Horizon Cloud Connector Know-How Series – Onboarding Horizon Cloud Connector

Nov 13, 2020
Prerna Joshi

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Prerna Joshi is currently working as a Member of Technical Staff in VMware for 1.5 years. She has extensively worked on automating the project workflow, integrating different tools with the project. She manages the Continuous Integration/Continuous Development pipeline and has worked on the Azure VMware Solution enablement feature for Horizon Cloud Connector.

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In the first post in our Horizon Cloud Connector Know-How Series, we discovered what is Horizon Cloud Connector, and the key role it plays in enabling Horizon administrators to start adopting the benefits for their VDI environments. To recap, the Horizon Cloud Connector is a virtual appliance that connects the existing on-premises Horizon deployments to the Horizon Control Plane, a cloud management console that consists of a set of services including Image Management, Application Management and Monitoring, etc. Horizon Control Plane unifies and simplifies Day 2 management for all your Horizon environments regardless if they are on-premises or in the cloud.

To establish connectivity between Horizon Control Plane and Horizon on-prem deployments, administrators need to complete the pairing of Cloud Connector with Connection Servers. As the result of the process, the Horizon Cloud Connector virtual appliance connects the Connection Server in order to manage the Horizon subscription license and other Horizon Control Plane services mentioned above.

The minimum Connection Server version required to use all Cloud Connector features is 7.10. Horizon Cloud Connector and Connection Server compatibility can be checked at the Compatibility matrix.

Figure 1: The architecture of a typical Horizon implementation and where Horizon Cloud Connector sits.

Onboarding Horizon Cloud Connector:

On-boarding can be simplified as per the following three steps:

• Deploy the Cloud Connector appliance.

• Configure the Cloud Connector appliance.

• Pair the Cloud Connector appliance with the Connection Server.

We will now show you the detailed steps to onboard Horizon Cloud Connector.

Deploy the Cloud Connector

  1. After the customer has purchased Horizon Universal License, a “Welcome email“ is sent to the customer’s registered email address from the VMware Horizon Team with the link to download Cloud Connector OVA and other Horizon Cloud details. Please note the registered email address may be different from the Horizon administrator’s email address. A sample email looks like this:
  2. Download the OVA file for the latest version of the Horizon Cloud Connector OVA file. (The rest of the document steps assume that the reader is using Cloud connector 1.7 or above.)
  3. Log in to vSphere Web Client and start OVF (Open Virtualization Format) deployment wizard. Watch the video for step-by-step guide to deploy Horizon Cloud Connector.

Configure the Cloud Connector

  1. Cloud Connector needs internet connectivity and access to Connection Servers for a successful pairing.Cloud Connector pre-requisites and health of Cloud Connector services can be checked before pairing so that the customer admin can identify the issues and try to resolve them using the remediation steps mentioned with the error message. Verify Cloud Connector has all the pre-requisites by running the command:
    /opt/vmware/bin/precheck.sh <<CS_FQDN>>.

    Customer Admin can follow the remediation steps mentioned in case of any error.

    If the output contains Hostname not resolved error, then make sure DNS can resolve the Connection Server FQDN. Restart hze-core and CSMS services.

  2. For enhanced security, SSH (Secure Shell) on the Cloud Connector appliance is disabled. If the customer wants to connect to Cloud Connector through another terminal over the Secure Shell, they must enable it on the Cloud Connector appliance. Enable SSH by running a command:
    /opt/vmware/bin/confirgure-adapter.py –sshEnable.

    (Enabling SSH is an optional step for the customers.)

Pair the Cloud Connector with the Connection Server

  1. Login to the Cloud Connector URL using your My VMware credentials. If View Onboarding Console is not loading due to a Bad Gateway error, it could be due to the following reasons:
    1. Cloud Connector is deployed on an ESXi host directly, which is unsupported.
    2. Incorrect network details entered while deploying Cloud Connector.
    3. The Firewall or proxy is blocking calls to Horizon Cloud and/or CA endpoints to validation certificate.

If you face any of these issues, please refer to KB-79859 for solution steps.

Also please ensure the Cloud Connector time is accurate. Make it coordinated with the ESXi host, or else onboarding will not be allowed. Follow the steps given in KB-76088 to enable Time Sync on Cloud Connector appliance.

  1. After successful login, enter the Connection Server FQDN and domain details to initiate the connection to the Connection Server.
    Note: The User account should have the super administrator privileges to onboard a Horizon.
  2. Give a name to the Pod and specify the Data Centre location. In the case of Upgrade, enter blue adapter FQDN and accept thumbprint.
  3. The Pairing process will be completed after saving these details. Verify the Cloud Connector Health is okay on the Success Screen. In case of any failures, you can reach out to the VMware support team for further help.

Congratulations! The on-prem Horizon Pod is now enabled to access VMware Horizon Control Plane. Horizon Subscription License will be automatically pushed to the Connection Server associated with the Horizon Pod within four hours of onboarding. For any issues, please feel free to contact the VMware Support team.

Enabling Horizon Cloud Service features:

Once the onboarding is finished, the License feature works automatically. To use other Horizon Control Plane features like Image Management, Universal Broker, Health status dashboard and Horizon Help Desk Tool, customers will need to perform the following steps:

  1. To login to Horizon Admin Portal, Perform domain bind and domain join operations.
    1. Log in to VMware Horizon Control Plane using My VMware credentials.
    2. After successful login, under the ‘General Setup’ section, select the ‘CONFIGURE’ button at the right-hand side of the ‘Active Directory’ configuration.
    3. Register the domain using domain administrator credentials.
    4. Add administrator groups.
  2. Click on the “Capacity” page under the Settings tab in the left column.
  3. Enable Auto upgrade for the Horizon Pods to automatically upgrade it from an older version to a newer version available.

Cloud Connector Documentation Links:

Requirements Checklist

DNS Port Protocol Requirements

Pre Check Tool

Onboarding a Horizon Pod (Pairing)

Edit Domain

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