Upgrade VMware Horizon View 5.3 to 6.0

A little while back VMware released Horizon View 6.0, which comes with some neat new features, from which I think the RDS Hosted Apps is the biggest, for more information see VMware Horizon 6 What’s New on Ivo Beerens blog.

This post is about getting your VMware Horizon View 5.3 upgraded to 6.0 on new servers (Server 2012R2), below I described the steps we have taken and resulted in a flawless migration with nearly no downtime for the end-user of course this  is depending on your set-up. Keep in mind that the (re)compose function is not available during the upgrade.

The following steps are based on the excellent upgrade guide from VMware, the only difference is that the upgrade guide assumes that you upgrade your current servers, while the steps below are based on new servers. This way it is possible to also upgrade your OS from Windows Server 2008R2 to Windows Server 2012R2, keep in mind Server 2012 is not supported.

Before we actually get started it is good to find out which components are affected during the upgrade, these are not only the servers, but you also have to think about firewalls, load balancers, database servers and maybe active directory and/or some third party authentication tools like RSA SecureID.

This particular setup is very basic and in short in consist of the following components, described from outside (internet) to inside;

  • Outside firewall
  • Outside/DMZ load balancer
  • Two secure connection brokers
  • Inside firewall
  • Two connection brokers paired to the secure connection brokers
  • Inside load balancer
  • Two connection brokers for the internal connections
  • One composer
  • RSA secureID

Now we know which servers are affected we can actually start. Here are the steps we took to upgrade this environment.

  1. Build new servers based on Server 2012R2:
    If you count the VMware servers above, you will see that there are 7 servers that are going to be upgraded with VMware Horizon View 6.0.
  2. Create a new image with the new View Agent in it and deploy it.
    From this point we stopped making changes to the infrastructure (compose, new pools, etc.).
  3. Make a back-up of the View databases.
  4. Installation & migration of the View Composer
    1. Install the .NET 3.5 feature.
    2. Copy the .NET RSA keys of the current server to the new server.
      Current: %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0xxxxx, aspnet_regiis -px “SviKeyContainer” “keys.xml” –pri
      New: %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0xxxxx, aspnet_regiis -pi “SviKeyContainer” “path\keys.xml” –exp
    3. Disable provisioning in VMware View
      View Administration – servers – vCenter – disable provisioning
    4. Install VMware View Composer on the new server
    5. After installation change the server in VMware View Administration
      View Administration – Server – vCenter and click on edit and verify
    6. Turn provisioning back on
      View Administration – servers – vCenter – enable provisioning
    7. Turn off the “old” server
  5. Installation & migration of the connection servers handling inside traffic
    repeat step A-F for every connection broker handling inside traffic

    1. Start the installation of VMware Connection Server and choose for the install as replica option
    2. Install the right certificate on the server (if needed)
    3. Test the new server by going to the View Administration interface on this server. https://newserver/admin
    4. Make sure the settings of the new servers are the same as the “old” ones
    5. Make sure the firewall rules are updated with the new servers (if needed)
    6. See if it is possible to connect with the View Client directly to the new connection servers.
    7. Update the load balancer configuration with the new servers
    8. Test if a connection through the load balancer is possible
  6. Installation of the connected connection servers handling outside traffic (connected with security servers)
    Repeat for all the connection servers handling outside traffic

    1. Start the installation of VMware Connection Server and choose for the install as replica option.
    2. Install the right certificate on the server (if needed)
    3. Test the new server by going to the View Administration interface on this server. https://newserver/admin
    4. Create a new RSA authentication export file and import it to the new servers (if needed)
    5. Make sure the settings are the same as the “old” ones
    6. Make sure the firewall rules are updated with the new servers, change also the rules for connection from the new security servers.
    7. See if it is possible to connect with the View Client directly to the new connection servers.
  7. Installation & migration of the security servers
    Repeat A-F for all the security servers

    1. Start the installation of VMware Connection Server and choose for the install as security server option
    2. Connect the server (during installation) with the corresponding connection server
    3. Install the right certificate on the server (if needed)
    4. Test the new server by going to the View Administration interface on this server. https://newserver/admin
    5. Make sure the settings are the same as the “old” ones
    6. See if it is possible to connect with the View Client directly to the new connection servers.
    7. Update the firewalls rules including NAT for PCOIP/Blast (if needed)
    8. Update the load balancer configuration with the new servers
    9. Test if a connection through the load balancer is possible
    10. Test a connection from outside
  8. Create a snapshot of the old connection and security servers
  9. Remove the VMware View Connection software on both the connection servers and security servers.
  10. If the servers still pop-up in View Administration remove them by running this command on one of the new connection servers. (we needed this)
    vdmadmin -S -r -s old-Connection_server
  11. Remove old firewall rules (if needed)
  12. Test if everything works as it should, recompose, new pool, etc.
  13. If everything works correctly you may delete the old servers

Congratulations you’re now running VMware View Horizon 6.0 and unlocked a lot of nice new features!

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