You can have your Horizon pod configured to perform an automated update of the Horizon Cloud Connector virtual appliance. This configuration allows 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:
  • The automated update feature is only supported for Horizon pods deployed on premises. To update a Horizon pod deployed in a cloud environment, see Manually Update the Horizon Cloud Connector Virtual Appliance.
  • To participate in automated updates, your existing Horizon Cloud Connector appliance must be running with a minimum version of 1.6.0.0.
  • At this time, the automated update feature is not supported for upgrades to target version 2.0 or 2.1 of Horizon Cloud Connector. To upgrade an existing Horizon Cloud Connector appliance to target version 2.0 or 2.1, perform the steps described in Manually Update the Horizon Cloud Connector Virtual Appliance.
  • The automated update feature is supported for existing Horizon Cloud Connector appliances running version 2.1 or later with single-node deployments only. If you have deployed a multi-node cluster by adding one or more worker nodes, the automated update feature is not supported. To upgrade an existing Horizon Cloud Connector appliance running version 2.1 or later with a multi-node deployment, perform the steps described in Manually Update the Horizon Cloud Connector Virtual Appliance.
Attention: The automated update feature is deactivated by default for Horizon Cloud Connector and enabled on a per-pod basis by request only. To gain access to the automated update feature, you must specifically request it by contacting your VMware representative or by filing a Customer Connect support request as described in VMware Knowledge Base (KB) article 2006985.

Requirements for Automated Updates

To support automated updates of the Horizon Cloud Connector appliance, prepare your system environment by performing the following tasks:

  1. Enable the pod to accept automated updates. By default, pods do not accept automated updates. You must make a specific request for each pod that you want to receive automated updates.

    To enable the automated update feature for the pod, contact your VMware representative or file a Customer Connect support request as described in VMware Knowledge Base (KB) article 2006985.

  2. Verify that your system environment meets the following requirements:
    • You have deployed the existing Horizon Cloud Connector appliance with a static IP address.
    • The existing Horizon Cloud Connector appliance is running with a minimum version of 1.6.0.0.
    • You have at least 50 GB of datastore capacity available for deploying the appliance update.
    • The Horizon Cloud Connector appliance can access the ESXi host.
    • You have configured the vCenter Server and network settings in the Horizon Cloud Connector configuration portal. For detailed instructions, see the next section in this article.
    • An unassigned static IP address is available for use during the appliance update. This address must be distinct from the static IP address used by your current version of the Horizon Cloud Connector appliance.

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, gather the required network information as specified: an unassigned static IP address and the network settings that you want to use for the updated appliance. Then perform the following steps.

Note: To perform the deployment and configuration steps required for the automated update feature, you must configure a user account with Administrator privileges on the vCenter Server. If you do not see options in the Horizon Cloud Connector configuration portal for configuring vCenter Server and network settings, you must first request the activation of the automated update feature for the pod, as described in the previous section of this article, "Requirements for Automated Updates".
  1. Gather the required network information as follows.
    • (Current Horizon Cloud Connector 1.9 and later) Determine the unassigned static IP address that you want to use for the updated appliance. All the other required network settings configured for the existing appliance are used for the updated appliance during the update.
    • (Current Horizon Cloud Connector 1.6 through 1.8) Gather the unassigned static IP address and network settings that you want to use for the updated appliance.
  2. Log in to the Horizon Cloud Connector configuration portal.
  3. 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) Click the Configure Automatic Cloud Connector Updates button.
  4. In the Horizon Cloud Connector vCenter Server Details screen, 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.
  5. Under Horizon Cloud Connector vCenter Server Credentials, enter the login credentials for a user that has Administrator privileges on the vCenter Server.
  6. Under Additional Static IP Details for Cloud Connector upgrade, configure the static IP address and other network settings as needed. Observe the following guidelines:
    • (Current Horizon Cloud Connector 1.9 and later) The new appliance version uses the gateway, subnet, and DNS server settings configured for the existing appliance version. You do not need to configure these network settings under Additional Static IP Details for Cloud Connector upgrade.
    • (Current Horizon Cloud Connector 1.6 through 1.8) The new appliance version does not use the gateway, subnet, and DNS server settings configured for the existing appliance version. To use the automated update feature, you must manually configure these settings for the new appliance version under Additional Static IP Details for Cloud Connector upgrade.
    Setting Description
    Static IP

    Specify an unassigned static IP address for use as the reserve address during the update. This address must be distinct from the working IP address used by the current version of the appliance. This reserve address is used as follows, depending on the current version of the appliance:

    • (Current Horizon Cloud Connector 1.9 and earlier) During the update, the new appliance version uses the reserve IP address to gain network access temporarily while the current appliance version remains operational. At the end of the update, the reserve IP address is unassigned from the new appliance version and the working IP address is reassigned from the old to the new appliance version.
    • (Current Horizon Cloud Connector 2.1 and later) During the update, the reserve IP address is assigned to the new appliance version and becomes the new working IP address of the Horizon Cloud Connector appliance. The IP address of the old appliance version becomes the new reserve IP address for the next automated update of Horizon Cloud Connector. See step 6 under the next section of this article, "End-to-end Flow of the Automated Update Process".
    Default Gateway (Current Horizon Cloud Connector 1.6 through 1.8 only) Gateway configuration that you want to use for the new version of the appliance.
    Subnet Mask (Current Horizon Cloud Connector 1.6 through 1.8 only) Subnet mask that you want to use for the new version of the appliance.
    DNS Servers

    (Current Horizon Cloud Connector 1.6 through 1.8 only) DNS server that you want to use for the new version of the appliance.

    Important: Configure at most one DNS server for the new appliance version. If you configure multiple DNS servers, the appliance update will fail.
  7. Click Save.

End-to-end Flow of the Automated Update Process

The automated update process for Horizon Cloud Connector follows the software industry technique known as the 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 your system environment meets all the requirements for automated updates, 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 one or more error conditions prevent 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 the error resolution 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 you have validated the error resolution.


    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 cleared, the Clear Update Errors button changes to Schedule Update.

  3. You must manually schedule the update to initiate the update workflow. 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.

    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 must specify 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 using the static IP address that you configured earlier in the Horizon Cloud Connector vCenter Server Details screen. 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 in a deactivated state. 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, one of the following occurs.
    • If the blue appliance is running version 1.9 or earlier of Horizon Cloud Connector, the reserve IP address is unassigned from the green appliance. Then the IP address of the blue appliance is reassigned to the green appliance to become the new working IP address of your Horizon Cloud Connector instance. The reserve IP address is kept for use in subsequent automated updates.
      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 might 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.
    • If the blue appliance is running version 2.1 or later of Horizon Cloud Connector, the reserve IP address remains assigned to the green appliance and becomes the new working IP address of your Horizon Cloud Connector instance. The pod remains fully operational and connected to the control plane and Horizon Cloud services throughout the entire update process.

      Once the update process is complete:

      • 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.
      • The IP address of the blue appliance is kept for use as the new reserve IP address for the next automated update.

        With each subsequent automated update, the reserve and working IP addresses are swapped between the blue and green appliances, as shown in the following table. The table illustrates an example where, for the very first automated update, the blue appliance starts with the working address 10.108.184.100 and the reserve address is configured as 10.108.184.200.

        During this update: Blue appliance uses this IP address: Green appliance uses this IP address:
        First automated update 10.108.184.100 10.108.184.200
        Second automated update 10.108.184.200 10.108.184.100
        Third automated update 10.108.184.100 10.108.184.200
        Fourth automated update 10.108.184.200 10.108.184.100
  7. To verify that the update has completed successfully, do the following:
    1. 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.
    2. Log in to the Horizon Cloud Connector configuration portal of the green appliance and verify the health of the Horizon Cloud Connector components.
Note: Updating to version 1.10 or later of Horizon Cloud Connector automatically activates all Horizon Cloud services. Horizon Cloud Connector version 1.10 or later does not support the Basic Feature profile that was available with version 1.8 or 1.9 of the appliance.

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.