My View 7 upgrade

Hi there,

It is now time to upgrade my lab to Horizon 7.  The info below will help you to do the same.  Important note is that I am just doing the View 7 upgrade and not implementing anything else – like True SSO.  That will perhaps come later. Like in my 6.2 upgrade I am not ready to start using the Access Point appliance – but still have the Windows based Security Server.

The hardest thing of this upgrade – for me – was to find the bits.  Life of a vExpert though.

Lets get started!

Things to gather

  • View – here is the Horizon bits, Client bitsreadme, release notes, and docs. If you take a copy of the release notes, and store it locally with the documentation – like I do, you should note that it has been updated at least once maybe twice since release. Make sure the bits are where you can easily find them when doing the work.
  • View 7 requires a different / new license.  Makes sure to have one.
  • If you are running 6.2, then the things in the readme don’t apply.  This means to check what version you are at!
  • I am running 6.2.0-3005368.  I have already upgraded my Mac View client to 4.0.1 and it is working well with 6.2.
  • Make sure everything works – so check the events and the dashboard.  My only issues are that I am using default certs and my broker has only a small amount of memory.  So all good.
  • You can find the HTML upgrade guide here. It has lots of good info.  But, I have my other vSphere stuff all upgraded and only View needs to be upgraded so this all is a bit easier.  The process is as in the past: composer, connection server, security server, group policies, agent, and client.
  • Have backups, or snapshots of your View infrastructure.
  • Also have screenshots or documentation of the important config info in the Connection / Security servers config.
  • Some interesting tidbits to be aware of in this article.
  • Something else to gather is simple, you need an outage.  Not a long one.  This also means – for me – I cannot upgrade from outside my lab unless I use another remote access tool.  Outage is not long but if you do as I do and do other updates at the same time it can take longer.

Process – Connection / Security Servers

I not only update the VMware software on the connection (CS) and security servers (SS) but also update anything else – like MS updates.

  • Make sure you have your backup or snapshot.
  • Connect to your Connection Server and do any miscellaneous updates you need to.  For me there was quite a few – 81 Microsoft updates, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Autoruns and BGInfo all needed updates.
  • Now access the install file for the Connection server.

VMware-viewconnectionserver-x86_64-7.0.0-3633490.exe

  • This is an upgrade so not many questions. It confirms the path and off it goes. Only 5 – 10 minutes – on a slow VM and you are done.  No restart required.
  • We need to access the View admin UI now to do a few things.
  • First we apply the license.  It will be easy as we will end up at that point in the UI when we first log in after the upgrade. I am using my vExpert license, which lasts for a year (thanks VMware!) but it also says that I have a Concurrent User usage model.  I wonder how many users I can have?  I like how it obscures nicely the license key!
  • Now I need to create a pairing password.  Under the More Commands button for the CS you will find the command to do a Security Server pairing password.
  • We can now upgrade the Security Server.  If this was a real customer project I would in fact use the Access Point appliance and remove my Windows based SS.  Smaller attack surface is always good!  But I have not tested or played with the AP yet so will save it for another time.
  • We use the same file to update the SS, and don’t forget we need that pairing password.  There are more questions in this upgrade but most have the answers available.

Both of these upgrade go smooth for me and don’t take that much time, nor do they need restarts.

Process – View Desktop Agent

I had hoped to be able to do this while connected in via View. But no, you can start the install / upgrade but then it exits and says that an active View connection was found.  So for my own desktop I connected via the VMRC console and updated.  It took only 5 – 10 minutes and it did require a restart.

Next we update the View templates for any pools, and push out the agent – if we can, to any other persistent desktops.

Process – Clients

I upgraded my Mac View client to 4.0.1 before I started this upgrade and it worked fine. I noticed that the clients were updated a few days ago to 4.0.1 and I used those. I primarily use the Mac OS and thus that was the first client I tested.

I used a Windows 3.5 client (on Win7 32-bit) to connect in to get the bits to upgrade.  Worked fine to connect with that old of a client.  The upgrade to 4.0.1 was easy but did require a restart.

Testing

There are a number of things we should do here – and not just the obvious.

  • Can we connect into our desktop?  Should be yes.
  • Do we see the CS and SS version numbers in the admin UI?  Should be 7.0.0-3633490.
  • Do we see anything in Events in the admin UI which worries us?  Should be no – other then perhaps cert errors or memory size.
  • What version do we see for the agent in the  Machines view in the UI?  Should be 7.0.0.

Things to Note

  • Is there a better way to update the View agent in the persistent desktops?
  • I have enabled Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) in my lab as I need that functionality and I don’t believe it is enough of a security issue to not use it.  You can find out more info on this and how to do it via this and this.  While I have enabled this at the vSphere level, I still pick Global in View desktop pools just to make sure!
  • Did you take any snapshots?  If things are good you should get rid of them.

Conclusion

So this is done now. There were no painful points, nor any odd issues.  So that is good!  However, it is only a start.  View 7 has a lot of other things – like True SSO that I need to look at and see about implementing.

Thanks for reading, if you have questions or comments please don’t hesitate to share them!

Michael

=== END ===

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Home Lab, How To
3 comments on “My View 7 upgrade
  1. tom miller says:

    Thanks Michael, I’ll be doing this soon. I’ll be sure to refer to this article.
    Tom Miller

  2. buttercup says:

    Awesome article. Thank you for compiling this — I too will be upgrading my home lab shortly. On a side not I’m a huge fan of the new AP appliance, mostly due to the fact that I can use the REST api (via a quick n dirty script I wrote) to update the PCoIP address when my WAN IP changes (I’m cheap and use a dynamic IP 🙂 )

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