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Upgrading Horizon Connection Server to 7.12 Release, How to?


Here is another instalment in this upgrade Horizon Series. In this post we will go through the process of upgrading individual connection server to Horizon 7.12 release and then will refer to POD and Cloud POD architecture. As of previous post, we have successfully upgraded, Horizon clients and View composer server.

Before we go into step-by-step procedure to upgrade connection server to latest release, let’s look at the system requirements for Connection Servers. Horizon Connection can be installed on a dedicated physical or virtual machine with required resources.

Hardware Requirements for Horizon Connection Server

H/W Component Required Recommended 
Processor Pentium IV 2.0 GHz or higher 4 CPUs 
Network Adapter 100 Mpbs 1 Gbps
Memory 4 GB or higher At least 10 GB memory for deployments of 50 or more remote desktops 

Now this is little fun trivia. Since Connection server is a generic term that refers to multiple server roles such as Standard, Replica, Security and Enrollment Server. So whose requirements I am talking about?

Well, these requirements apply to standard, replica and security server Horizon Connection Server instances. Did I miss Enrollment Server? Well not really, that was intentional of course. Enrollment server enables TrueSSO, so it has some add-on requirement, Visit VMware Docs for more details. It shares most of the requirements with other roles. I will keep Enrollment Server out of our discussion here onwards in this post.

Operating System Support for Horizon Connection Server

Below is the list of supported operating systems for standard, replica and security server Horizon Connection Server instances.

Operating System Version Edition 
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter 
Windows Server 2012 R2 64-bit Standard, Datacenter 
Windows Server 2016 64-bit Standard, Datacenter 
Windows Server 2019 64-bit Standard, Datacenter

I hope you guys remember what I discussed about Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 in previous posts, so upgrade to at least Windows server 2012 R2.

Security requirements for Connection Server

Read more about security and certificates related requirements for connection server at VMware Docs.

Upgrading Horizon Connection Server

As discussed in initial post, If you have two or more Connection Server instances behind load balancer, in order to minimize the downtime, remove Connection Server instances from the load balanced cluster one at a time while upgrading them. 

Procedure I am going to describe in this post is in-place upgrade for upgrading Connection Servers that are not paired with security servers. For example, Connection Servers that are dedicated to LAN connections.

However, if security servers are being used, since Security Servers have one to one relationship with connection servers, hence upgrade each security server and its paired Connection Server instance. We can achieve zero downtime, if security server and connection server pairs are upgraded one by one. Removing each security server from the load-balanced group, upgrading the pair, and then adding the security server back to the group.

Upgrading Connection Server

Verify that you have a domain user account with administrative privileges to run the installer and perform the upgrade. The Connection Server installer determines if an older version is already installed and performs the upgrade. The installer also updates the View LDAP so we don’t need to worry about making changes to ADLDS database.

So let’s get started. The installer gives less options in upgrade process of connection server compared to fresh installation of it. 

And that was it. We do not require reboot after upgrading connection server.

So in order to quickly confirm successful deployment of connection server, checked programs and it was looking good here.

Now the important part was to access the console, verify details and re-enable connection server, since I had disabled it prior to upgrade.

Now that was quite a relief but still I have not done the test connection to VDI. And to do that, I need to upgrade the Horizon Agent and also update the GPOs.

Upgrading a Cloud Pod Architecture Environment

Upgrade procedure for connection servers in Single POD architecture is quite similar to what we discussed.

Use the following process to upgrade a Cloud Pod Architecture environment. 

  1. Upgrade all Connection Server instances in one pod, according to the usual process for upgrading a single Connection Server instance. 
  2. Repeat the preceding step for the other pods in the pod federation, upgrading each pod one-by-one. 

During the upgrade process, some Connection Server instances use the latest version of Horizon 7 and some use the older version. Although mixed-version environment is supported beginning with Horizon 7 version 7.4, new features will not work in a mixed environment.

Thats all in this post. I’ll update Agent upgrade details, GPO upgrade and test connection results in next post Wrapping up with GPO and Agent upgrade.


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