VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 1 connection server

Posted by on June 24, 2014 in Horizon Suite, View | 7 comments

With the recent update of the entire EUC suite from VMware I thought it would be a good time to revisit the install process for Horizon 6. Yes it used to be called VMware View, then it was Horizon View and now it’s just Horizon 6. Why? well because it is no longer just VDI. Horizon 6 is now a product that offers VDI, Application presentation and Hosted shared desktops both via RDS from Microsoft. This is a big advancement by VMware and welcomed by anyone that cares about EUC.

This is what drove me to revisit the install of Horizon. With these added features there will be many changes and I wanted to build a comprehensive post series that covers what it takes to get the product up and running.

Other posts in this Horizon series.

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 2 security server

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 3 SSL certificates

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 4 configuring RDS pool

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 5 setting up RDS desktops

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 6 setting up RDS applications


Installing the first connection server

Step 1: You will need to provision a Windows Server 2008R2 or 2012R2 server to install Horizon 6 onto. The product will definitely not install on the non-R2 versions of these, this comes from someone picking the wrong VM template the first time.

Step 2: If you have not already then you need to download the install files for Horizon 6. For this walkthrough you will only need the connection broker install file, but I would recommend you grab all the files that you will need for your build. This includes the View agents, GPO files and others.

Step 3: Copy the installer to the server that you will be using for the install and run the installer. The app starts with a familiar look the product version is shown in the lower left of the window letting us know its version 6.0.


Step 4: At this point you are able to choose the destination folder for the Horizon install. I typically leave it in the default choice shown below, but you are able to choose another drive or different folder.



Step 5: Here we must choose the type of View server that will be installed. Since this is the first in this deployment it will be the View Standard Server shown below. Later in the post I will cover the Replica Server option and in another post I will cover the Security Server. Something new in Horizon 6 install is the ability to choose to install HTML Access as part of the install. In the previous versions this was a feature pack add on that was available separately.



Step 6: The installer will now ask you to provide a data recovery password. This will be used to protect your data backups and might be needed in the future to recover your install. It goes without saying that you should document this and store in a place you will be able to find in the future.



Step 7: If you are using the Windows Firewall the installer can configure the ports needed by Horizon. The firewall is needed should you be planning on using a Security Server in your environment.



Step 8: Now you will need to provide the user or group that will have initial admin access to the View manager portal. In the example below I am using an AD group with a few users in it. Once your done installing you can configure the roll based access based on your requirements.



Step 9: This step is pretty self explanatory, do you want to share data with VMware about user experiences.



Step 10: Almost done here, the installer is just confirming the install location and you can click Install to get it going.



Step 11: Once the install process is completed you will see the final step shown below. Here you can choose to see the readme file or just ignore it. I recommend that you read the file, because it has many post install steps that you will need to consider if you are not an experienced Horizon installer.



At this point you have the bare minimum needed for a Horizon install. You can login to the Horizon manager interface by using a web browser to http://server-name-or-IP/admin.


Installing Horizon Replica Servers

In a most environments to reach a level of high availability you will need to install more than one connection server. After the first install the remaining servers are known as Replica Servers. They receive replication data from the initial server and Horizon keeps all connections servers in-sync. I will not walkthrough the entire install again for a replica server, instead I will only point out the two different steps. Once you choose to install a Replica Server you can move to the next step.



The second unique step in a Replica Server install is shown below. In order for our new server to communicate with the original connection server we must provide the hostname or IP address of the server. I typically use the FQDN since this will also be used when the certificates are created later.



At this point you should have two Horizon connection serves installed and they will need to be load balanced to provide a highly available install. In the next few posts I will be covering how to install Security Servers, SSL certificates and the new RDS features.



About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design


  1. Hello,

    Thanks for great post, but I have a question.

    I would like to have two connection servers (SRVCON1, SRVCON2) for internal users and two connection servers for external users (SRVCON3, SRVCON4), and two load balancers (Citrix NetScaler). What approach will be best?

    1) Approach 1:
    – Install SRVCON1 as a Standard Connection Server, rest Servers as a replica
    – set LoadBalancer for 1&2
    – set LoadBalancer for 3&4

    2) Approach 2:
    – Install SRVCON1 as a Standard Connection Server, SRVCON2 as a replica
    – set LoadBalancer for 1&2
    – Install SRVCON3 as a Standard Connection Server, SRVCON4 as a replica
    – set LoadBalancer for 1&2

    Thanks in advance for help!

    • Hello,

      You only ever build one standard connection server, all following connection servers are replica’s. Each standard connection server spawns a unique View install, so you would end up with separate environments. Option 1 is the right way.

      • Thank you! This blog helped me a lot!

  2. Hi, thanks for your blog. I have a question, when setting up the replica’s do they need to be on separate server R2 virtual machines?

    • Hello, yes they would be separate VMs for each one.

  3. We have a Horizon 6.2 installation. Most of our clients use LDAP authentication, however, have a small set of clients that need to use 2 factor authentication. We will be using RSA SecurID. I know I need to set up another connection server for the 2 factor clients, and configure it for 2 factor security but how do I get my 2 factor clients to only use this connection server?

    • This question is common when organizations want external connections to be 2 factor and internal do not need to be. In this case there is a set of connection servers internally and a set of connection servers and security servers for external connections. Then 2 factor is only turned on for the external ones, you can present the same or different URL for internal vs external connections. Meaning if someone is coming in from the internet they hit the external connection and are forced into 2 factor.

      If this is not your case you could still try using different URLs for the groups of connection servers. I’ve not tried it personally but seems like the first thing to try.


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