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Category Archives: Enterprise Desktop

PCoIP issues with Horizon View Desktops

There are various reasons a user might experience a blank (black) screen when using the PCoIP protocol with Horizon View and our Support Engineers get calls on this every day. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Misconfiguration of connection server settings.
  • vRAM shortage on the View virtual machine.
  • Incorrect video driver version installed on the View virtual machine.

Note: Troubleshoot your PCoIP issues in the proper order

It is important that the steps outlined in KB article:
Troubleshooting a black screen when logging into a Horizon View virtual desktop using PCoIP (1028332) be followed in the order provided in order to quickly isolate and identify the proper resolution. They are also ordered in the most appropriate sequence to minimize data loss. The KB walks you through a serious of checks, verifying that various requirements are met and that your systems are configured properly. You will see many articles referenced as you work through each step. Do not skip steps. A slow, methodical approach works best here.

If you still see a problem after reading through the body of the KB article, there are also a number of related articles listed in the ‘See Also’ section. If you want to be notified when this article is updated there is an rss link you can subscribe to.

Generating and Troubleshooting SSL certificates in View

VMware View SecurityNext up in our series of VMware View topics, we’re going to talk about security. I spoke with a couple of our top support engineers about View security and they identified three Knowledgebase articles that solve more support requests than any others in the area of security, namely SSL certificates.  They recommend customers use:

In View 5.1 and later, you configure certificates for View by importing the certificates into the Windows local computer certificate store on the View server host. By default, clients are presented with this certificate when they visit a secure page such as View Administrator. You can use the default certificate for lab environments, and one could even make the argument that it is OK for fire-walled environments, but otherwise you should replace it with your own certificate from a trusted CA (Verisign, GoDaddy, others) as soon as possible. They also told me you should use an SSL certificate from a trusted CA when setting up a Security Server for your environment when the Security Server can be used from outside your firewall (Internet) to access View desktops inside your firewall.

My engineers stressed to me the importance of following each step in these KBs one at a time when you are filling out the forms on those sites to obtain your certificate. It is easy to make a mistake and you might not receive something that will work for you.

Note: The default certificate is not signed by a commercial Certificate Authority (CA). Use of noncertified certificates can allow untrusted parties to intercept traffic by masquerading as your server.

 

When Linked Clones Go Stale

One of the biggest call drivers within our VMware View support centers revolves around linked clone pools. Some of your users may be calling you to report that their desktop is not available. You begin to check your vCenter and View Administrator portal and discover some of the following symptoms:

  • You cannot provision or recompose a linked clone desktop pool
  • You see the error:
    Desktop Composer Fault: Virtual Machine with Input Specification already exists
  • Provisioning a linked clone desktop pool fails with the error:
    Virtual machine with Input Specification already exists
  • The Connection Server shows that linked clone virtual machines are stuck in a deleting state
  • You cannot delete a pool from the View Administrator page
  • You are unable to delete linked clone virtual machines
  • When viewing a pools Inventory tab, the status of one or more virtual machines may be shown as missing

There are a number of reasons this might happen, and KB: 2015112 Manually deleting linked clones or stale virtual desktop entries from the View Composer database in VMware View Manager and Horizon View covers resolving this topic comprehensively, but let’s discuss a bit of the background around these issues.

When a linked clone pool is created or modified, several backend databases are updated with configuration data. First there is the SQL database supporting vCenter Server, next there is the View Composer database, and thirdly the ADAM database. Let’s also throw in Active Directory for good measure. With all of these pieces each playing a vital role in the environment, it becomes apparent that should things go wrong, there may be an inconsistency created between these databases. These inconsistencies can present themselves with the above symptoms.

Recently a new Fling was created to address these inconsistencies. If you’re not acquainted with Flings, they’re tools our engineers build to help you explore and manipulate your systems. However, it’s important to remember they come with a disclaimer:

“I have read and agree to the Technical Preview Agreement. I also understand that Flings are experimental and should not be run on production systems.”

If you’re just in your lab environment though, they are an excellent way to learn and understand the workings of your systems at a deeper level. Here is the Fling: ViewDbChk. For production systems we recommend following the tried and true procedures documented in KB 2015112. The KB includes embedded videos to help walk you through the steps.

VMware View – Top 20 KB Articles

announcement Hey there VMware View implementers, here’s a top 20 VMware View specific KBs list to help you avoid issues that many of you have reported. This list is hand picked by our View Support Engineers. Keep this list handy.

  1. VMware Horizon View trending issues by product version (2089340)
  2. Manually deleting linked clones or stale virtual desktop entries from the View Composer database in VMware View Manager and Horizon View (2015112)
  3. Troubleshooting SSL certificate issues in VMware Horizon View 5.1 and later (2082408)
  4. Troubleshooting VMware Horizon View HTML Access (2046427)
  5. Troubleshooting a black screen when logging into a Horizon View virtual desktop using PCoIP (1028332)
  6. Pool settings are not saved, new pools cannot be created, and vCenter Server tasks are not processed in a Horizon View environment (2082413)
  7. VMware View Composer installation best practices and troubleshooting (2083555)
  8. Moving a persistent data disk to another View desktop (1033286)
  9. Configuring VMware View Event database on an SQL server fails with the error: An error occurred while attempting to configure the database (1029537)
  10. Enabling RSA SecurID authentication on a View Connection Server fails when there are multiple network interfaces on the Connection Server (2043055)
  11. Manually deleting replica virtual machines in VMware Horizon View 5.x (1008704)
  12. Troubleshooting Horizon View user permission issues with vCenter Server (2085142)
  13. Troubleshooting Persona Management (2008457)
  14. Investigating VMware View Composer failure codes (2085204)
  15. Generating and importing a signed SSL certificate into VMware Horizon View 5.1/5.2/5.3 using Microsoft Certreq (2032400)
  16. Managing persistent disks in VMware Horizon View 4.6 and later (2086416)
  17. Troubleshooting Agent Unreachable status in VMware Horizon View (2083535)
  18. Performing maintenance or Composer operations on the VMware Horizon View desktops fail (2086530)
  19. Connections to the Horizon View Connection Server or Security Server fail with SSL errors (2072459)
  20. Performing maintenance or Composer operations on the VMware Horizon View desktops fail (2086530)

New Horizon View poster available today!

Remember the immensely popular Network port diagram for vSphere 5.x we released back in July? Many of you got your hands on a physical copy at VMworld that we were handing out at the Social Support booth in the Hang Space.

Today we make good on a promise to release one for Horizon View 5.2 Click the image to be taken to the KB article which contains the pdf file.

Network port diagram for Horizon View

Network port diagram for Horizon View (2061913)

Let us know what you think in the comment area below; we’re interested!

Trending Issues in ESXi and vCenter Server

As we spoke about in this announcement, here are our currently trending KB articles related to ESXi and vCenter Server. These are the issues the majority of users are encountering. See anything familiar?

How to remove linked clone references from the VMware View Composer database

Greetings from the KBTV team!

Today we have a new video that discusses and demonstrates the process for removing linked clone virtual machine references from the VMware View Composer database using the SviConfig command.

The solution described within this video applies to VMware View versions 4.5 and later. Further information can be seen in the related Knowledge Base article: Manually deleting linked clones or stale virtual desktop entries from VMware View Manager 4.5 and later (2015112).

For instructions for older versions of VMware View such as 3.x and 4.0.x, check out VMware Knowledge Base article: Manually deleting linked clones or stale desktop entries from VMware View Manager 4.5 and later (1008658).

 

VMware View 5.1 Tech Preview – A deeper look at the View Composer API for Array Integration

To start off with the new week we have a new video which will demonstrate our View Composer API for Array Integration in VMware View 5.1 which is currently in a "Tech Preview" state. "Tech Preview" means that the feature is experimental and should only be used in a test and development environment. For more details read about VMware Experimental Feature Support.

Essentially what the feature allows you to do is to offload the creation of the linked clones which back your View desktops to the storage array, and let the storage array handle this task. The main advantage of VCAI is an improvement in performance and a reduction in the time taken to provision desktops based on linked clone pools. This task can now be offloaded to the array, which can then provision these linked clones natively rather than have the ESXi host do it.

This video features our friend Cormac Hogan who is a Senior Technical Marketing Architect for Storage here at VMware.  You can read more concerning this topic in: A closer look at the View Composer API for Array Integration [incl. Video].

You can follow Cormac at @VMwareStorage on Twitter and keep updated with all things related to VMware Storage by subscribing to the VMware Storage Blog.

Collecting diagnostic information for VMware View

Greetings KBTV friends!

We have a new video for you today. it is a short video, but one which will be useful for all users who ever have to troubleshoot their VMware View environments.

This video demonstrates how to collect the diagnostic information for the various components within a VMware View environment. This can be especially useful when working with VMware's Technical Support staff in relation to a Support Request you may have opened, as by providing them with the necessary log support data at the beginning of the investigation process will speed up the entire process and help you get back to a more stable environment as soon as possible. 

For additional details see Collecting diagnostic information for VMware View (1017939) in our Knowledge Base

 

Tech Talk Episode 3 Part 3 – VMware View Discussion

Here is another video wherein Rick and Scott discuss VMware View.

This is the third and concluding part in a three-part series which dives into various different aspects of the VMware View product. In this third installment Rick and Scott discuss how the VMware ThinApp product ties into the VMware View product.