This post applies to all VMware Horizon 7 versions including 7.13.3 (ESB).
- Change Log
- SQL Server Preparation
- SQL Native Client
- Install/Upgrade Horizon Composer
- After upgrade, Accept Certificate
- Administrator Permissions
- Composer Certificate
- SQL Database Maintenance
- 2023 Mar 22 – updated Install section for Horizon Composer 7.13.3
- 2022 Mar 11 – updated Install section for Horizon Composer 7.13.2
- 2021 May 27 – updated Install section for Horizon Composer 7.13.1
- 2020 Oct 24 – updated Install section for Horizon Composer 7.10.3
- 2020 Oct 16 – updated Install section for Horizon Composer 7.13
- 2020 Jun 5 – updated Install section for Horizon Composer 7.10.2
- 2020 Mar 18 – updated Install section for Horizon Composer 7.12
If you’re doing Instant Clones, then you don’t need Horizon Composer. Composer is only needed for the older method of creating Linked Clones. However, Instant Clones requires Horizon Enterprise Edition, so maybe Composer is your only option.
- Instant Clones in Standard Edition – In Horizon 7.13, all editions of Horizon, including Standard Edition, include licensing for Instant Clones. Horizon 8 removes Composer, so start migrating to Instant Clones today.
vCenter Server planning:
- A single vCenter Server can handle 10,000 VMs. However, this is a single point of failure. VMware recommends separate vCenter servers for each 2,000 or 4,000 VMs. More vCenter Servers means more concurrent vCenter operations, especially if your pools are configured for Refresh on Logoff.
- Horizon 7.2 and newer supports 4,000 VMs per vCenter Server.
- Horizon 7.1 and older supports 2,000 VMs per vCenter Server.
- Each ESXi cluster is managed by one vCenter Server.
- Don’t use existing vCenter servers. Build separate vCenter servers for the vSphere clusters that host Agent VMs. Horizon licenses include vCenter licenses, so there’s no excuse to not use separate vCenter servers.
Horizon View Composer server planning:
- Each vCenter Server requires its own View Composer. There’s a one-to-one mapping.
- View Composer cannot be installed on a Horizon 7 Connection Server.
- For 50 or more desktops, VMware recommends View Composer to have 4 vCPU, and 8 GB RAM.
- A trusted, valid certificate is strongly recommended.
A remote SQL Server is needed for databases:
- vCenter database
- Horizon Composer database
- Horizon Events database
- Supported SQL versions are listed on the Solution/Database Interoperability tab at VMware Product Interoperability Matrices.
SQL Server Preparation
Only SQL Authentication is supported.
- Open the properties of the SQL Server.
- On the Security page, make sure SQL Server authentication is enabled.
- Create a new SQL database for View Composer.
- Call it VMwareHorizonComposer or similar. Then switch to the Options page.
- Select your desired Recovery model, and click OK.
- View Composer only supports SQL authentication on remote SQL servers. Expand Security, right-click Logins, and click New Login to create a new SQL login.
- Name the new account.
- Select SQL Server authentication.
- Enter a password for the new account.
- Uncheck the box next to Enforce password policy.
- Then switch to the User Mapping page.
- On the User Mapping page, in the upper half, check the Map box for VMwareHorizonComposer.
- On the bottom, check the box for the db_owner role, and click OK.
SQL Native Client
- Download SQL Native Client (sqlncli.msi).
- On the Horizon View Composer server, run sqlncli.msi.
- In the Welcome to the Installation Wizard for SQL Server 2012 Native Client page, click Next.
- In the License Agreement page, select I accept, and click Next.
- In the Feature Selection page, click Next.
- In the Ready to Install the Program page, click Install.
- In the Completing the SQL Server 2012 Native Client installation page, click Finish.
- On the Horizon View Composer server, run ODBC Data Sources (64-bit) from the Start Menu.
- On the System DSN tab, click Add.
- Select SQL Server Native Client, and click Finish.
- Enter the name HorizonComposer for the DSN, and enter the SQL server name. Click Next.
- Change the selection to With SQL Server authentication, and enter the credentials of the new ViewComposer SQL account. Then click Next.
- Check the box next to Change the default database, and select the VMwareHorizonComposer database. Then click Next.
- Click Finish.
- Click OK twice.
- Upgrade can be performed in-place.
- Windows Server 2019 is supported with Horizon Composer 7.8 and newer.
- Don’t install on Horizon Connection Server: Horizon Composer cannot be installed on the Horizon Connection Server. Composer and Connection Server must be separate machines.
- Extra Memory for vCenter: If you install Horizon Composer on a Windows vCenter server, VMware recommends adding 8 GB of RAM to the server. See VMware 2105261 Intermittent provisioning issues and generic errors when Composer and vCenter Server are co-installed
- vCenter Service Account: if you install Horizon Composer on a Windows vCenter server, login as the same account that was used to install vCenter. See VMware 2017773 Installing or upgrading View Composer fails with error: The wizard was interrupted before VMware View Composer could be completely installed
- Internet access for CRL checking: If the Horizon Composer server does not have Internet access, see VMware 2081888 Installing Horizon View Composer fails with the error: Error 1920 Service VMware Horizon View Composer (svid) failed to start
- Certificate: If you install a certificate now, Composer installer will prompt you to select it during installation. Or, you can replace the certificate later.
- Download: Horizon 7.13.3 (ESB) Composer.
- Install: Run the downloaded VMware-viewcomposer-7.13.3.exe.
- In the Welcome to the Installation Wizard for VMware Horizon 7 Composer page, click Next.
- In the License Agreement page, select I accept the terms, and click Next.
- In the Destination Folder page, click Next.
- In the Database Information page, enter the name of the ODBC DSN.
- Enter the SQL account credentials (no Windows accounts), and click Next. For remote SQL databases, only SQL accounts will work. The SQL account must be db_owner of the database.
- The VMware Horizon 7 Composer Port Settings page appears. If you already installed a valid certificate on the Composer server, select Use an existing SSL certificate, and select the certificate. Click Next.
- In the Ready to Install the Program page, click Install.
- In the Installer Completed page, click Finish.
- Click Yes when asked to restart the computer.
- If you encounter installation issues, see VMware 2087379 VMware Horizon View Composer help center
After Upgrade, Accept Untrusted Certificate
If you upgraded Composer, then go to Horizon Console or Horizon Administrator and verify the certificate. Ideally, Composer should be using a Trusted Certificate. Or you might have to Accept an untrusted certificate.
In Horizon Console 7.10 or newer: (scroll down for Horizon Administrator instructions)
- On the left, expand Monitor and click Dashboard.
- On the right, in the top left box labelled System Health, click View.
- With Components selected on the left, on the right, switch to the tab named View Composer Servers.
- Click the link for Untrusted Certificate.
- Scroll down and Accept the certificate.
Or in Horizon Administrator:
- On the top left, click Dashboard.
- On the right, expand View Composer Servers and click the red Composer server.
- Next to Untrusted certificate, click Verify.
- Click the button labelled View Certificate.
- At the bottom, click the button labelled Accept.
If Horizon View Composer is installed on a standalone server (not on vCenter), Horizon Connection Server will need a service account with administrator permissions on the Horizon View Composer server. Add your Horizon View Composer Service Account to the local Administrators group.
- Open the MMC Certificates snap-in (certlm.msc).
- Make sure your Composer certificate private key is exportable. Try exporting the certificate, and make sure Yes, export the private key is a selectable option.
- Stop the VMware Horizon 7 Composer service.
- In the certificates console, double-click your Composer certificate. On the Details tab, note the Thumbprint.
- Run Command Prompt as Administrator
- Change the directory to C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware View Composer.
sviconfig -operation=replacecertificate -delete=false.
- Select the certificate that matches the thumbprint you noted earlier.
- Then restart the VMware Horizon 7 Composer service.
SQL Database Maintenance
SQL password: The password for the SQL account is stored in C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware View Composer\SviWebService.exe.config. To change the password, run SviConfig ‑operation=SaveConfiguration as detailed at VMware 1022526 The View Composer service fails to start after the Composer DSN password is changed.
Database Move: To move the database to a new SQL server, you must uninstall Composer and reinstall it. See VMware 2081899 VMware Horizon View Composer fails to work properly after migrating the Composer database to a new SQL server
- Back to VMware Horizon 7