Monday, June 29, 2015

VMware Horizon 6.1.1 Application Remoting over HTML5

With the announcement of Horizon 6.1.1 release, there are some new features added to Horizon solution.  Of the few, one of them is Application Remoting which now support over HTML5 browser.

I have that testing since Horizon 6.1 in a technical preview and was not able to show it.  With this release, it is now official so I shall go through some of the screenshot how this was done.

The setup is all similar is no complicated steps just an installation of an .exe binary on top of latest View 6.1 agent and the HTML access binary on the connection server.

After which you have the freedom of choice to use a Horizon Client or a HTML5 to access your desktop as well as Applications remoting.  The best part of this is there is no plugin needed for browser this not just keep the browser clean from any crashes which can be resulted as well as messing up browser performance and behaviour.

Using the Horizon Client this time, there are several improvement.  Remember when I mentioned in my previous post, this has better improvement.

Here I am using a mobile Horizon Client:

In the Horizon Client, you will see your recent application you access and desktops.  You can choose to connect to other servers from the Servers  tab.

Once logon, you will see all the desktop and applications available.

Once connected you will see a side bar available with all the applications and desktops.  You can scroll down the list if there are more beyond the screen.

Once you choose an application, you will see appear on the client.  Here you see I opened MS Paint and calculator.  The side bar can then be hidden for more viewable space.

You can open more than one instance of the same application and it will be there.  A long press on the application allows you to close it or just click on the cross icon on the application window.

On the HTML5 browser, this can be on mobile or on a laptop.  Here I have one with mobile Chrome browser.
 Login via the mobile browser.

 List of all the virtual desktop and applications I am entitled to.

 The left panel toolbar that show all the virtual desktops and applications I can open and active.

Here you see I have two calculator applications and one MS Paint.  Native Windows applications on an android mobile device.  (Though I feel this is rather small but would work great on a tablet for sure.)

On my laptop I am using Firefox, you will be presented with your desktops and applications.  This is utilizing the Blast protocol use on both the desktop and application.

Here you see after pointing the Connection server you get presented all the applications entitled.  You can also favourite the applications by clicking on the star so you do not have to search for it.  You can also present a Thinapp application as a Hosted App.

Upon clicking on the application, you will be presented with the below.  You can see I have open a MS Word and two MS Paint.  As MS Paint is the same, they are displayed under the same group on the taskbar on the left.  The task bar, just like on the mobile client can be hidden and call upon.

The the screenshots from mobile Horizon Client to the HTML5 mobile browser and desktop browser, the look and feel and way of maneuvering around  is rather similar.   This will be great for end users as they do not have to relearn a new interface for every different application or device used.

There are few questions arises.  What if you need to change password, typically this will have no impact on your desktop or applications.  As long you are in desktop or application either on HTML5 or Horizon Client, you can still change them via a Ctrl-Alt-Del option.

Hope this gives you a good picture of HTML app remoting.

Update 6th Jul 2015
Added HTML5 access via a mobile browser.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Unable to verify certificate for vCenter on Horizon View Connection Server

Recently during an outage of my host during to hardware issue in my home lab where my vCenter 6.0 sit on it, resulted some strange behaviour on my View Connection Server 6.1.  I encounter the below error message:

When I go to my Horizon View Dashboard, it looks fine.

When I try to remove the vCenter entry under the Server options and adding it back I end up with another error when trying to add the View Composer.
However this is not related to the strange behaviour above.  But rather this is due to my login did not contain a domain\username but instead of use just username.

Back to the strange behaviour.  It seems my connection to my vCenter via Connection Server has a sudden slowness and the certificate seems to be corrupted.  I tried to find a solution to replace the self-signed (in my case) certificate on my View Connection Server however in vain.  I tried removing the vCenter and re-adding it back, that does not help.

So I chanced upon some steps by our internal team and use it to resolve my problem and it works.

In summary, this is what was done.  First we backup the ADAM database and then we invalid the entry of the vCenter in View Connection Server.  Then we try to add the existing vCenter again.  So now we have two entry of the vCenter where oneis an invalid entry.  Taking from the valid entry certificate thumbprint, we overwrite the invalid ones and remove the latter vCenter entry.  Next revert back the entry to previous valid entry.

Here are the detailed steps that help me resolved my issues.

To manually regenerate data:

Note: Back up the ADAM database before proceeding. For more information, see Performing an end-to-end backup and restore for View Manager (1008046).
  1. Log in to the machine hosting your View Connection Server. If there is a cluster of View Connection Servers, this step can be done on any of the servers.
  2. Click Start > Run, type cmd, and click OK. The command prompt opens.
  3. Run this command, substituting a name for your back up file.

    vdmexport > ViewBackupFilename.ldf

  4. Connect to the ADAM database. For more information, see Connecting to the View ADAM Database (2012377).
  5. Expand OU=Properties > OU=VirtualCenter.
    Note the entry is is after expanding the OU=VirtualCenter.
  6. Document the first four characters of the vCenter Server entry, for example CN=f030. Right-click the vCenter Server entry and click Properties.
  7. Document these three values:

    • pae-NameValuePair. Note the entry here and then remove it.
    • pae-SVIURL. Note the entry and set to a value similar to
    • pae-VCURL. Note the entry and set to a value similar to
  8. In the View Administrator portal, refresh the dashboard to confirm the name change you made.
    Do note that changes are reflected at two different location.
  9. In View Configuration > Servers > vCenter Server, add an entry for the proper
  10. Open the properties page for each vCenter Server entry.
  11. Manually copy these values from the new vCenter Server entry to the old vCenter Server entry:

    Note: Take a note of the entries before copying. When copying these values, copy and paste directly between properties sheets or copy to a plain text editor that does not add any formatting such as Windows Notepad.exe.

    • pae-SVISslCertThumbprint
    • pae-SVISslCertThumbprintAlgorithm
    • pae-SVIUserName
    • pae-SVIUserPassword
    • pae-VCSslCertThumbprint
    • pae-VCSslCertThumbprintAlgorithm
    • pae-VCUserName
    • pae-VCUserPassword
  12. Remove the new vCenter Server entry from the View Administrator webpage.
  13. Undo the three changes you made at the beginning of the process, including adding the UNIQUEID=XX value back into pae-NameValuePair and rename the pae-SVIURL and pae-VCURL.
  14. Reboot all Connection Servers in the replicated group.
  15. In the View Administrator webpage, refresh the Dashboard page again and confirm vCenter Server and Composer are both shown correctly and are now showing as green status.
  16. Proceed with testing provisioning and recomposing, as well as login functionality.

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