HomeVirtualizationVDIVDI-LAB-2018 – Part 8 – Installing Horizon 7 Composer

VDI-LAB-2018 – Part 8 – Installing Horizon 7 Composer


In this part, we are going to install VMware Horizon Composer. First, we need to prepare the server before the installation, adding the Composer user created on the domain controller, applying user rights and preparing SQL Server native client (For this configuration we are going to use same steps in part 7 of this series). Then, we can proceed with the Horizon Composer installation.

This is part 8 out of 12 of the VDI LAB series. Check out the introduction first.

The ultimate VDI deployment guide (from scratch) with VMware vSphere 6.5 and Horizon View 7.3 – 2018. 😉

1. Prerequisites

  • Windows Server 2016 template, previously created in part 4 of this series
  • Horizon Composer 7.3 installer.
  • SQL Server 2012 Native Client image (It will be downloaded in section 3)

2. Preparing the VM

  1. Deploy the VM from the template previously created.
  2. Configure a static IP address.
  3. Change computer name and add the server to the domain.
Part8 Image01

If you go to your domain controller, the server should be added in the default Computers folder. Move it to the Computers OU created during the domain controller set up.

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3. Before Horizon Composer installation


To prepare the server before the Horizon Composer installation, let’s follow the same procedure used in part 7 of this series, where the vCenter server was installed and configured.

To all these subsections, steps are the same. First, we need to add Composer user to the administrator group, then add Composer user to “Log on as a service” policy and finally install and configure SQL Server Native Client.

3.1 Add Horizon Composer user to admins group

  1. Go to Windows / Computer Management
  2. Go to Local Users and Groups / Groups, right-click on Administrators and click Properties.
  3. Click Add... button.
  4. Type Composer user (previously created), click Check Names and Click OK.
  5. Input Domain Controller credentials.
  6. The Composer user will be added to the Administrators group.
Part8 Image02

3.2 Add vCenter user to “Log on as a service” policy

  1. Go to Windows / Windows Administrative tools.
  2. Double-click on Local Security Policy
  3. From Local Security Policy, go to Local Policies / User Rights Assignment, double-click on Log on as a service.
  4. Click Add user or group...
  5. Type vCenter user, click Check Names and Click OK.
  6. Type Domain controller server credentials and the vCenter user will be added to the log on as a service policy.
Part8 Image03
  1. Log out of the computer and sing in back using the vCenter user.

3.3 Install SQL Server Native Client

Note: Follow the same steps used for the vCenter server part.

3.4 Configure ODBC data source

  1. Go to System and Security / Administrative Tools, double-click ODBC Data Sources (64-bits)
  2. Select System DNS tab and click Add...
  3. Select SQL Server Native Client 11.0 and click Finish.
  4. Name the Data Source and select the SQL server previously created from the drop-list. Click Next.

Note: This name will be used during Horizon Composer installation.

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  1. Select Windows Authentications and click Next.
  2. Select the Database created for vCenter from the drop-list. Click Next.
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  1. Leave as default and click Finish.
  2. Test the Data Source… Make sure that the “Tests Completed Successfully”.

4. Horizon Composer 7.3 installation

  1. After all previous steps, now is time to install Horizon Composer. Double-click the VMware View Composer 7.3 installer.
Part8 Image06
  1. Click Next.
Part8 Image07
  1. Accept EULA and click Next.
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  1. Leave as default if possible. Click Next.
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  1. Enter DNS and username created in the ODBC configuration. Click Next.
Part8 Image10
  1. Leave port as default and click Next
Part8 Image11
  1. Click Install.
Part8 Image12

Note: It is almost certain you will get the following error message.

Part8 Image13

To solve this issue, without closing the error message, go Services and double-click on VMware Horizon 7 Composer service.

Part8 Image14

Go to Log On tab and add the Composer user/password from the active directory.

Part8 Image15

Click retry on the error message and the installation will continue. This is a strange error (VMware bug) and so far I haven't’ found another solution for this.

  1. After the installation is complete, click FInish.
Part8 Image16
  1. Reboot this Horizon Composer server.

5. Special permissions to the Composer user

The View Composer user needs special permissions in order to create the linked-clones VMs. These permissions need to be added to the folder where the computers are going to be created. By default, is the "Computers" folder.

@Domain Controller Server

  1. Got to Active Directory User and Computers. Click on View and check Advanced Features.
Part8 Image17
  1. Right-click on the Computer folder and click Properties. From Computer Properties go to the Security tab and click Advanced.
Part8 Image18
  1. From the Permissions tab, click Add.
Part8 Image19
  1. Click Select a principal, find the Composer user and click OK.
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  1. From the Permissions Entry, select Type: Allow, and Applies to: This object and all descendant objects. Check the following permissions (Not all of them visibles from the image):
  • List Contents

  • Read All Properties

  • Write All Properties

  • Read Permissions

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  • Reset Password

  • Create Computer Objects

  • Delete Computer Objects

Part8 Image21
  1. Click OK to accept and close all the windows.
Juan Mulford
Juan Mulford
I have been active in IT for over fourteen years now. I am a solutions architect, working with storage, virtualization, and VDI solutions. For the past ten years, I have been living and working in Taiwan.

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