Horizon 7.0 Part 7–Installing Composer

The last couple of posts have dealt with preparing the environment to install Horizon 7.0.  We’ve covered prerequisites, design considerations, preparing Active Directory, and even setting up the service accounts that will be used for accessing services and databases.

Now its time to actually install and configure the Horizon View components.  These tasks will be completed in the following order:

  • Install Horizon Composer
  • Install Horizon Connection Servers
  • Configure the Environment for the first time
  • Install and Configure Remote Access Components

One note that I want to point out is that the installation process for most components has not changed significantly from previous versions.  If you’ve installed Horizon 6.x, this process will look very familiar to you.

Before we can install Composer, we need to create an ODBC Data Source to connect to the Composer database.  The database and the account for accessing the database were created in Part 6.  Composer can be installed once the ODBC data source has been created.

Composer can either be installed on your vCenter Server or on a separate Windows Server.  The first option is only available if you are using the Windows version of vCenter.  This walkthrough assumes that Composer is being installed on a separate server.

Service Account

Part 6 covers the steps for creating the Composer service account that will be used to connect Composer to vCenter.  This account will require local administrator rights on the server prior to installing Composer.

Creating the ODBC Data Source

Unfortunately, the Composer installer does not create the ODBC Data Source driver as part of the Composer installation, and this is something that will need to be created by hand before Composer can be successfully installed.  The View Composer database doesn’t require any special settings in the ODBC setup, so this step is pretty easy.

The SQL Server Native Client is not bundled with the Composer installation.  Prior to configuring the ODBC Data Source, the SQL Server Native Client for your version of SQL Server will need to be installed.  The Native Client for common versions of SQL Server can be found at:

The SQL Server Native Client was discontinued after SQL Server 2012, and it was replaced with a SQL Server ODBC Driver.  I do not know if this driver is supported with Composer, and I do not have a SQL Server 2014 database server to test with.

Once the Native Client is installed, you can begin creating the ODBC Data Source.

Note: The ODBC DSN setup can be launched from within the installer, but I prefer to create the data source before starting the installer.  The steps for creating the data source are the same whether you launch the ODBC setup from the start menu or in the installer.

1. Go to Start –> Administrative Tools –> Data Sources (ODBC).  On Windows Server 2012 R2, go to Start –> All Programs –> ODBC Data Sources (64-bit)

2. Click on the System DSN tab.

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3. Click Add.

4. Select the correct SQL Server Native Client and click Finish.  If your database is on SQL Server 2008 R2, the native client will be version 10.0, and if it is on SQL Server 2012 or later, the correct version of the native client is 11.0. This will launch the wizard that will guide you through setting up the data source.

5. When the Create a New Data Source wizard launches, you will need to enter a name for the data source, a description, and the name of the SQL Server that the database resides on.  If you have multiple instances on your SQL Server, it should be entered as ServerName\InstanceName.  Click next to continue.

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6. Select SQL Server Authentication.  Enter your SQL Server username and password that you created above.  Click Next to continue.

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7. Change the default database to the viewComposer database that you created in Part 6.  Click Next to continue.

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8. Click Test Data Source to verify that your settings are correct.

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9. If your database settings are correct, you will see the windows below.  If you do not see the TESTS COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY, verify that you have entered the correct username and password and that your login has the appropriate permissions on the database object.  Click OK to return to the previous window.

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10. Click OK to close the Data Source Administrator and return to the desktop.

 

Installing Horizon Composer

Once the database connection has been set up, Composer can be installed.  The steps for installing Composer are:

1.  Launch the Horizon 7 Composer installer.

2.  If .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 is not installed, you will be prompted to install the feature before continuing. Note: Windows Server 2012 R2 does not contain the binaries for the .Net 3.5 feature, and you need to choose an alternate source path before installing.  Please see this article from Microsoft.

3.  Click Next to continue.

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4.  Accept the license agreement and click next.

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5.  Select the destination folder where Composer will be installed.

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6. Configure Composer to use the ODBC data source that you set up.  You will need to enter the data source name, SQL login, and password before continuing.

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7. After the data source has been configured, you will need to select the port that Composer will use for communicating with the Horizon Connection Servers. 

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8. Click Use an existing SSL certificate, and then click Choose.  Select the certificate and click OK.  Click Next.

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Click Install to start the installation.

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9. Once the installation is finished, you will be prompted to restart your computer.

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So now that Composer is installed, what can we do with it?  Not much at the moment.  A connection server is required to configure and use Composer for linked clone desktops, and the next post in this series will cover how to install that Connection Server.

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