Implementing a VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Horizon View 6.2 – Part 4: Configuring the RDS hosts

20151023 - 1In part 3 we configured the templates that will be used by our desktops pools. In this part I demonstrate how to provision the RDS hosts that will provide applications to remote users without the need for a full desktop. I will also install the applications ready for them to be added to a View Application Farm.

Other posts in this series:

  1. Design
  2. Installing the Connection Servers and Composer
  3. Creating the templates
  4. Configuring the RDS hosts
  5. Pool configuration
  6. Application farm configuration
  7. Load-balancing
  8. Remote access

Install Remote Desktop Services

Install and configure two Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual machines. I have used the following hardware:

  • 2 vCPU
  • 8GB memory
  • 50GB hard disk
  • 20GB (additional) hard disk
  • VMXNET3 network card
  • Virtual hardware 10/11

Obviously these should be sized according to the needs of the design. Once the servers are built, install VMware Tools on both and patch with the latest updates.

On each server, open Server Manager and on the left-hand side select Local Server. Click Manage and then click Add Roles and Features:

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Click Next >

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Select Remote Desktop Services installation and click Next >

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Click Quick Start and then click Next >

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Select Session-based desktop deployment and then click Next >

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Click Next >

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Select Restart the destination server automatically if required and then click Deploy. The wizard will begin installing the features:

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The server will reboot and then the setup process will resume.

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Click Close.

Install applications

One of the design requirements (see part 1, Requirements, R8) is that additional Microsoft Office applications (Project and Visio 2016) must be provided to remote users. Every remote user has a computer at home with Microsoft Office installed, but some users run platforms which do not support all Office applications.

A design decision has been made to configure a View Application Farm to provision these applications:

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To install these applications, the RDS host must first be put into the correct mode. From an elevated command prompt on each server, use:

change user /install

Install the necessary applications, patching them to the latest revision where possible.

Please note: for applications like Microsoft Office, you will need the volume licence editions.

When done, place the RDS host back into execute mode using:

change user /execute

After both applications have been installed on both RDS hosts, launch Server Manager on each host and click Remote Desktop Services on the left-hand side. Click QuickSessionConnect:

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Under RemoteApp Programs, click Tasks and then click Publish RemoteApp Programs:

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Select the applications you installed and click Next >

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Click Publish:

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Click Close.

Using your browser to navigate to either server using the following URL:

https://<server name>/rdweb

Once authenticated you should see a number of applications, including the ones you installed above:

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Horizon View Agent

To ensure the RDSH servers can be used by Horizon View the View Agent needs to be installed.

Use the following from an elevated command prompt on each RDS host to install the View Agent (substitute text in bold accordingly):

VMware-viewagent-x86_64-6.2.1-3284564.exe /S /V"/qn VDM_VC_MANAGED_AGENT=0 VDM_SERVER_NAME=view1.nl.mdb-lab.com VDM_SERVER_USERNAME=sa_view@nl.mdb-lab.com VDM_SERVER_PASSWORD="VMware1!" ADDLOCAL=Core,ThinPrint,USB"

The servers will reboot automatically.

Coming up

In this part we installed and configured two Windows servers. On each one we installed the Remote Desktop Services role and the applications needed for our remote users.

In part 5 we configure the desktop pools needed to deploy the virtual desktops.

7 thoughts on “Implementing a VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Horizon View 6.2 – Part 4: Configuring the RDS hosts

  1. Pingback: Implementing a VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Horizon View 6.2 – Part 1: Design | virtualHobbit

  2. Pingback: Implementing a VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Horizon View 6.2 – Part 2: Installing the Connection Servers and Composer | virtualHobbit

  3. Pingback: Implementing a VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Horizon View 6.2 – Part 3: Creating the templates | virtualHobbit

  4. Pingback: Implementing a VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Horizon View 6.2 – Part 5: | virtualHobbit

  5. Pingback: Implementing a VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Horizon View 6.2 – Part 6: Application farm configuration | virtualhobbit

  6. Pingback: Implementing a VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Horizon View 6.2 – Part 7: Load-balancing | virtualhobbit

  7. Pingback: Implementing a VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Horizon View 6.2 – Part 8: Remote access | virtualhobbit

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