Update VMware Horizon Connection and Enrollment server

(Want to change something in this guide? Just do it on GitHub)

Good tips before you start

I always use to copy the agents and VMware Tools installers to each Connection and Enrollment server before I starts. I’m doing this so I’m sure that I have a copy inside each server if it looses the network share or similar.
Also it’s good to perform the update with the Remote Console trough vSphere because when you update for example VMware Tools and you have RDP in to the server it will loose network connection and your RDP session will get killed.
If you have two datacenters that are connected with Cloud Pod then update DC1 first and when that working update DC2.

Step 1 – Connection Servers – Notify users about new Horizon Client version (Not mandatory)

So the first thing I use to do before updating is to set Horizon Client Restrictions, I’m going that so my users will get a notification that they need to update the Horizon Client.
I use to do this 24-48h before I updating the Connection Servers.
This is nothing that you have to do as the most new versions are backward compatible, but still is a nice thing to do to make sure that as many people as possible have updated to the new Horizon client before you update the Connection Servers.
And after the Connection Servers is updated it’s nice to push a warning to the users that it’s a new version of Horizon Client out and that you soon will block that version.

  1. Go to Horizon View
  2. In the left menu click on “Global Settings” under “Settings”
  3. In the top menu click on “Client Restrictions Settings”
  4. Now click on the “Edit” button
  5. Now as you can see you can do changes on a bunch of different OS. In the example below I have blocked all versions older then 8.5.0 and if the user has version 8.5.0 it will prompt a warning message for the user. Further down in this “Edit” page you can specify what messages you want to show for the user.

Step 2 – Prepare Golden Image

So what I use to do at this time is to prepare the golden image with the new agents. Also it’s a good thing to update VMware Tools if it’s any new version is out.
The agents need to be updated in a specific order not to cause any issues in the following order. For example App Volumes agent should always be uninstalled before updating any other agent.
I know that not all of the times you need to reboot the golden image but I have run in to issues before and when I started to reboot it like in my steps the issues are gone.

  1. Uninstall App Volume agent (if you have it installed)
  2. Reboot
  3. If needed, update VMware Tools
  4. Reboot
  5. If needed, update VMware Horizon Agent
  6. Reboot
  7. If needed, update the DEM agent
  8. Reboot
  9. Install App Volume agent again (new version or the old one again)
  10. Reboot
  11. Then at this last step shutdown the golden image.

Now you just take a new snapshot of the golden image in vSphere, don't push it to the pool or something like that for now we will do that later.

Step 3 – Enrollment server

As we are under maintenance make sure that VMware Tools also are up to date and if not update it and then reboot the Enrollment Server after that’s done give the Enrollment server 20min to start every service before your continuing to update the Enrollment server.

Now update the Enrollment server, this is simple just click next next on the installation. I use to reboot the Enrollment server after the update is done. It’s good if you have two Enrollment servers so you don’t break the enrollment during the update. Otherwise make sure that you have notified the users or similar of the update time so they now that SSO can be broken during this time.

After you have performed the update you can check if it’s working in Horizon View.

  1. Under “Monitor” click on “Dashboard” in the left column.
  2. Then to your right under “System Health” you can see the health of the servers but you can see more information if you click on “View”
  3. Now click on “TrueSSO” in the top menu of the pop-up window.

    As you can see in the picture above my TrueSSO are working fine, I have two dot’s under “Enrollment Server(s)” as I have two. If you only have one then it will only show one dot.

Sometime it can take some time before this turn green, don’t worry give it 20min or similar as after updating the Enrollment Server it need to start all of the services again after the reboot.
If it still are red after 20min clear the history and cache from your browser and restart it. Then login to the Horizon View server again.

Step 4 – Connection Server

Update one Connection Server at the time and make sure it's working before continuing to the next one.
So now let’s see how to check if the Connection Server works

  1. Make sure you have the latest VMWare Tools installed on the Connection Server, if not. Update it and reboot the Connection Server.
  2. If you have updated VMWare Tools make sure that the Connection Server works fine before you update it.
  3. Run the update for the Connection Server it's only next next in the installer.
  4. Now we need to make sure that the Connection Server is working, remember to wait 5-10min before you doing the following step to make sure the service has started. And clear you browsers cache as it use to show the old version if you don't clear it.
  5. Login to Horizon View on an other Connection Server, not the one that you have updated.
  6. In the left column under “Monitor” click on “Dashboard”
  7. Then to the right under “System Health” you can see if it’s any kind of errors but you can also click on “View” to see more information.
  8. This is how view looks like.
  9. When everything looks good continue to do same steps with your other Connection Servers one at the time.
  10. When all of the Connection Servers has been updated it's time to make sure that the adam/LDAP replication are syncing correctly.
  11. RDP in to each of the Connection Servers and open CMD.exe with the administrator user.
  12. For local LDAP run the following command: repadmin.exe /showrepl localhost:389 DC=vdi,DC=vmware,DC=int
  13. If you have Cloud Pod do the same but replace the command with: repadmin.exe /showrepl localhost:22389 dc=vdiglobal,dc=vmware,dc=int

Then I use to wait for about 1-2 hours before I check the event logs on the Connection Servers to spot any errors or issues as it will show errors during update as it looses connections etc. from the other Connection Servers during update.

Step 5 – Push the golden images

Now, push the golden images in to the pools and make sure that you have force on it as your in maintenance it should not damage anyone's work.

Step 6 – RDP server

Now I use to update the RDP servers Horizon Agent, it’s the same step as you can find in the “Step 2 – Prepare Golden Image” section.

Step 7 – Update the GPOs

Now you need to copy the new ADMX files to \\doman.com\SysVol\Policies\PolicyDefinitions\

Final notes

I have for example multiple persistent VDI:s and it’s impossible to update the agent on all of them for at the same time so usually in the final step I use to push the new installation out to them and let them install during reboot when the user reboots them.
But I also have force reboot after one week on them. Make sure that VMware Tools are up to date on them also.

Now we are all set!

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