You can have your pod configured to perform an automated update of the Horizon Cloud Connector virtual appliance. This configuration enables the Horizon Cloud operations team to run maintenance actions on the virtual appliance from the cloud control plane, as needed for successful service operations.

Note: The following limitations apply to automated updates:
  • Version 1.3.0 of the appliance can only be updated to 1.4.0.
  • All other versions can be updated to one or two later versions. That is, version 'n’ can be updated to either ‘n+1’ or ‘n+2’.
Attention: The ability to configure this automated update feature will only be available to you if your Horizon Cloud tenant account is enabled to allow it. To gain access to the automated update feature, you must specifically request it by contacting your VMware representative or VMware support to enable it on your tenant account.

Requirements for Automated Updates

To support automated updates of the Horizon Cloud Connector appliance that is paired with a pod, prepare your system environment by performing the following tasks:

  1. Contact your VMware representative or VMware support to enable the automated update feature for your Horizon Cloud tenant account.
  2. Enable the pod to accept automated updates.

    By default, pods are disabled from receiving automated updates, even if the feature is enabled in your tenant account. To enable a pod to receive automated updates, contact your VMware representative or VMware support. You must make a specific request for each pod that you want to receive automated updates.

  3. Verify that your system environment meets the following requirements:
    • Existing Horizon Cloud Connector appliance is deployed with a static IP address.
    • Existing Horizon Cloud Connector appliance is running with a minimum version of:
      • 1.3.0 for Horizon pods on-premises.
      • 1.5.0 for Horizon pods in VMware Cloud on AWS.
    • At least 50 GB of datastore capacity is available for deploying the appliance update.
    • ESXi host is accessible from the Horizon Cloud Connector appliance.
    • You have configured vCenter Server and network settings in the Horizon Cloud Connector configuration portal. For detailed instructions, see the next section in this topic.

Configuring vCenter Server and Network Settings

The automated update feature deploys new versions of the Horizon Cloud Connector appliance to your vCenter Server. To prepare your system environment for these deployments, first gather the appliance's static IP address, DNS address, gateway address, and subnet mask. Then perform the following steps. After logging in to the Horizon Cloud Connector configuration portal, click Configure Automatic Cloud Connector Updates if needed to open the Horizon Cloud Connector vCenter Server Details window.

Remember: As stated at the start of this topic, the ability to configure the automated update feature is disabled by default for Horizon Cloud Connector 1.6 or earlier and will only be available to you if and only if your Horizon Cloud tenant account is enabled to allow it. You will not see any of these elements in the user interface if you have not specifically requested it by contacting your VMware representative or VMware support to enable it on your tenant account.
  1. Log in to the Horizon Cloud Connector configuration portal.
  2. To open the configuration screen for vCenter Server details, do one of the following:
    • (Horizon Cloud Connector 1.7 or later) Click the Configure vCenter Server and Network Details button.
    • (Horizon Cloud Connector 1.6 or earlier) Click the Configure Automatic Cloud Connector Updates button.
  3. In the Horizon Cloud Connector vCenter Server Details window, enter the FQDN of the vCenter Server, and click Get Certificate. After the certificate information appears, select I have verified the above certificate and would like to continue.
  4. Under Horizon Cloud Connector vCenter Server Credentials, enter the user name and password for vCenter Server.
  5. Under Additional Static IP Details for Cloud Connector upgrade, enter the static IP, gateway, subnet mask, and DNS information that you gathered for the Horizon Cloud Connector appliance.
  6. Click Save.

End-to-End Flow of the Automated Update Process

The automated update process for Horizon Cloud Connector is modeled after a software industry technique known as blue-green deployment.


Conceptual illustration of the blue-green update process.

The existing to-be-updated Horizon Cloud Connector instance is known as the blue appliance. The new version of Horizon Cloud Connector is known as the green appliance.

To view the current version number of the blue appliance, select Settings > Capacity > and click the Pods tab if needed. The version number appears next to the paired pod's name in the list.


Detail of appliance version number on Capacity page

After you configure the vCenter Server and network settings in the Horizon Cloud Connector onboarding user interface, the end-to-end update process consists of the following steps:

  1. When VMware releases an updated version of Horizon Cloud Connector that is compatible with the blue appliance, one of the following occurs:
    • If your system environment meets all the requirements for supporting the automated update, a notification message appears when you click the version number of the pod in the Capacity page.

      Notification message for availability of update

      In addition, the Schedule Update button becomes available on the pod details page. (To display the pod details page, select Settings > Capacity > , click the Pods tab if needed, and click the name of the pod in the list.) A notification banner on the page indicates the version number of the update that is available.


      Schedule Update button on pod details page

      If these conditions are met, you can proceed to step 3 of the update process.

    • If your system environment does not meet all the requirements for automated updates, the Clear Update Errors button appears instead on the pod details page. An alert banner also notifies you that an error is preventing the update.

      Clear Update Errors button on pod details page
  2. If there are any error conditions preventing the update, you must resolve them. Click the Clear Update Errors button or the link in the alert banner to open the Resolve Pod Update Errors dialog box. Using the message in this dialog box as guidance, perform the necessary actions or update the necessary configurations to clear the described error condition. Then validate that the error has been resolved by selecting the check box next to the error description and clicking Continue.

    The following screenshot shows an example of the Resolve Pod Update Errors dialog box after an error has been resolved.


    Resolve Pod Update Errors dialog box

    It can take up to 30 minutes for the configuration changes to take effect and for the administration console to reflect these changes. When the error is completely cleared, the Clear Update Errors button changes to Schedule Update.

  3. You must schedule the update to ensure that it is performed. On the pod details page, click Schedule Update. Then set a day and time for the Horizon Cloud service to update the blue appliance to the green appliance.

    You determine the convenient time for the update to take place. Typically, the update process, including the deployment of the green appliance and the migration from the blue to the green appliance, takes up to 90 minutes. As a best practice, schedule the update at a time when the environment is least busy. After the update is scheduled, the console displays the time remaining until the scheduled update in a top banner. You can reschedule the time for the update at any time prior to the scheduled time, if required by your organization's needs.

    The following screenshot shows an example of a banner indicating the scheduled update.


    Notification banner for scheduled update
    Important: When you schedule the update, you are prompted for a date and time. This time is local to your browser time zone.
  4. At your scheduled day and time, the service deploys the green appliance to the vCenter Server. This deployment stage typically takes around 25 minutes to complete. However, the exact duration can vary depending on the capacity and characteristics of your system infrastructure.
    Note: During the update process—which includes the stages of deployment, migration, and IP address reassignment—you cannot perform administrative tasks on the pod paired with the blue appliance that is undergoing the update. In addition, all action buttons in the Horizon Cloud Connector configuration portal are disabled. However, the blue appliance remains fully operational during the update and the pod remains connected to the cloud control plane and the subscription license service.
  5. After the green appliance is completely deployed, the service migrates the configuration from the blue appliance to the green appliance. The migration stage typically takes around 10 minutes to complete.
  6. When the migration is complete, the IP address of your Horizon Cloud Connector instance is reassigned from the blue appliance to the green appliance.
    Note: The reassignment results in a short period of downtime lasting less than a minute, during which the pod momentarily loses its connection to the control plane and Horizon Cloud services. During this time, end users may momentarily lose their connection sessions to remote desktops and applications on the pod.
    Once the IP address reassignment is complete:
    • The green appliance becomes fully operational and the pod's connection to the control plane and the subscription license service is restored.
    • The green appliance takes a name composed of the blue appliance's name with the new version number appended as the suffix.
    • The blue appliance remains in the datastore and is powered off.
  7. To verify that the update has completed successfully, do the following:
    • Select Settings > Capacity > and click the Pods tab if needed. The version number of the updated appliance appears next to the pod's name in the list.

      Appliance version number on Capacity page after update
    • Log in to the Horizon Cloud Connector configuration portal of the green appliance and verify the health of the Horizon Cloud Connector components.

Error Conditions That Prevent Automated Updates

Examples of common error messages include:

  • Check to ensure Cloud Connector is online
  • Cloud Connector is not deployed with static IP
  • Unable to contact vCenter for upgrade. Please re-enter vCenter credentials in the Cloud Connector setup
  • There is not enough disk space to perform upgrade. Minimum required disk space is 50 GB.

Make the necessary configuration changes to fix the specified error so that you can proceed to schedule the automated update.