When you install Horizon Connection Server, the Horizon Administrator user interface is also installed.

Connection Server Configuration

Although you can install Connection Server on a physical machine, this example uses a virtual machine with the specifications listed in Connection Server Virtual Machine Example. The ESXi host for this virtual machine can be part of a VMware HA cluster to guard against physical server failures.

Table 1. Connection Server Virtual Machine Example
Item Example
Operating system See supported operating systems in the Horizon 7 Installation document.
RAM 10GB
Virtual CPU 4
System disk capacity 70GB
Virtual SCSI adapter type LSI Logic SAS (the default for Windows Server 2008)
Virtual network adapter VMXNET 3
Network adapter 1Gbps NIC

Connection Server Cluster Design Considerations

You can deploy multiple replicated Connection Server instances in a group to support load balancing and high availability. Groups of replicated instances are designed to support clustering within a LAN-connected single-data-center environment.

Important: To use a group of replicated Connection Server instances across a WAN, MAN (metropolitan area network), or other non-LAN, in scenarios where a Horizon deployment needs to span data centers, you must use the Cloud Pod Architecture feature. For more information, see the Administering Cloud Pod Architecture in Horizon 7 document.

Maximum Connections for Connection Server

Remote Desktop Connections provides information about the tested limits regarding the number of simultaneous connections that a Horizon 7 deployment can accommodate.

Table 2. Remote Desktop Connections
Connection Servers per Deployment Connection Type Maximum Simultaneous Connections
1 Connection Server Direct connection, RDP, Blast Extreme, or PCoIP 4,000 (tested configuration)
1 Connection Server Tunneled connection, RDP 2,000 (default configuration)

4,000 (tested configuration)

1 Connection Server PCoIP Secure Gateway connection 2,000 (default configuration)

4,000 (tested configuration)

1 Connection Server Blast Secure Gateway connection 2,000 (default configuration)

4,000 (tested configuration)

1 Connection Server Unified Access to physical PCs 2,000 (tested configuration)
1 Connection Server Unified Access to RDS hosts 2,000 (tested configuration)
7 Connection Servers Direct connection, RDP, Blast Extreme, or PCoIP

RDS Hosts

  • 10,000 (default configuration)
  • 20,000 (tested configuration)

Virtual desktops

  • 10,000 (tested configuration)
Note: Tested configurations are fully supported. To achieve the tested configuration of 4,000 maximum simultaneous connections on a single Connection Server for Tunneled connection, PCoIP Secure Gateway, and Blast Secure Gateway, create the locked.properties file on the virtual machine on which Connection Server is installed: C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View\Server\sslgateway\conf. Then, set maxConnections=4000 in the locked.properties file and restart Connection Server. Unified Access Gateway currently supports 2,000 sessions and hence 14 Unified Access Gateway appliances were used while testing 20,000 sessions.

PCoIP Secure Gateway connections are required if you use security servers or Unified Access Gateway appliances for PCoIP connections from outside the corporate network. Blast Secure Gateway connections are required if you use security servers or Unified Access Gateway appliances for Blast Extreme or HTML Access connections from outside the corporate network. Tunneled connections are required if you use security servers or Unified Access Gateway appliances for RDP connections from outside the corporate network and for USB and multimedia redirection (MMR) acceleration with a PCoIP or Blast Secure Gateway connection. You can pair multiple security servers to a single Connection Server instance.

Although a single security server or Unified Access Gateway appliance can support a maximum of 2,000 simultaneous connections, instead of using just one security server per Connection Server instance (with 2,000 sessions), you might choose to use 2 or 4. Monitoring of the security server might indicate that the activity for 2,000 users is too great. The required amount of memory and CPU usage might dictate that you add more security servers per Connection Server instance to spread the load. For example, you might use 2 security servers, with each one handling 1,000 connections, or you might use 4 security servers, with each one handling 500 connections. The ratio of security servers to Connection Server instances depends on the requirements of the particular environment.

The number of connections per Unified Access Gateway appliance is similar to those for security servers. For more information about Unified Access Gateway appliances, see Deploying and Configuring Unified Access Gateway.

Note: In this example, although 5 Connection Server instances (suitably configured) could handle 20,000 connections, the number 7 is shown in the table for availability planning purposes, and to accommodate connections coming from both inside and outside of the corporate network.

For example, if you had 20,000 users, with 16,000 of them inside the corporate network, you would need 5 Connection Server instances inside the corporate network. That way, if one of the instances became unavailable, the 4 remaining instances could handle the load. Similarly, for the 4,000 connections coming from outside the corporate network, you would use 2 Connection Server instances so that if one became unavailable, you would still have one instance left that could handle the load.

These numbers assume that external connections are presented through a gateway. In this example, each of the Connection Server instances handling external connections would be paired with 3 security servers, so that if one became unavailable, the 2 remaining security servers could handle the load. If using Unified Access Gateway appliances instead of security servers, you would need 3 in total, load balanced across both Connection Server instances, so that if one became unavailable, the 2 remaining appliances could handle the load.

In all cases, users would need to reconnect if they were using a Connection Server or gateway that became unavailable.

Hardware Requirements for Unified Access Gateway with Horizon 7

VMware recommends to use 2 vCPUs and 4GB RAM for Unified Access Gateway appliances to support maximum number of connections when used with Horizon 7.
Table 3. Hardware Requirements for Unified Access Gateway
Item Example
Operating system OVA
RAM 4GB
Virtual CPU 2
System disk capacity 20GB (changing the default log level requires additional space)
Virtual SCSI adapter type LSI Logic Parallel (the default for OVA)
Virtual network adapter VMXNET 3
Network adapter 1Gbps NIC
Network Mapping Single NIC option