client name, client operating system, Horizon Client version, the Horizon Connection Server name, and currently connected desktops.

Certificate Validation

When you connect to a Horizon Connection Server, and if the certificate is not trusted or valid, then the user is prompted to accept the certificate. You can disable this prompt for any client machine that can be controlled using group policy.

  1. Copy the Horizon .admx files to PolicyDefinitions if you haven’t already.
  2. Create a GPO that is linked to an OU containing the Horizon Client machines. These are the end-user PCs, not the virtual desktops.
  3. Edit the GPO.
  4. Go to Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware Horizon Client Configuration | Scripting Definitions.
  5. On the right, double-click Server URL.
  6. Set the URL to your Horizon View URL, and click OK.
  7. On the left, click Security Settings. On the right, open the setting Certificate verification mode.
  8. Enable the setting and make your choice. No Security will disable the certificate prompt. Then click OK.

Device Redirection

Client Drive Redirection

  1. When you connect to a Horizon Agent that has Client Drive Redirection enabled, you are prompted to allow file redirection.
  2. By default, only the user’s local profile is redirected.
  3. You can redirect more folders or drives by clicking the Options menu, and clicking Share Folders.
  4. In the Sharing tab, add drives or folders, and then click OK.
  5. The folders or drives you added are now visible within Explorer in the Horizon Desktop.
  6. Client Drive Redirection also works in published applications.
  7. Horizon Agent 7.7 and newer with Horizon Client 4.10 and newer let you drag files from the local machine into the remote machine. This is drag only. You can’t copy/paste. If you drag the file onto a remote application, then then application opens the file.

    1. This feature can be disabled and/or controlled in a GPO that applies to the Horizon Agent. Make sure the Horizon 7.7 or newer GPO templates are installed. In the Computer half of the GPO, go to Administrative Templates > VMware Blast and edit the setting Configure drag and drop direction.
    2. The Configure drag and drop direction setting is also configurable for PCoIP under the Computer-half node named PCoIP Session Variables > Overridable Administrative Defaults.
  8. To change Client Drive Redirection settings in published applications, go back to the Horizon Client, right-click an icon, and click Settings. Or use the gear icon on the top right.
  9. The client drive redirection prompt configuration is stored in %appdata%\VMware\VMware Horizon View Client\prefs.txt. You can edit this file to disable the prompt. See Rob Beekmans Customizing the VMware Horizon Client sharing pop-up for more info.

  10. Horizon 7.10 and newer have some GPO settings for Client Drive Redirection that let you control drive letters for client drives in the remote session. Install the Horizon 7.10 or newer GPO Templates if you haven’t already. Edit a GPO that applies to the Horizon Agents. Then find the settings under VMware View Agent Configuration > VMware Horizon Client Drive Redirection.

Serial Port Redirection

  1. If you connect to a Horizon Agent that has Serial Port Redirection enabled, then a new icon will appear in the system tray.
  2. Right-click the icon to map the remote COM port to the local COM port.

Scanner Redirection

From VMware Blogs Scanner Redirection in Horizon with View: we have added scanner redirection to Horizon with View for use with both VDI desktops and Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) applications and desktops. The new scanner redirection functionality in View works by capturing the entire image at the client with the scanning device, compressing the image, and sending that compressed image to the guest in the data center, where the image is presented by a ‚Äúvirtual scanner device‚ÄĚ to the application that requested the image capture. The scanner redirection functionality supports both TWAIN and WIA scanning modes, and allows images to be captured from both scanners and other imaging devices (such as webcams).

The scanner redirection functionality requires the Horizon Agent version 6.0.2 or later, and the Windows Horizon Client 3.2 or later.

When you install the Horizon Agent component, be sure to select the scanner redirection feature if you want to use it; it is disabled by default. If you are installing the feature onto a server-based OS (Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 R2) for either VDI desktops or RDSH desktops or applications, then be sure that the Desktop Experience feature (a Microsoft operating system feature) is installed on the server OS first. (This is a prerequisite for installing scanners in a server-based OS.)

After a user makes a connection from a compatible Windows Horizon Client to the new Horizon Agent, a new tool-tray application icon appears. The user clicks the icon to reveal the compatible image acquisition devices available for scanning.

The default mode of operation is, however, that ‚Äúit should just work,‚ÄĚ and the seamless hosted application should be able to acquire an image without needing manual intervention. The user may need to adjust the preferences if more than one imaging device is connected to the client machine, and the user wants to select a specific scanner, or if the user wants to adjust the scan resolution, and so on.

Scanner Redirection Preferences, available by clicking Preferences from the tool-tray icon, allows further configuration of the scanning process, for example, adjusting the default compression applied to the scanning. This can greatly reduce the bandwidth needed to transmit the image (the compression is applied on the client side before the image is transmitted to the guest), but, of course, the more an image is compressed, the lower the image quality. In addition, in the Scanner Redirection Preferences, options are available to adjust the default image capture device (for example, automatic mode, last-used, or an absolute specified device).

These preferences can also be adjusted by way of Group Policy options in the guest OS. A new GPO file (available in the Horizon with View GPO Bundle) allows this configuration. See Configuring Scanner Redirection in Setting Up Desktop and Application Pools in View for more information

Scanner Redirection Caveats

From VMware Communities:

  • Scanner redirection does not create a device on your virtual desktop that matches the name of the actual scanner.¬† It creates a generic scanner in Device Manager called VMWare Virtual WIA Scanner (or VMWare Virtual TWAIN Scanner I am assuming).¬† For us this stinks because the image capture software our client uses (Vertex by Jack Henry), has a prepopulated list of scanners you can select.¬† So if we plug in a Canon-CR50 and select Canon CR50/80 in the application, it does not recognize that this scanner is attached to the virtual desktop.
    1. There is a tick box option in the scanner preferences dialog box titled “Use vendor defined names for TWAIN scanners”. This should solve the issue you mention and we added it specifically to cover the problematic use case you mention.
    2. This only applies to TWAIN scans, WIA can’t use the vendor name.
  • You must install a TWAIN or WIA driver on your thin client.¬† If you can’t find a TWAIN or WIA driver, you are out of luck.¬† For teller check image scanners, we have found no TWAIN or WIA drivers for the TellerScan TS-230, TS-240, or the Canon CR-55.¬† We have found a TWAIN driver for the Canon CR-50 (from the Canon Europe site no less), but issue #1 above means we are out of luck.

Client Printers

Horizon 7.7 and newer with Horizon Client 4.10 and newer have a new VMware Integrated Printing (aka VMware Advanced Printing) feature that replaces the older ThinPrint technology. ThinPrint is no longer available in Horizon Agent 2006 and newer.

When printing from an application, if you highlight a printer and click Preferences, the VMware Horizon icon on the Layout tab shows you that this printer is using VMware Integrated Printing.

If you open the client printer Properties as an administrator, on the Advanced tab, you will see the VMware Universal EMF Driver.

If older ThinPrint:

  • Inside the virtual desktop, if you go to Devices and Printers, it will look a little weird. To see all of the client printers, right-click on a TP printer and use the expandable menus.
  • But when you print from an application, all printers appear normally.

File Type Association

Some published applications might have file types associated with them. When you double-click a file with the configured extension, you might be prompted to open the file using the remote application.

In Horizon Client, if you right-click an icon and click Settings:

  • On the Sharing page, you can disable this functionality.

It’s also configurable in the client-side registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\VMware, Inc.\VMware VDM\Client by creating a String value at named AllowFileRedirection and setting it to false. See VMware Communities for more information.

Session Collaboration

Horizon 7.4 and newer have an Allow Session Collaboration checkbox in Pool Settings and RDS Farm Settings.

This setting enables a VMware Horizon Collaboration icon in the system tray of the remote desktop, which lets you invite users to collaborate.

The invite is a URL that you can run (or click) on the collaborator’s machine that has Horizon Client 4.7 or newer installed.

To give control to the collaborator, double-click the green icon to open the Session Collaboration window. Or open the icon in the system tray.

Performance Tracker

Horizon Agent 7.5 and newer have an optional component called Performance Tracker.

When installing Horizon Agent, the last option is Horizon Performance Tracker. It is deselected by default.

After it’s installed in an RDS farm, you can publish the Performance Tracker as an Application Pool

Or connect to a Desktop, and launch it from the Desktop icon.

It can display protocol performance information in graphical or tabular form. The overview UI also shows the name of the Horizon Agent machine.

There’s also a Floating Bar option.

Performance Tracker can be configured to launch automatically:

  1. Install the Horizon GPO templates if you haven’t already.
  2. Edit a GPO that applies to the Horizon Agents. These are Computer settings.
  3. Go to Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware Horizon Performance Tracker.
  4. On the right, you’ll see two options for auto starting the Performance Tracker.
  5. Both settings let you Show or Hide the overview UI.
  6. If Hide is selected, then users can open the Tracker from the systray icon.

HTML Blast

From the Horizon Connection Server webpage, you can click the VMware Horizon View HTML Access link to launch a desktop or application inside your browser. While Internet Explorer 9 is supported, some functionality, like clipboard and audio, is only available in Internet Explorer 10 and newer, Chrome and Firefox.

In Horizon 6.2 and later, you can launch applications as well as desktops from HTML Blast.

If you click the star icon then you can Mark the icon as a Favorite. Favorites are stored in the LDAP database on the Horizon Connection Server.

Applications and desktops are launched within the browser window. You can click the vertical lines on the left to switch to a different application or desktop.

You can open the Copy & Paste panel to copy between the local machine and the remote machine.

Thin Clients

VMware View Thin Client Compatibility Guide – Thin Client Device and Model Information. It shows thin client models and the version of Horizon View that is supported with the model.

Repurposed PCs

From Chris Halstead VMware Horizon View AutoConnection Utility: I decided to write an app in .NET that is essentially a wrapper for the View Client.  It creates the command line variables based on what the user configures in the GUI and automatically connects to the specified desktop or application pool.  All of the user configured information is stored in the registry under the current user hive.

The application silently and automatically connects into either a desktop or application pool each time a user logs in by placing it in the startup folder.

Once you have tested your connection, you are ready to enable AutoConnection. ¬†You enable AutoConnection by checking the ‚ÄúEnable AutoConnection‚ÄĚ box. ¬† A common use case would be to place the .exe in the Windows startup folder so that every time a user logs in it will automatically connect to the Virtual Desktop.

This will run the application with the GUI hidden and will automatically connect to the specified pool.   The application will minimize to the system tray and a balloon will indicate the connection process is occurring.

Horizon Client Group Policy – Security Settings

The Horizon GPO Bundle includes policy templates for the Horizon Client. See https://www.carlstalhood.com/horizon-group-policy-and-profiles/#viewtemplates to install the ADMX files.

Here are some security GPO settings recommended (VMware Horizon with View Security Hardening Overview) by VMware:

GPO Setting
Computer Config | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware Horizon Client Configuration | Scripting definitions

Disable 3rd-party Terminal Server plugins = enabled

Computer Config | Policies | Administrative Templates | VMware Horizon Client Configuration | Security Settings

Allow command line credentials  = disabled

Certificate verification mode = enabled, Full Security

Default value of the ‚ÄėLog in as current user‚Äô checkbox = disabled

Display option to Log in as current user = disabled

Servers Trusted for Delegation = enabled

 

VMware Horizon 6 – Master RDS Host

Last Modified: Sep 2, 2018 @ 7:52 am

Navigation

Use this post to build a Windows Server Remote Desktop Session Host that will be used as the source image for additional cloned Remote Desktop Session Hosts. Or you can build each Remote Desktop Session Host manually using the steps detailed in this post.

Hardware

  • The session host pools will use the same hardware specs (e.g. vCPUs, memory size, network label) specified on the master session host. Adjust accordingly.
  • For 2012 R2, set the vCPUs to 8. For 2008 R2, set the vCPUs to 4. Two is the minimum. See VMware whitepaper for more information.
  • Typical memory for an 8 vCPU session host is 24 – 48 GB (e.g. 32 GB).
  • For New Hard disk, consider setting Thin provision. And increase the size so it can store the locally cached profiles (C:\Users).
  • The session host should be configured with a VMXNET 3 network adapter.
  • When building the master session host, you will probably boot from an ISO.¬†When you are ready to create the pool (RDS farm), ensure the CD/DVD drive points to Client Device and is not Connected. The important part is to make sure ISO file is not configured.
  • There‚Äôs no need for the Floppy drive so remove it.
  • If you have any Serial ports, remove them.

NIC Hotplug ‚Äď Disable

  1. Users could use the systray icon to Eject the Ethernet Controller. Obviously this is bad.
  2. To disable this functionality, power off the virtual machine.
  3. Once powered off, right-click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings.
  4. On the VM Options tab, expand Advanced and then click Edit Configuration.
  5. Click Add Row.
  6. On the left, enter devices.hotplug. On the right, enter false.
  7. Then click OK a couple times to close the windows.
  8. The VM can then be powered on.

VMware Tools

VMware Tools includes the Shared Folders feature, which prevents roaming profiles from being deleted properly. When installing VMware Tools, make sure you deselect Shared Folders so it is not installed.

After installing VMware Tools, open Registry Editor and go to HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\NetworkProvider\Order. Look in the ProviderOrder value on the right and ensure that vmhgfs is not listed. If it is, remove it.

Windows

Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Config

  1. In Server Manager, switch to the Local Server page.
  2. On the far right, click the link for On next to IE Enhanced Security Configuration.
  3. Click Off for both Administrators and Users. Click OK.

User Account Control and SmartScreen

This section is optional.

  1. Right-click the flag icon by the clock and click Open Action Center. Or launch it from the Start Menu.
  2. On the left click Change User Account Control settings.
  3. To disable UAC, move the slider down to Never Notify and click OK. Or you can leave it enabled if your security standards require it.
  4. Back in Action Center, on the left, click Change Windows SmartScreen settings.
  5. Make your selection regarding SmartScreen and click OK.

Windows Update

Whenever you deploy a virtual machine from a template and SysPrep is executed during the cloning process, all Windows Update settings are reset. You must reconfigure Windows Update on every new virtual machine (or use group policy).

  1. In Server Manager, click Local Server on the left. Then on the right click the link for Last checked for updates.
  2. On the left, click Change settings.
  3. Check the box next to Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows and click OK.
  4. Windows Update will automatically start checking for updates.
  5. Install any updates it recommends.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Hotfixes

If this is a Windows Server 2008 R2 session host, at a minimum, request and install the Windows hotfixes listed at Citrix CTX129229 Recommended Hotfixes for XenApp 6.x on Windows Server 2008 R2. Scroll down to the Microsoft Hotfixes section.

Microsoft 2483177 You cannot play back an H.264 video file or an AAC audio file on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 with the Desktop Experience feature enabled. From the hotfix description: the Desktop Experience feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 does not include decoders for the H.264 and AAC formats.

The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

Download the Desktop Experience Decoder Update for Windows Server 2008 R2 package now.

File Sharing

By default on Windows 2012, if Windows Firewall is enabled, then all file shares are blocked. You can’t even connect to C$ from a different machine. To facilitate remote management, consider enabling file sharing.

  1. To enable sharing, by the clock, right-click the network icon and click Open Network and Sharing Center.
  2. On the left, click Change advanced sharing settings.
  3. Select Turn on file and printer sharing.
  4. Select Tun on network discovery.

Windows Firewall ‚Äď Remote Management

By default, Windows Server 2012 blocks remote management tools. For example, you can’t use Event Viewer on server 1 to access the event logs on server 2.

  1. Run Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.
  2. On the left, click Inbound Rules.
  3. On the right, right-click COM+ Network Access (DCOM-In) and click Enable Rule.
  4. Highlight all three Remove Event Log rules, right-click, and click Enable Rule.

Local Administrators Group

If the Horizon Administrators and members of the Domain Admins group are the same people, then there is nothing to change. Otherwise, add your Horizon Admins group to the local Administrators group.

  1. In Server Manager, open the Tools menu and click Computer Management. Or launch it by right-clicking the Start Button.
  2. Add the Horizon Admins group to the local Administrators group.

Remote Desktop Session Host

Role and Features – Windows Server 2012

If this session host is Windows Server 2008 R2 then skip to the next section.

  1. In Server Manager, open the Manage menu and click Add Roles and Features.
  2. Click Next until you get to the Server Roles page.
  3. Check the box next to Remote Desktop Services and click Next.
  4. Check the box next to Group Policy Management and scroll down.
  5. Expand User Interfaces and Infrastructure and check the box next to Desktop Experience. This adds a bunch of features like Themes, Windows Media Player, Flash, etc.
  6. Check the box next to Telnet Client and scroll up.
  7. Expand Remote Server Administration Tools > Role Administration Tools > AD Delivery Services and AD LDS Tools > AD DS Tools. Check the box next to Active Directory Administrative Center.
  8. To verify Remote Desktop Services licensing, expand Remote Desktop Services Tools and check the box next to Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser Tool. Click Next when done.
  9. In the Select role services page, check the box next to Remote Desktop Session Host and click Next.
  10. If desired, click the Restart box, then click Install. Restart is required.

Windows Roles – Windows Server 2008 R2

If this session host is running Windows 2008 R2 then the instructions are slightly different.

  1. In Server Manager, right-click Roles and click Add Roles.
  2. In the Before You Begin page, click Next.
  3. In the Select Server Roles page, check the box next to Remote Desktop Services and click Next.
  4. In the Introduction to Remote Desktop Services page, click Next.
  5. In the Select Role Services page, check the box next to Remote Desktop Session Host and click Next.
  6. In the Uninstall and Reinstall Applications for Compatibility page, click Next.
  7. In the Specify Authentication Method for Remote Desktop Session Host page, select Do not require Network Level Authentication and click Next.
  8. In the Specify Licensing Mode page, select Per User and click Next.
  9. In the Select User Groups Allowed Access to this RD Session Host Server page, click Add. Browse for Authenticated Users (on the local machine) and click Next.
  10. In the Configure Client Experience page, check the boxes for Audio and video playback and Desktop composition. This causes Desktop Experience to be installed. Click Next.
  11. In the Confirm Installation Selections page, click Install.
  12. In the Installation Results page, click Close.
  13. Click Yes when you are prompted to restart now.
  14. Login to the server. Then click Close.

Remote Desktop Licensing Configuration

The only way to configure Remote Desktop Licensing in Windows Server 2012 is using group policy (local or domain). This also works for Windows Server 2008 R2.

  1. For local group policy, run gpedit.msc.
  2. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Licensing.
  3. Double-click Use the specified Remote Desktop license servers. Change it to Enabled and enter the names of the RD Licensing Servers. Click OK.
  4. Double-click Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode. Change it to Enabled and select Per User. Click OK.
  5. In Server Manager, open the Tools menu, expand Terminal Services and click RD Licensing Diagnoser.
  6. The Diagnoser should find the license server and indicate the licensing mode. It’s OK if there are no licenses installed on the Remote Desktop License Server.

C: Drive Permissions

The default permissions allow users to store files on the C: drive in places other than their profile.

  1. Open the Properties dialog box for C:\.
  2. On the Security tab, click Advanced.
  3. Highlight the line containing Users and Create Folders and click Remove.
  4. Highlight the line containing Users and Special and click Remove. Click OK

  5. Click Yes to confirm the permissions change.
  6. If you see any of these Error Applying Security windows, click Continue.
  7. Click OK to close the C: drive properties.

Installs

VMware Horizon 6 Agent 6.2.2

View Agent for RDS Hosted Apps Desktops is missing a few features:

  • No Generic USB Redirection. USB Flash Drives and hard drives are supported.
  • No Real-Time Audio Video
  • No serial port redirection
  • No Persona. Instead use VMware User Environment Manager (Horizon Enterprise) or Microsoft‚Äôs roaming profiles

To install View Agent on Remote Desktop Services, do the following:

  1. Go to the downloaded Horizon 6 Agent x64 6.2.2 and run VMware-viewagent-x86_64-6.2.2.exe.
  2. In the Welcome to the Installation Wizard for VMware Horizon 6 Agent page, click Next.
  3. In the License Agreement page, select I accept the terms and click Next.
  4. If you see a message about Desktop OS Configuration then you need to cancel the installer and install the Remote Desktop Session Host role.
  5. In the Network protocol configuration page, select IPv4 and click Next.
  6. In the Custom Setup page, enable Scanner Redirection if desired. Same for USB Redirection.
  7. Client Drive Redirection is a new feature in Horizon 6 Agent 6.1. The description indicates that the file transfers are not encrypted.
  8. VMware Horizon View Composer Agent is a new feature of Horizon 6 Agent 6.2. If you are building a pool of Remote Desktop Session Hosts then install this feature. Note: if you are not building linked clones then don’t select this option or else you won’t be able to select the machine in a Manual RDS Farm in View Administrator.
  9. Click Next when done making selections.
  10. Click OK to acknowledge the USB redirection message.
  11. If you see the Register with Horizon 6 Connection Server page, enter the name of a Horizon 6 Connection Server and click Next. You only see this page if not installing the View Composer Agent.
  12. In the Ready to Install the Program page, click Install.
  13. In the Installer Completed page, click Finish.
  14. Click Yes to restart the server.

User Environment Manager Engine

If you are licensed for User Environment Manager (Horizon Enterprise Edition), install the User Environment Manager Engine.

  1. Make sure Prevent access to registry editing tools is not enabled in any GPO. This setting prevents the FlexEngine from operating properly.
  2. In Server Manager, open the Manage menu and click Add Roles and Features.
  3. In the Features page, select .NET Framework 3.5 and click Next.
  4. In the Confirmation page, click Specify an alternate source path.
  5. Mount or extract the Windows Server 2012 R2 ISO.
  6. Enter the path to the sources folder on the Windows Server 2012 R2 ISO and click OK. Then click Install.
  7. Go to the extracted User Environment Manager 9.0 files and run VMware User Environment Manager 9.0 x64.msi.
  8. In the Welcome to the VMware User Environment Manager Setup Wizard page, click Next.
  9. In the End-User License Agreement page, check the box next to I accept the terms and click Next.
  10. In the Destination Folder page, click Next.
  11. The Choose Setup Type page appears. By default, the installer only installs the engine. You can click Custom or Complete to also install the console.

  12. In the Choose License File page, if installing on a View Agent then no license file is needed. Click Next.
  13. Otherwise, Browse to the license file and then click Next.
  14. In the Ready to install VMware User Environment Manager page, click Install.
  15. In the Completed the VMware User Environment Manager Setup Wizard page, click Finish.

Horizon Agent Load Balancing Script

If you have multiple identical Remote Desktop Services Hosts in a single RDS Farm, by default, VMware Horizon uses a least connections Load Balancing algorithm. You can change this to performance-based Load Balancing by configuring scripts on each RDS Host. See Configuring Load Balancing for RDS Hosts at pubs.vmware.com.

There are only three levels of load: HIGH, MED, and LOW. Within a load level, Horizon selects an RDS server at random.

Do the following to configure the Load Balancing script:

  1. The script must be placed at C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View\Agent\scripts on every RDS Host. VMware provided a couple sample scripts that you can use. One script only looks at CPU and the other script only looks at Memory. If you write your own script, make sure it exists in this folder on every RDS Host in the RDS Farm.
  2. Open Services and configure the VMware Horizon View Script Host service to run automatically.

  3. Then start the service.
  4. In regedit, go to HKLM\Software\VMware, Inc.\VMware VDM\ScriptEvents\RdshLoad.
  5. Create a new String Value. It doesn’t matter what you name it but the script name is recommended.
  6. Modify the String Value and enter cscript.exe “PathToScript”. For example: cscript.exe "C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View\Agent\scripts\cpuutilisation.vbs"
  7. After setting the registry value, restart the VMware Horizon View Agent service.
  8. After you later add this RDS Host to a farm, in View Administrator, click the Dashboard view.
  9. Expand RDS Farms, expand the farm and click the RDS Host.
  10. Make sure the Server load is reported.

Antivirus

Install antivirus using your normal procedure. Instructions vary for each Antivirus product.

Microsoft’s virus scanning recommendations (e.g. exclude group policy files) Рhttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/822158.

Symantec

Symantec has a document at http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH91070 detailing best practices when deploying Symantec Endpoint Protection to session hosts.

Best practices for virtualization with Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1, 12.1 RU1, and 12.1 RU1 MP1  Рhttp://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH173650

Install Applications

Install applications that will be executed on these machines.

VMware OS Optimization Tool

  1. Download the VMware OS Optimization Tool VMware fling.
  2. Run the downloaded VMwareOSOptimizationTool_1050.msi.
  3. On the Analyze tab, on the bottom left, click Analyze.
  4. Check both boxes and click Continue to Analyze.
  5. Review the optimizations and make changes as desired. Then on the bottom left click Optimize.
  6. Click the FAILED links for more information.
  7. The History tab lets you rollback the optimizations.
  8. The Templates tab lets you edit the optimizations. You can create your own template or edit an existing template.

Citrix has published a document with several registry modifications that are supposed to improve server performance. You can access it at http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX131577.

Another list of optimizations can be found at http://www.citrixtools.net/Resources/Articles/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/5610/Windows-2008-R2-Remote-Desktop-and-XenApp-6-Tuning-Tips-Update.aspx.

Seal and Snapshot

  1. Go to the properties of the C: drive and run Disk Cleanup.
  2. On the Tools tab, click Optimize to defrag the drive.
  3. Run slmgr.vbs /dlv and make sure it is licensed with KMS and has at least one rearm remaining.
  4. Run Delprof2 to clean up local profiles. Get it from http://helgeklein.com/download/.
  5. Make sure the master session host is configured for DHCP.
  6. Session hosts commonly have DHCP reservations.

  7. Run antivirus sealing tasks:
    1. Symantec: Run a full scan and then run the Virtual Image Exception tool – http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH173650
    2. Symantec: run the ClientSideClonePrepTool –http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=HOWTO54706
  8. Shutdown the master session host.
  9. Edit the Settings of the master virtual machine and disconnect the CD-ROM. Make sure no ISO is configured in the virtual machine.
  10. Take a snapshot of the master session host. View Composer requires a snapshot.

  11. Use can now use Horizon View Administrator to create RDS Farms.

Full Clone Post-Cloning Tasks

If you used vCenter to clone the machine instead of using Horizon 6 Composer, then after the machine is cloned, do the following on the cloned machine:

  1. Static IP ‚Äď Configure a static IP address (or DHCP reservation).
  2. Windows Update ‚Äď Run Windows Update. SysPrep always disables Windows Update so you must run it at least once to re-enable it.
  3. Join domain ‚Äď Join the machine to the domain if SysPrep didn‚Äôt do it for you.
  4. Active Directory OU ‚Äď Move the Active Directory computer object to the correct OU.
  5. Horizon 6 Agent ‚Äď uninstall the Horizon 6 Agent and reinstall it so it registers with a Horizon 6 Connection Server.
  6. Antivirus ‚Äď Re-configure antivirus. Instructions vary based for each product. Go to the antivirus vendor‚Äôs website and search for a cloning procedure.
  7. Firewall rules ‚Äď Add the new machine to any firewall rules (PCoIP, Blast) between the Horizon 6 Security Server and Horizon 6 Agents.
  8. View Administrator ‚Äď In View Administrator, add the new machine to a Remote Desktop Services farm.

 

VMware Horizon 6 – RDS Farms/Pools

Last Modified: Nov 6, 2020 @ 7:28 am

Navigation

Overview

Before following this procedure, build a master RDS Session Host.

This post details VMware Horizon configuration for Remote Desktop Session Host Horizon View Agents. Virtual Desktops are detailed elsewhere.

Before you can publish applications or desktops, you must create an RDS Farm. An RDS Farm is a collection of identical (cloned) Remote Desktop Session Hosts. Applications must be installed identically on every machine in the farm. If you have different applications on different Remote Desktop Session Hosts then these are different RDS Farms.

Horizon 6 supports up to 200 RDS farms, each with up to 200 RDS hosts.

Once the RDS Farms are created, you publish resources from them by either creating a Desktop Pool or an Application Pool or both. When creating a Desktop Pool or Application Pool, all members of the RDS Farm are selected. It is not possible to select a subset of Farm members.

RDS Farms ‚Äď Linked Clones

You can use View Composer to create RDS linked clones. Here are some missing features and other notes:

  • No QuickPrep. Uses SysPrep with Customization Specifications instead. SysPrep is slower than QuickPrep. SysPrep is also performed during Recompose operations.
  • No View Storage Accelerator.
  • No Rebalance.
  • No Refresh. The machines are persistent until you Recompose the farm.
    • The delta disks continue to grow until you Recompose the farm.
    • You can enable Space Reclamation to shrink the delta disks as files are deleted.
  • DHCP is required.

Customization Specification

If you want to use View Composer then SysPrep requires a Customization Specification in vCenter. QuickPrep is not supported with RDS farms.

  1. In vCenter, from the Home page, click Customization Specification Manager.
  2. Click the icon to create a new Customization Specification.
  3. In the Specify Properties page, give the spec a name and click Next.
  4. In the Set Registration Information page, enter your normal settings and click Next.
  5. In the Set Computer Name page, select Use the virtual machine name and click Next.
  6. In the Enter Windows License page, select Per seat and click Next.
  7. In the Set Administrator Password page, enter the local administrator password and click Next.
  8. In the Time Zone page, select the time zone and click Next.
  9. In the Run Once page, click Next.
  10. In the Configure Network page, leave it set to Use standard network settings. Horizon 6 requires the VMs to be configured for DHCP. Click Next.
  11. In the Set Workgroup or Domain page, enter credentials that can join the machines to the domain and click Next.
  12. In the Set Operating System Options page, leave the box checked and click Next.
  13. In the Ready to complete page, click Finish.

Create an Automatic Farm

To create a farm of linked clones, do the following:

  1. Make sure your RDS View Agents have the VMware Horizon View Composer Agent feature installed.
  2. In View Administrator, on the left, expand Resources and click Farms.
  3. On the right, click Add.
  4. In the Type page, select Automated Farm and click Next.
  5. In the vCenter Server page, select the vCenter Server and View Composer and click Next.
  6. In the Identification and Settings page, enter a name for the Farm. A folder with the same name will be created in vCenter.
  7. Allow users to choose protocol should be set to No.
  8. For Empty session timeout, set it to 1 minute. For When timeout occurs, set it to Log off. You usually want the session to end when users close all of their applications.
  9. For Log off disconnected sessions, specify a disconnect timer. This is in addition to the idle timer configured in View Configuration > Global Settings.
  10. Check the box next to Allow HTML Access and click Next.
  11. In the Provisioning Settings page, enter a naming pattern. Make sure the name includes {n:fixed=3} or something like that.
  12. Enter the number of machines to create and click Next.
  13. In the Storage Optimization page, click Next.
  14. In the vCenter Settings page, click Browse next to each option and make a selection.
  15. When selecting a datastore, set the Storage Overcommit to Unbounded. Click OK and then click Next.
  16. In the Advanced Storage Options page, decide if you want space reclamation or not. Space reclamation does reduce disk space but increases IOPS while the operation is occurring. If space reclamation is enabled, also configure a Blackout window so the increased IOPS does not affect production usage. Scroll down.
  17. If you scroll down you’ll see an option for Transparent Page Sharing. By default it is disabled. You can enable it by setting it to Global. This should reduce some memory consumption. Click Next.
  18. In the Guest Customization page, select an OU.
  19. Select a customization specification and click Next.
  20. In the Ready to Complete page, click Finish.
  21. On the RDS Hosts tab you can see the progress of the farm creation operation.
  22. Since RDS Farms use SysPrep, it will take some time before they become available.
  23. Once the RDS Hosts are created, you publish resources from them by either creating a Desktop Pool or an Application Pool or both.

Add RDS Host to Automatic Farm

  1. On the left, expand Resources and click Farms.
  2. On the right, highlight an existing Farm and click Edit.
  3. Switch to the Provisioning Settings tab and change the Max number of machines. Then click OK.
  4. Since this is based on SysPrep, it will take a while to add the virtual machine. The new VMs reboot several times during the provisioning and customization process.
  5. The farm now has new RDS host(s).

Update an Automatic Farm

  1. Power on the master session host.
  2. After making your changes, shut down the master session host.
  3. Right-click the virtual machine and take snapshot. You must create a new snapshot.
  4. Name the snapshot and click OK.
  5. You’ll need to periodically delete the older snapshots. Right-click the master VM and click Manage Snapshots.
  6. Delete one or more of the snapshots.
  7. In View Administrator, go to Resources > Farms.
  8. Double-click a farm name.
  9. Before beginning the Recompose operation, edit the Farm and on the Provisioning Settings tab consider specifying a minimum number of ready machines during View Composer maintenance operations. If you leave this set to 0 then all machines will be in maintenance mode and nobody can connect until Recompose is complete.
  10. On the Summary tab, click Recompose.
  11. In the Image page, select the new snapshot and click Next.
  12. In the Scheduling page, decide when to apply this new image and then click Next.
  13. In the Ready to Complete page, click Finish.
  14. On the RDS Hosts tab, you can check on the status of the recompose task. Since RDS Farms use SysPrep, this will take a while.

RDS Farms – Manual

To create a manual RDS Farm, do the following:

  1. Make sure the View Composer Agent is not installed on your RDS servers and make sure you saw the screen to register the Agent with a Horizon 6 Connection Server.
  2. In View Administrator, expand View Configuration and click Registered Machines. Make sure your manually built RDS Host is registered and listed on the RDS Hosts tab.

  3. In View Administrator, on the left, expand Resources and click Farms.
  4. On the right, click Add.
  5. In the Identification and Settings page, enter a name for the Farm.
  6. For Empty session timeout, set it to 1 minute. For When timeout occurs, set it to Log off. You usually want the session to end when users close all of their applications.
  7. For Log off disconnect sessions, specify a disconnect timer. This is in addition to the idle timer configured in View Configuration > Global Settings.
  8. Check the box next to Allow HTML Access and click Next.
  9. In the Select RDS Hosts, select one or more identical Remote Desktop Session Hosts. Click Next.
  10. In the Ready to Complete page, click Finish.

Add RDS Host to Manual Farm

  1. On the left, expand Resources and click Farms.
  2. On the right, double-click an existing Farm.
  3. On the right, switch to the RDS Hosts tab and click Add.
  4. Select the new RDS host and click OK.
  5. The farm now has a new RDS host.

Published Desktop

To publish a desktop from an RDS farm, do the following:

  1. In View Administrator, on the left, expand Catalog and click Desktop Pools.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. In the Type page, select RDS Desktop Pool and click Next.
  4. In the Desktop Pool Identification page, enter an ID and name. They can be different. Click Next.
  5. In the Desktop Pool Settings page, click Next.
  6. In the Select an RDS farm page, select a farm and click Next.
  7. In the Ready to Complete page, check the box next to Entitle users after this wizard finishes and click Finish.
  8. In the Entitlements window, click Add.
  9. Browse to an Active Directory group and click OK.
  10. Then click Close.
  11. If you go to Resources > Farms, double-click your farm and switch to the RDS Pools tab, you can see which Desktop Pool is associated with this farm.

Published Applications

  1. In View Administrator, on the left, expand Catalog and click Application Pools.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. The purpose of this wizard is to publish applications from an RDS Farm and entitle them. The entitlements will apply to all of the applications you select on this page. If you want different entitlements for different applications, run this wizard multiple times and select different applications. Once the applications are published, you can change their entitlements individually. Click Next after selecting one or more applications.
  4. Or you can add an application manually by changing the radio button to Add application pool manually. Notice that Explorer is not one of the listed applications so that one will need to be done manually.
  5. Notice the Entitle users box is checked by default. All of the applications in this list will receive the same entitlements. Click Finish.
  6. Then click Add to select a group that can see these icons. Click OK when done.
  7. You can run the wizard again to publish more applications with different entitlements.
  8. If you double-click one of the application pools, on the Entitlements page you can change the entitlements.
  9. If you go to Resources > Farms, double-click your farm, and switch to the RDS Pools tab, you can see which Application Pools (published applications) are associated with this farm. Notice you can’t really do anything from here.

Anti-affinity

You can configure Horizon to restrict the number of instances of an application running on a particular RDS host. Here are some limitations:

  • If the user already has a session then anti-affinity is ignored.
  • If the application¬†is launched from within¬†an RDS Desktop then anti-affinity is ignored.
  • Not recommended for Horizon Mobile clients.

See Configure an Anti-Affinity Rule for an Application Pool at pubs.vmware.com.

Do the following to configure Anti-Affinity:

  1. On the left, expand Catalog and click Application Pools.
  2. On the right, edit an existing app/pool.
  3. In the Anti-Affinity Patterns field, enter process names to match. Wildcards are supported. Each match is counted.
  4. In the Anti-Affinity Count field, enter the maximum number of matches that can run on a single RDS Host.

Horizon View Load Balancing – NetScaler 11

Last Modified: Sep 2, 2018 @ 7:52 am

Navigation

Use this procedure to load balance Horizon View Connection Servers, Horizon View Security Servers, and/or VMware Access Points.

Overview

Servers/Appliances

There are two VMware-provided remote access solutions for Horizon:

Access Points are preferred over Security Servers for the following reasons:

  • No need to pair with internal Connection Servers. This simplifies the configuration.
  • Linux appliance instead of Windows server.
  • Authentication can be offloaded to Access Point. This includes: Smart Cards, RSA, and RADIUS.

If you are using Access Points instead of Security Servers then you’ll have the following machines in a highly available Horizon infrastructure:

  • Two Internal Connection Servers – these need to be load balanced on an internal VIP. Internal users connect to the internal VIP.
  • Two DMZ Access Point appliances¬†– these need to be load balanced on a DMZ VIP. External users connect to the DMZ VIP. Access Points connect to the internal VIP.

With Security Servers instead of Access Points, a typical Horizon Infrastructure will have at least six connection servers:

  • Two Internal Connection Servers – these need to be load balanced on an internal VIP. Internal users connect to the internal VIP.
  • Two DMZ Security Servers – these need to be load balanced on a DMZ VIP. External users connect to the DMZ VIP. Each Security Servers connects directly to a “paired” Connection Servers.
  • The DMZ Security Servers are paired with two additional internal “paired” Connection Servers. There is no need to load balance the internal Paired Connection Servers. However, we do need to monitor them.

Since¬†Security Servers are paired with Connection Servers, you need to configure load balancing monitors to disable the Security Server if the paired Connection Server is not accessible.¬†Since Access Points are not paired with Connection Servers, you don’t need this special monitoring configuration.

Protocols/Ports

Horizon 7 introduces a new Blast Extreme protocol. VMware Technical White Paper Blast Extreme Display Protocol in Horizon 7.

For VMware Access Point, Blast Extreme only needs TCP and UDP 443 only. HTML Access in Horizon 7 also uses Blast Extreme protocol (TCP/UDP 443). If you use VMware Access Point with Blast Extreme exclusively, then the number of ports is minimal, and load balancing configuration is simplified. Here are typical load balancing port requirements for Access Point with Blast Extreme only:

  • TCP 443
  • UDP 443

Note: UDP is disabled by default, but it can be enabled using a Blast GPO setting.

For View Security Servers, and Blast Extreme protocol only, then the following load balancing ports are needed. Note: Access Point supports 443 port sharing, but Security Servers do not.

  • TCP 443
  • TCP 8443
  • UDP 8443

Note: UDP is disabled by default, but it can be enabled using a Blast GPO setting.

For¬†all¬†other¬†configurations¬†that don’t¬†use¬†Blast¬†Extreme (PCoIP, HTML Blast), the following ports must be load balanced:

  • TCP 443
  • TCP 4172
  • UDP 4172
  • TCP 8443

If you are load balancing internal Connection Servers only, and if the Secure Gateways are disabled, then the only port you need to load balance is:

  • TCP 443

VMware requires server persistence to apply across multiple load balanced port numbers. If a user is load balanced to a particular View Connection Server on TCP 443, then the connection on UDP 4172 must go the same View Connection Server. Normally load balancing persistence only applies to a single port number, so whatever sever was selected on 443 won’t be considered for the 4172 connection. But in NetScaler, you can configure a Persistency Group to use a single persistency across multiple load balancing vServers (different port numbers). In F5, you configure Match Across.

Also see¬†Load Balancing with Access Point by Mark Benson at VMware Communities¬† ūüí°

This topic primarily focuses on NetScaler GUI configuration. Alternatively, you can skip directly to the CLI commands.

Horizon 7 Origin Check

Horizon 7 might not accept your load balanced DNS name unless it’s the same name configured in the Connection Server’s Secure Tunnel configuration. You can change this behavior by¬†disabling Origin Check as detailed at VMware 2144768¬†Accessing the Horizon View Administrator page displays a blank error window in Horizon 7. Note: this configuration is almost mandatory for Access Points since Secure Tunnel is disabled on the Connection Servers.

Load Balancing Monitors

Users connect to Connection Servers, Security Servers, and Access Point appliances on multiple¬†ports: TCP 443, UDP 443, TCP 8443, UDP 8443, TCP 4172, and UDP 4172. Users will initially connect to TCP port 443 and then be redirected to one of the other ports on the same server/appliance initially used for the TCP 443 connection. If TCP 443 is up but UDP 4172 is down on the same server/appliance then you probably wan’t to take TCP 443 down too. To facilitate this, create a monitor for each of the ports and bind all of the monitors to the TCP 443 service. Then if any of the monitors goes down then TCP 443 is also take down.

Note: TLS 1.0 is disabled in Horizon View 6.2.1 and newer. If your¬†NetScaler supports TLS 1.2 on the back end then this isn’t a problem. Back-end TLS 1.2 was added to NetScaler MPX/SDX in 10.5 build 58. And it was added to NetScaler VPX in 11.0 build 65. For¬†older NetScaler builds,¬†you’ll need to enable TLS 1.0¬†(and HTML Blast)¬†in Horizon or else the monitors won’t work.

In NetScaler VPX 11.0 build 64, secure HTTP monitors attached to SSL_BRIDGE services try to use TLS 1.2 instead of TLS 1.0. To fix this problem, run set ssl parameter -svctls1112disable enable -montls1112disable enable as detailed at CTX205578 Back-End Connection on TLS 1.1/1.2 from NetScaler to IIS Servers Break.

SSL Monitor

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Monitors.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Name it Horizon-SSL or similar.
  4. Change the Type drop-down to HTTP-ECV.
  5. On the Standard Parameters tab, in the Destination Port field, enter 443.
  6. Scroll down and check the box next to Secure.
  7. On the Special Parameters tab, in the Send String section, enter GET /broker/xml
  8. In the Receive String section, enter clientlaunch-default
  9. Scroll down and click Create.

PCoIP Monitor

  1. On the right, click Add.
  2. Name it Horizon-PCoIP or similar.
  3. Change the Type drop-down to TCP.
  4. On the Standard Parameters tab, in the Destination Port field, enter 4172.
  5. Scroll down and click Create.

Blast Monitor

  1. On the right, click Add.
  2. Name it Horizon-Blast or similar.
  3. Change the Type drop-down to TCP.
  4. On the Standard Parameters tab, in the Destination Port field, enter 8443.
  5. Scroll down and click Create.

Paired Connection Server Monitor

Note: the steps in this section do not apply to Access Points or internal Connection Servers.

View Security Servers are paired with View Connection Servers. If the paired View Connection Server is down, then we should probably stop sending users to the corresponding View Security Server. Let’s create a monitor that has a specific IP address in it.

  1. Right-click the existing Horizon-SSL monitor and click Add.
  2. Normally a monitor does not have any Destination IP defined, which means it uses the IP address of the service that it is bound to. However, we intend to bind this monitor to the View Security Server but we need it to monitor the paired View Connection Server, which is a different IP address. Type in the IP address of the paired View Connection Server. Then rename the monitor so it includes the View Connection Server name. Click Create.
  3. Since we are embedding an IP address into the monitor, you have to create a separate monitor for each paired Connection Server IP. Create another monitor. Specify the IP of the other paired Connection Server. Click Create.

Load Balancing Servers

Create Server Objects for the DMZ Security Servers, DMZ Access Point appliances and the internal non-paired Connection Servers. Do not create Server Objects for the Paired Connection Servers.

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Servers.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Enter a descriptive server name, usually it matches the actual server name.
  4. Enter the IP address of the Access Point, Horizon Connection Server, or Horizon Security Server.
  5. Enter comments to describe the server. Click Create.
  6. Continue adding Access Points, Horizon Connection Servers, and/or Horizon Security Servers.

Load Balancing Services

Overview

Services vs Service Groups:

  • For Security Servers, if the paired Connection Server is down, then we need the Security Server to go down too.¬†One of the¬†monitors bound to the Security Server contains the IP address of the paired Connection Server. Since each Security Server is paired with a different Connection Server, that means each Security Server will have a unique monitoring configuration. This precludes us from adding multiple Security Servers to a single Service Group since you can only have one monitor configuration for the entire Service Group. Instead, create separate Services (multiple port numbers) for each Security Server.
    • Individual services per server are only needed for TCP 443. The other ports can be service groups.
  • For Access Points,¬†there is no special monitoring configuration and thus these appliances¬†could be added to Service Groups (one for each port number).
  • For internal Connection Servers (non-paired),¬†there is no special monitoring configuration and thus these appliances¬†could be added to one Service Group. Internal Connection Servers usually only need TCP 443 load balanced.

For Internal Connection Servers (not the paired servers), load balancing monitoring is very simple:

  • Create a service group¬†for SSL 443.
  • To verify server availability, monitor port TCP 443 on the same server.
  • If tunneling is disabled then internal users connect directly to View Agents and UDP/TCP 4172 and TCP 8443 are not used on Internal Connection Servers. There’s no need to create service groups and monitors for these ports.

Security Servers and Access Point appliances are more complex:

  • For Blast Extreme protocol through Access Points, if UDP is not enabled, then you only need services for¬†TCP 443. If UDP is enabled, then you also need load balancing services for UDP 443.
  • For Blast Extreme protocol through View Security Servers, if UDP is not enabled, then you only need services for¬†TCP 443 and TCP 8443. If UDP is enabled, then you also need load balancing services for UDP 8443.
  • For PCoIP protocol, all traffic initially connects on TCP 443. The Horizon clients then connect to UDP 4172 on the same Security Server or Access Point. If 4172 is down, then 443 should be taken down.¬†Bind monitors for each port to the TCP 443 service. If any of the monitors fails (e.g. 4172 is down), then TCP 443 is taken down and NetScaler will no longer forward traffic to TCP 443 on that particular server/appliance.
  • Each Security Server is paired with an internal Connection Server. If the internal Connection Server is down then the Security Server should be taken down. This requires custom monitors for each Security Server. This is not a problem for Access Points.

Load Balancing Services Configuration Summary

The summaries are split into PCoIP vs Blast Extreme, and View Security Servers vs Access Points. If you are using both PCoIP and Blast Extreme, combine their configurations.

Two Access Points for Blast Extreme: if they are named VAP01 and VAP02, the load balancing service configuration for Blast Extreme in Horizon 7 (no PCoIP) is summarized as follows (scroll down for detailed configuration):

  • Service Group, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE
    • Members = VAP01 and VAP02
    • Port = 443
    • Monitor = SSL (443)
  • Service¬†Group,¬†Protocol¬†=¬†UDP (this service group is only needed if¬†Blast¬†Extreme¬†UDP¬†is¬†enabled)
    • Members = VAP01 and VAP02
    • Port = 443
    • Monitor = SSL (443) or ping

Two Access Points for PCoIP protocol: if they are named VAP01 and VAP02, the load balancing service configuration for PCoIP is summarized as follows (scroll down for detailed configuration):

  • Service Group, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE
    • Members = VAP01 and VAP02
    • Port = 443
    • Monitor = SSL (443)
  • Service Group, Protocol = TCP
    • Members = VAP01 and VAP02
    • Port = 4172
    • Monitor =¬†PCoIP (TCP 4172)
  • Service Group, Protocol = UDP
    • Members = VAP01 and VAP02
    • Port = 4172
    • Monitor = PCoIP (TCP 4172)
  • Service Group, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE
    • Members = VAP01 and VAP02
    • Port = 8443
    • Monitor = Blast (8443)
  • Service Group, Portocol = UDP
    • Members = VAP01 and VAP02
    • Port = 8443
    • Monitor = Blast (8443)

Two Security Servers for Blast Extreme: if they are named VSS01 and VSS02, the load balancing service configuration for Blast Extreme in Horizon 7 (no PCoIP) is summarized as follows (scroll down for detailed configuration):

  • Service Group, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE
    • Members = VSS01 and VSS02
    • Port = 443
    • Monitor = SSL (443)
  • Service Group, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE
    • Members = VSS01 and VSS02
    • Port = 8443
    • Monitor = Blast (8443)
  • Service Group, Protocol = UDP¬†(this service group is only needed if¬†Blast¬†Extreme¬†UDP¬†is¬†enabled)
    • Members = VSS01 and VSS02
    • Port = 8443
    • Monitor = SSL (443) or ping

Two View Security Servers with PCoIP: If the View Security Servers are named VSS01 and VSS02, the load balancing service configuration for PCoIP is summarized as follows (scroll down for detailed configuration):

  • Server = VSS01, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE, Port = 443
    • Monitors = PCoIP (TCP 4172), SSL (443), and Blast (8443)
    • Monitor = SSL (443) for¬†paired View Connection Server VCS01.
  • Server = VSS02, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE, Port = 443
    • Monitors = PCoIP (TCP 4172), SSL (443), and Blast (8443)
    • Monitor = SSL (443) for paired View Connection Server VCS02.
  • Service Group, Protocol = UDP
    • Members = VSS01 and VSS02
    • Port = 443
    • Monitor = SSL (443) or ping
  • Service Group, Protocol = TCP
    • Members = VSS01 and VSS02
    • Port = 4172
    • Monitor =¬†PCoIP (TCP 4172)
  • Service Group, Protocol = UDP
    • Members = VSS01 and VSS02
    • Port = 4172
    • Monitor = PCoIP (TCP 4172)
  • Service Group, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE
    • Members = VSS01 and VSS02
    • Port = 8443
    • Monitor = Blast (8443)
  • Service Group, Portocol = UDP
    • Members = VSS01 and VSS02
    • Port = 8443
    • Monitor = Blast (8443)

TCP 443 Load Balancing Services

Here are general instructions for the TCP 443 Horizon load balancing services. These instructions detail the more complicated Security Server configuration, since each Security Server needs to monitor its paired Connection Servers. If you are load balancing Access Point or internal Connection Servers, you could configure a Service Group instead of individual services. See the above configuration summaries for your specific configuration.

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Services.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the Service a descriptive name (e.g. svc-VSS01-SSL).
  4. Change the selection to Existing Server and select the Access Point, Security Server or internal (non-paired) Connection Server you created earlier.
  5. Change the Protocol to SSL_BRIDGE, and click OK.
  6. On the left, in the Monitors section, click where it says 1 Service to Load Balancing Monitor Binding.
  7. Ignore the current monitor and click Add Binding.
  8. Click the arrow next to Click to select.
  9. Select the Horizon-SSL monitor and click Select.
  10. Then click Bind.
  11. If you are load balancing PCoIP through a View Security Server or Access Point, add monitors for PCoIP Secure Gateway (4172) and Blast Secure Gateway (8443) too. If 4172 or 8443 fails, then 443 needs to be marked DOWN.

  12. If this is a Security Server, also add a monitor that has the IP address of the paired Connection Server. If the paired Connection Server is down, then the Security Server needs to marked as DOWN so NetScaler needs to stop sending connections to this Security Server.
  13. The Last Response should indicate Success. If you bound multiple monitors to the Service, then the member will only be UP if all monitors succeed. There’s a refresh button on the top-right. Click Close when done.
  14. Then click Done.
  15. Right-click the first service and click Add.
  16. Change the name to match the second Horizon Server or Access Point.
  17. Select Existing Server and use the Server drop-down to select to the second Horizon Server.
  18. The remaining configuration is identical to the first server. Click OK.
  19. You will need to configure the monitors again. They will be identical to the first server except for the monitoring of the paired View Connection Server. Click Done when done.

Other Ports Load Balancing Services

Here are general instructions for the remaining Horizon services. These instructions use Service Groups but you could just as easily add Services instead. See the above summaries for your specific configuration.

  1. On the left, go to Traffic Mgmt > Load Balancing > Service Groups.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Name it svcgrp-Horizon-UDP443 or similar. UDP 443 is for Blast Extreme in Horizon 7 through Access Points. If View Security Servers, the name should be svcgrp-Horizon-UDP8443.
  4. Change the Protocol to UDP. Click OK.
  5. Click where it says No Service Group Member.
  6. Change the selection to Server Based and then click Click to select.
  7. Select your multiple Security Servers or multiple Access Points and click Select.
  8. If Access Points, enter 443 as the Port. If View Security Servers, enter 8443 as the port. Click Create.
  9. Click OK.
  10. On the right, in the Advanced Settings column, add the Monitors section.
  11. Click where it says No Service Group to Monitor Binding.
  12. Click to select.
  13. Select the Horizon-SSL monitor, click Select, and then click Bind.
  14. Click Done.
  15. Add another Service Group for PCoIP on TCP 4172.
    1. Name = svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPTCP or similar.
    2. Protocol = TCP

    3. Members = multiple Security Servers or multiple Access Points.
    4. Port = 4172.
    5. Monitors = Horizon-PCoIP. You can add the other monitors if desired.
  16. Add another Service Group for PCoIP on UDP 4172.
    1. Name = svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPUDP or similar.
    2. Protocol = UDP

    3. Members = multiple Security Servers or multiple Access Points
    4. Port = 4172.
    5. Monitors = Horizon-PCoIP. You can add the other monitors if desired.
  17. Add another Service Group for SSL_BRIDGE 8443.
    1. Name = svcgrp-Horizon-TCP8443 or similar.
    2. Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE
    3. Members = multiple Security Servers or multiple Access Points
    4. Port = 8443.
    5. Monitors = Horizon-Blast. You can add the other monitors if desired.
  18. If you haven’t done this already, add another Service Group for UDP¬†8443 (Blast Extreme in Horizon 7).
    1. Name = svcgrp-Horizon-UDP8443 or similar.
    2. Protocol = UDP
    3. Members = multiple Security Servers or multiple Access Points
    4. Port = 8443.
    5. Monitors = Horizon-Blast. You can add the other monitors if desired.
  19. The five service groups should look something like this:

Load Balancing Virtual Servers

Create separate load balancing vServers for internal and DMZ.

  • Internal VIP load balances the non-paired Internal Connections Servers.¬†Access Point appliances also use this¬†VIP to access the internal Connection Servers.
  • DMZ VIP load balances the Security Servers or Access Point appliances.

The paired View Connection Servers do not need to be load balanced.

For the internal Connection Servers you only need a load balancer for SSL_BRIDGE 443. If tunneling is disabled then you don’t need load balancers for the other ports (UDP/TCP 4172 and SSL_BRIDGE 8443).

However, Security Servers and Access Points listen on more ports so you will need separate load balancers for each port number. Here is a summary of their Virtual Servers, all listening on the same IP address. Depending on the configured protocol, you might not need all of these Virtual Servers.

  • Virtual Server on SSL_BRIDGE 443 ‚Äď bind both Horizon¬†SSL_BRIDGE 443 Services.
  • Virtual Server on UDP 443 (Horizon 7) – bind the UDP 443 service group.
  • Virtual Server on UDP 4172 ‚Äď bind the¬†PCoIPUDP service group.
  • Virtual Server on TCP 4172 ‚Äď bind the¬†PCoIPTCP service group.
  • Virtual Server on SSL_BRIDGE 8443 ‚Äď bind the SSL_BRIDGE 8443 service group.
  • Virtual Server on UDP 8443 (Horizon 7) – bind the UDP 8443 service group.

Do the following to create the Virtual Servers:

  1. On the left, under Traffic Management > Load Balancing, click Virtual Servers.

  2. On the right click Add.
  3. Name it Horizon-SSL-LB or similar.
  4. Change the Protocol to SSL_BRIDGE.
  5. Specify a new VIP. This one VIP will be used for all of the Virtual Servers.
  6. Enter 443 as the Port.
  7. Click OK.
  8. On the left, in the Services and Service Groups section, click where it says No Load Balancing Virtual Server Service Binding.
  9. Click the arrow next to Click to select.
  10. Select the two View-SSL Services and click Select.
  11. Click Bind.
  12. Click Continue.
  13. Then click Done. Persistency will be configured later.
  14. If this is Horizon 7, and if this is an Access Point, then create another Load Balancing Virtual Server for UDP 443:
    1. Same VIP as the TCP 443 Load Balancer.
    2. Protocol = UDP, Port = 443
    3. Service Group Binding = the UDP 443 Service Group
  15. If this is a Security Server or Access Point, then create another Load Balancing Virtual Server for PCoIP UDP 4172:
    1. Same VIP as the 443 Load Balancer.
    2. Protocol = UDP, Port = 4172
    3. Service Group Binding = the PCoIP UDP Service Group.
  16. If this is a Security Server or Access Point, then create another Load Balancing Virtual Server for PCoIP TCP 4172:
    1. Same VIP as the 443 Load Balancer.
    2. Protocol = TCP, Port = 4172
    3. Service Group Binding = the PCoIP TCP Service Group
  17. If this is a Security Server or Access Point, then create another Load Balancing Virtual Server for SSL_BRIDGE 8443:
    1. Same VIP as the 443 Load Balancer.
    2. Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE, Port = 8443
    3. Service Group Binding = the TCP 8443 SSL_BRIDGE Service Group
  18. If this is a Security Server or Access Point, then create another Load Balancing Virtual Server for UDP 8443:
    1. Same VIP as the 443 Load Balancer.
    2. Protocol = UDP, Port = 8443
    3. Service Group Binding = the UDP 8443 SSL_BRIDGE Service Group
  19. This gives you six Virtual Servers on the same VIP but different protocols and port numbers.

Persistency Group

For Security Servers and Access Points, users will first connect to SSL_BRIDGE 443 and be load balanced. Subsequent connections to the other port numbers must go to the same load balanced server. Create a Persistency Group to facilitate this.

For internal View Connection Servers, then you probably only have one SSL_BRIDGE load balancer for those servers, and thus you could configure persistence directly on that one load balancing vServer instead of creating a Persistency Group. However, since the Security Servers and Access Points have multiple load balancing vServers on different ports, then you need to bind them together into a Persistency Group.

  1. On the left, under Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing and click Persistency Groups.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the Persistency Group a name (e.g. Horizon).
  4. Change the Persistence to SOURCEIP.
  5. Enter a timeout that is equal to or greater than the timeout in Horizon View Administrator, which defaults to 10 hours (600 minutes).
  6. In the Virtual Server Name section, click Add.
  7. Move all six Security Server / Access Point Load Balancing Virtual Servers to the right. Click Create.

CLI Commands

Here’s a list of CLI commands for the most basic configuration of two Access Points with Blast Extreme only (no PCoIP):

add server VAP01 10.2.2.187
add server VAP02 10.2.2.24
add lb monitor Horizon-SSL HTTP-ECV -send "GET /broker/xml" -recv clientlaunch-default -secure YES
add serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-SSL SSL_BRIDGE
add serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP443 UDP
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-SSL VAP01 443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-SSL VAP02 443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-SSL -monitorName Horizon-SSL
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP443 VAP01 443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP443 VAP02 443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP443 -monitorName Horizon-SSL
add lb vserver Horizon-SSL-LB SSL_BRIDGE 10.2.2.204 443
add lb vserver Horizon-UDP443-LB UDP 10.2.2.204 443
bind lb vserver Horizon-SSL-LB svcgrp-Horizon-SSL
bind lb vserver Horizon-UDP443-LB svcgrp-Horizon-UDP443
bind lb group Horizon Horizon-SSL-LB
bind lb group Horizon Horizon-UDP443-LB
set lb group Horizon -persistenceType SOURCEIP -timeout 600

Here’s a list of CLI commands for the more complicated Security Server configuration:

add server VSS01 10.2.2.187
add server VSS02 10.2.2.24
add lb monitor Horizon-PCoIP TCP -destPort 4172
add lb monitor Horizon-Blast TCP -destPort 8443
add lb monitor Horizon-SSL HTTP-ECV -send "GET /broker/xml" -recv clientlaunch-default -secure YES
add lb monitor Horizon-SSL-VCS01 HTTP-ECV -send "GET /broker/xml" -recv clientlaunch-default -destIP 10.2.2.19 -destPort 443 -secure YES
add lb monitor Horizon-SSL-VCS02 HTTP-ECV -send "GET /broker/xml" -recv clientlaunch-default -destIP 10.2.2.20 -destPort 443 -secure YES
add service svc-VSS01-SSL VSS01 SSL_BRIDGE 443
add service svc-VSS02-SSL VSS02 SSL_BRIDGE 443
bind service svc-VSS02-SSL -monitorName Horizon-SSL-VCS02
bind service svc-VSS02-SSL -monitorName Horizon-SSL
bind service svc-VSS02-SSL -monitorName Horizon-Blast
bind service svc-VSS02-SSL -monitorName Horizon-PCoIP
bind service svc-VSS01-SSL -monitorName Horizon-SSL-VCS01
bind service svc-VSS01-SSL -monitorName Horizon-Blast
bind service svc-VSS01-SSL -monitorName Horizon-PCoIP
bind service svc-VSS01-SSL -monitorName Horizon-SSL
add serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP443 UDP
add serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPTCP TCP
add serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPUDP UDP
add serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-TCP8443 SSL_BRIDGE
add serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP8443 UDP
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP443 VSS01 443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP443 VSS02 443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP443 -monitorName Horizon-SSL
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPTCP VSS01 4172
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPTCP VSS02 4172
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPTCP -monitorName Horizon-PCoIP
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPUDP VSS01 4172
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPUDP VSS02 4172
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPUDP -monitorName Horizon-PCoIP
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-TCP8443 VSS01 8443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-TCP8443 VSS02 8443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-TCP8443 -monitorName Horizon-Blast
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP8443 VSS01 8443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP8443 VSS02 8443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Horizon-UDP8443 -monitorName Horizon-Blast
add lb vserver Horizon-SSL-LB SSL_BRIDGE 10.2.2.204 443
add lb vserver Horizon-UDP443-LB UDP 10.2.2.204 443
add lb vserver Horizon-PCoIPUDP-LB UDP 10.2.2.204 4172
add lb vserver Horizon-PCoIPTCP-LB TCP 10.2.2.204 4172
add lb vserver Horizon-8443TCP-LB SSL_BRIDGE 10.2.2.204 8443
add lb vserver Horizon-8443UDP-LB UDP 10.2.2.204 8443
bind lb vserver Horizon-SSL-LB svc-VSS01-SSL
bind lb vserver Horizon-SSL-LB svc-VSS02-SSL
bind lb vserver Horizon-UDP443-LB svcgrp-Horizon-UDP443
bind lb vserver Horizon-PCoIPTCP-LB svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPTCP
bind lb vserver Horizon-PCoIPUDP-LB svcgrp-Horizon-PCoIPUDP
bind lb vserver Horizon-8443TCP-LB svcgrp-Horizon-TCP8443
bind lb vserver Horizon-8443UDP-LB svcgrp-Horizon-UDP8443
bind lb group Horizon Horizon-SSL-LB
bind lb group Horizon Horizon-UDP443-LB
bind lb group Horizon Horizon-PCoIPUDP-LB
bind lb group Horizon Horizon-PCoIPTCP-LB
bind lb group Horizon Horizon-8443TCP-LB
bind lb group Horizon Horizon-8443UDP-LB
set lb group Horizon -persistenceType SOURCEIP -timeout 600

Horizon View Configuration – Security Servers

This section is not needed for Access Points. For Access Points, the secure gateways should be disabled, not enabled.

  1. On the Security Servers (or Connection Servers), request a certificate that matches the FQDN that resolves to the Load Balancing VIP.
  2. Make sure the private key is exportable.
  3. Set the Friendly Name to vdm and restart the View Security Server services.
  4. In View Administrator, go to View Configuration > Servers.
  5. On the right, switch to the Security Servers tab.
  6. Highlight a server and click Edit.
  7. Change the URLs to the FQDN that resolves to the load balancing VIP.
  8. Change the PCoIP URL to the VIP. For View Security Servers, this is typically a public IP that is NAT’d to the DMZ Load Balancing VIP.

Horizon View Load Balancing – NetScaler 10.5

Last Modified: Nov 6, 2020 @ 7:11 am

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Use this procedure to load balance Horizon View Connection Servers, Horizon View Security Servers, and/or VMware Access Points.

Overview

A typical Horizon View Installation will have at least six connection servers:

  • Two Internal View Connection Servers – these need to be load balanced on an internal VIP
  • Two DMZ View Security Servers – these need to be load balanced on a DMZ VIP
  • The DMZ View Security Servers are paired with two additional internal View Connection Servers. There is no need to load balance the internal Paired Connection Servers. However, we do need to monitor them.

If you are using Access Points instead of Security Servers then you’ll have the following machines. Server pairing is not necessary.

  • Two Internal View Connection Servers – these need to be load balanced on an internal VIP
  • Two DMZ VMware Access Point appliances¬†– these need to be load balanced on a DMZ VIP

This topic is focused on traditional View Security Servers but could be easily adapted for Access Point appliances. The difference is that with Access Points there are no paired servers and thus there’s no need to monitor the paired servers. The VIP ports are identical for both solutions.

Monitors

Users connect to Horizon View Connection Server, Horizon View Security Server, and Access Point appliances on four ports: TCP 443, TCP 8443, TCP 4172, and UDP 4172. Users will initially connect to port 443 and then be redirected to one of the other ports on the same server initially used for the 443 connection. If one of the ports is down, the entire server should be removed from load balancing. To facilitate this, create a monitor for each of the ports (except UDP 4172).

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Monitors.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Name it View-PCOIP or similar.
  4. Change the Type drop-down to TCP.
  5. In the Destination Port field, enter 4172.
  6. Scroll down and click Create.
  7. On the right, click Add.
  8. Name it View-Blast or similar.
  9. Change the Type drop-down to TCP.
  10. In the Destination Port field, enter 8443.
  11. Scroll down and click Create.
  12. On the right, click Add.
  13. Name it View-SSL or similar.
  14. Change the Type drop-down to HTTP-ECV.
  15. In the Destination Port field, enter 443.
  16. Scroll down and check the box next to Secure.
  17. On the Special Parameters tab, in the Send String section, enter GET /broker/xml/
  18. In the Receive String section, enter clientlaunch-default.
  19. Scroll down and click Create.
  20. View Security Servers are paired with View Connection Servers. If the paired View Connection Server is down, then we should probably stop sending users to the corresponding View Security Server. Let’s create a monitor that has a specific IP address in it. Right-click the existing View-SSL or View-SSLAdv monitor and click Add.

  21. Note: this step does not apply to Access Points. Normally a monitor does not have any Destination IP defined, which means it uses the IP address of the service that it is bound to. However, we intend to bind this monitor to the View Security Server but we need it to monitor the paired View Connection Server, which is a different IP address. Type in the IP address of the paired View Connection Server. Then rename the monitor so it includes the View Connection Server name.
  22. Note: this step does not apply to Access Points. Since we are embedding an IP address into the monitor, you have to create a separate monitor for each paired View Connection Server IP.

Servers

Create Server Objects for the DMZ Security Servers and the internal non-paired Connection Servers. Do not create Server Objects for the Paired Connection Servers.

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Servers.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Enter a descriptive server name, usually it matches the actual server name.
  4. Enter the IP address of the View Connection Server or View Security Server.
  5. Enter comments to describe the server. Click Create.
  6. Continue adding View Connection Servers or View Security Servers.

Services

If deploying View Security Servers, create Services Objects for the DMZ Security Servers and the internal non-paired Connection Servers. Do not create Services Objects for the Paired Connection Servers.

If deploying Access Points, create Services Objects for the DMZ Access Point appliances and the internal Connection Servers

Each connection server and security server needs separate Service objects. Each Security Server listens on multiple port numbers and thus there will be multiple Services Objects for each Security Server.

For Internal Connection Servers (not the paired servers), load balancing monitoring is very simple:

  • Create services for SSL 443
  • To verify server availability, monitor port TCP 443 on the same server.
  • If tunneling is disabled then internal users connect directly to View Agents and UDP/TCP 4172 and TCP 8443 are not used on Internal Connection Servers. There’s no need to create services and monitors for these ports.

Security Servers and Access Points are more complex:

  • The¬†PCoIP Secure Gateway and HTML Blast Secure Gateway are typically enabled on Security Servers and Access Points but they are not typically enabled on internal Connection Servers.
  • All traffic initially connects on TCP 443. For Security Servers and Access Points, the clients then connect to UDP 4172 or TCP 8443 on the same Security Server. If UDP 4172 or¬†TCP 8443 are down, then you probably want to make sure TCP 443 is also brought down.
  • Each Security Server is paired with an internal Connection Server. If the internal Connection Server is down then the Security Server should be taken down. This does not apply to Access Points.
  • To accommodate these failure scenarios, bind multiple monitors to the View Security Server or Access Point load balancing Services. If any of the monitors fails then NetScaler will no longer forward traffic to 443 on that particular server.

If you have two View Security Servers or Access Points named VSS01 and VSS02, the configuration is summarized as follows (scroll down for detailed configuration):

  • Service = VSS01, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE, Port = 443
    • Monitors = PCoIP (TCP 4172), SSL (443), and Blast (8443)
    • Monitor = SSL (443) on paired View Connection Server VCS01. This monitor is not needed on¬†Access Points.
  • Service = VSS02, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE, Port = 443
    • Monitors = PCoIP (TCP 4172), SSL (443), and Blast (8443)
    • Monitor = SSL (443) on paired View Connection Server VCS02.¬†This monitor is not needed on¬†Access Points.
  • Service = VSS01, Protocol = TCP, Port = 4172
    • Monitor = PCoIP (TCP 4172)
  • Service = VSS02, Protocol = TCP, Port = 4172
    • Monitor = PCoIP (TCP 4172)
  • Service = VSS01, Protocol = UDP, Port = 4172
    • Monitor = PCoIP (TCP 4172)
  • Service = VSS02, Protocol = UDP, Port = 4172
    • Monitor = PCoIP (TCP 4172)
  • Service = VSS01, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE, Port = 8443
    • Monitor = Blast (8443)
  • Service = VSS02, Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE, Port = 8443
    • Monitor = Blast (8443)

If you are not using HTML Blast then you can skip 8443. If you are not using PCoIP Secure Gateway, then you can skip the 4172 ports.

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Services.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the Service a descriptive name (e.g. svc-VSS01-SSL).
  4. Change the selection to Existing Server and select the View Security Server or internal (non-paired) View Connection Server you created earlier.
  5. Change the Protocol to SSL_BRIDGE and click OK.
  6. On the left, in the Monitors section, click where it says 1 Service to Load Balancing Monitor Binding.
  7. Click Add Binding.
  8. Click the arrow next to Click to select.
  9. Select the View-SSL monitor and click OK.
  10. Then click Bind.
  11. If this is a View Security Server, add monitors for PCoIP and HTML Blast. If any of those services fails, then 443 needs to be marked DOWN.

  12. If this is a View Security Server, also add a monitor that has the IP address of the paired View Connection Server. If the paired View Connection Server is down, then stop sending connections to this View Security Server.
  13. The Last Response should indicate Success. If you bound multiple monitors to the Service, then the member will only be UP if all monitors succeed. There’s a refresh button on the top-right. Click Close when done.
  14. Then click Done.
  15. Right-click the first service and click Add.
  16. Change the name to match the second View Server.
  17. Use the Server drop-down to select to the second View Server.
  18. The remaining configuration is identical to the first server. Click OK.
  19. You will need to configure the monitors again. They will be identical to the first server except for the monitoring of the paired View Connection Server. Click Done when done.

  20. Add another Service for PCoIP on TCP 4172.
    1. Name = svc-VSS01-PCoIPTCP or similar.
    2. Server = Existing Server, select the first View Server.
    3. Protocol = TCP
    4. Port = 4172.
    5. Monitors = View-PCoIP. You can add the other monitors if desired.
  21. Repeat for the 2nd View Security Server.
  22. Add another Service for PCoIP on UDP 4172.
    1. Name = svc-VSS01-PCoIPUDP or similar.
    2. Existing Server = first View Server
    3. Protocol = UDP
    4. Port = 4172.
    5. Monitors = View-PCoIP. You can add the other monitors if desired.
  23. Repeat for the 2nd View Server.
  24. Add another Service for HTML Blast on SSL_BRIDGE 8443.
    1. Name = svc-VSS01-HTMLBlast or similar.
    2. Existing Server = the first View Server
    3. Protocol =
    4. Port = 8443.
    5. Monitors = View-Blast. You can add the other monitors if desired.
  25. Repeat for the 2nd View Server.
  26. The eight services should look something like this:
  27. Repeat these instructions to add the internal (non-paired) View Connection Servers except that you only need to add services for SSL_BRIDGE 443 and only need monitoring for 443.

Load Balancing Virtual Servers

Create separate load balancers for internal and DMZ.

  • Internal load balances the two non-paired Internal View Connections Servers.
  • DMZ load balances the two View Security Servers¬†or Access Point appliances.

The paired View Connection Servers do not need to be load balanced.

For the internal View Connection Servers you only need a load balancer for SSL_BRIDGE 443. If tunneling is disabled then you don’t need load balancers for the other ports (UDP/TCP 4172 and SSL_BRIDGE 8443).

However, tunneling is enabled on the View Security Servers and Access Point appliances so you will need separate load balancers for each port number. Here is a summary of the Virtual Servers:

  • Virtual Server on SSL_BRIDGE 443 ‚Äď bind both View SSL Services.
  • Virtual Server on UDP 4172 ‚Äď bind both View PCoIPUDP Services.
  • Virtual Server on TCP 4172 ‚Äď bind both View PCoIPTCP Services.
  • Virtual Server on SSL_BRIDGE 8443 ‚Äď bind both View Blast Services.

Do the following to create the Virtual Servers:

  1. On the left, under Traffic Management > Load Balancing, click Virtual Servers.

  2. On the right click Add.
  3. Name it View-SSL-LB or similar.
  4. Change the Protocol to SSL_BRIDGE.
  5. Specify a new internal VIP. This one VIP will be used for all of the Virtual Servers.
  6. Enter 443 as the Port.
  7. Click OK.
  8. On the left, in the Services and Service Groups section, click where it says No Load Balancing Virtual Server Service Binding.
  9. Click the arrow next to Click to select.
  10. Select the two View-SSL Services and click OK.
  11. Click Bind.
  12. Click OK.
  13. Then click Done. Persistency will be configured later.
  14. If this is a View Security Server or Access Point or if tunneling is enabled then create another Load Balancing Virtual Server for PCoIP UDP 4172:
    1. Same VIP as the 443 Load Balancer.
    2. Protocol = UDP, Port = 4172
    3. Services = the PCoIP UDP Services.
  15. If this is a View Security Server or Access Point or if tunneling is enabled then create another Load Balancing Virtual Server for PCoIP TCP 4172:
    1. Same VIP as the 443 Load Balancer.
    2. Protocol = TCP, Port = 4172
    3. Services = the PCoIP TCP Services.
  16. If this is a View Security Server or Access Point or if tunneling is enabled then create another Load Balancing Virtual Server for HTML Blast SSL_BRIDGE 8443:
    1. Same VIP as the 443 Load Balancer.
    2. Protocol = SSL_BRIDGE, Port = 8443
    3. Services = the HTML Blast SSL_BRIDGE Services.
  17. This gives you four Virtual Servers on the same VIP but different protocols and port numbers.

Persistency Group

For Security Servers and Access Point appliances, users will first connect to SSL_BRIDGE 443 and be load balanced. Subsequent connections to the other port numbers must go to the same load balanced server. Create a Persistency Group to facilitate this.

If tunneling is disabled on the internal View Connection Servers then you probably only have one load balancer for those servers and thus you could configure persistence directly on that one load balancer instead of creating a Persistency Group. However, since the View Security Servers have multiple load balancers then you need to bind them together in a Persistency Group.

  1. On the left, under Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing and click Persistency Groups.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the Persistency Group a name (e.g. View).
  4. Change the Persistence to SOURCEIP.
  5. Enter a timeout that is equal to or greater than the timeout in View Administrator, which defaults to 10 hours (600 minutes).
  6. In the Virtual Server Name section, click Add.
  7. Move all four View Security Server / Access Point Load Balancing Virtual Servers to the right. Click Create.

Horizon View Configuration

  1. On the View Security Servers (or View Connection Servers), request a certificate that matches the FQDN that resolves to the Load Balancing VIP.
  2. Make sure the private key is exportable.
  3. Set the Friendly Name to vdm and restart the View Security Server services.
  4. In View Administrator, go to View Configuration > Servers.
  5. On the right, switch to the Security Servers tab.
  6. Highlight a server and click Edit.
  7. Change the URLs to the FQDN that resolves to the load balancing VIP.
  8. Change the PCoIP URL to the VIP. For View Security Servers, this is typically a public IP that is NAT’d to the DMZ Load Balancing VIP.