For a pod at a manifest higher than 1600, follow the steps described here to install the agent-related components that are required and appropriate for Horizon Cloud and pair it with the cloud plane. In the base virtual machine's Windows operating system, you run the Horizon Agents Installer. After rebooting the VM, you pair the VM with the cloud plane using the Administration Console.

Keep the following points in mind as you perform this task:

  • The steps in this documentation topic are specifically for pods that are at manifest version 1600 and higher. Those manifest versions were first made available in the service's September 2019 release. If the pod is at a manifest version lower than 1600, use the steps in the following documentation topic instead: For Pods at Manifests Lower Than 1600, Install the Agent-Related Software Components in the Base Virtual Machine. You can check your pod's manifest version on the pod's details page from the Capacity page.
    Caution: When your pod is of manifest lower than 1600, do not attempt to use these steps. The pairing mechanism changed for pod manifest 1600 and higher. If you attempt to use these steps for a manually created base VM located in a pod of manifest lower than 1600, the final pairing process will fail and you will have to uninstall the agent software and re-install it using a Horizon Agents Installer version that aligns with your pod manifest level.
  • Installing a version of the Horizon Agents Installer into a Windows Server VM that is older than the version that aligns with your pod's manifest version can cause problems subsequently when you create RDS pools based on the image VM. In this situation, when you create a new RDS pool, the system can allow you to select HTML Access (Blast) as a protocol, but this selection will not be applied to the pool even though it appears to have been applied successfully. For the Horizon Agents Installer version that aligns with the manifest version 1600 or higher, see the Release Notes for the September 2019 release.
  • The Help Desk Plugin option is installed by default. If you choose not to install this option, performance-related metrics from user sessions in the desktop instances or farm server instances based on this image are not collected. As a result, some data will not be available in the user card for such sessions. For details, see The User Card in the Horizon Cloud Administration Console.
  • The vRealize Operations Desktop Agent option is installed by default. If you choose not to install this option, activity-related data from user sessions in the desktop instance or farm server instances based on this image is not reported to Horizon Cloud. As a result, data from end-user activity and other types of desktop activity will not be displayed in reports in the Administration Console.
  • The Dynamic Environment Manager option is not enabled by default. Selecting that option installs the VMware Dynamic Environment Manager client component, known as the FlexEngine. Selecting that option installs FlexEngine using its typical mode. The typical mode requires a post-installation configuration step to configure the VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Group Policy. For VMware Dynamic Environment Manager usage information, see the Dynamic Environment Manager product documentation. VMware Dynamic Environment Manager provides various options for achieving the persistence of end-user data, settings, and profiles of desktops provisioned by your pod.
    Note: When the Dynamic Environment Manager option is selected for installation, its resulting installation path is C:\Program Files\VMware\Horizon Agents\User Environment Manager.

Prerequisites

Verify that the virtual machine (VM) is created and configured as described in Create the Virtual Machine Manually in Your Pod in Microsoft Azure and Prepare the Manually Created Master VM Prior to Installing the Agents.

Verify that the pod in which this VM is created has a manifest version higher than 1600. The pairing steps in the following procedure apply when the pod has a manifest version of 1600 or higher. You can check your pod's manifest version on the pod's details page from the Managing Your Cloud-Connected Pods, for All Horizon Cloud Supported Pod Types.

Procedure

  1. Navigate to where you downloaded the installer and start it.
    Important: If you want to use the URL redirection option with the desktops or RDS-based remote applications resulting from this base VM, you must use the command line to start the installer, adding the VDM_URL_FILTERING_ENABLED=1 parameter to the command.

    However, if you do install the URL redirection option, do not install the options for either serial port redirection or scanner redirection. This Horizon Cloud release does not support use of the serial port redirection and scanner redirection options.

    For example,
    VMware-Horizon-Agents-Installer-x.y.z-build-x64.exe VDM_URL_FILTERING_ENABLED=1
    Where x.y.z and build match the numbers in the file name.
    After a few minutes, the installation wizard displays its Welcome screen.
    • For a VDI desktop image, the Horizon Cloud Endpoint Desktop image is displayed.
      Screenshot of the initial screen that appears for the Horizon Agents Installer on a Windows 10 Client VM

    • For a server image, the Horizon Cloud RDSH App image is displayed.
      Screenshot of the initial screen that appears for the Horizon Agents Installer on a Windows Server VM

  2. Click Configure.
    The wizard's next step displays. The following screenshot is an example of this step when running on a server image.
    Screenshot of the top of the options screen that appears when running the Horizon Agents Installer on a Windows Server VM

  3. Scroll down to see the feature options.
    The following screenshot is an example of this step when running on a server image.
    Screenshot of the rest of the options screen that appears when running the Horizon Agents Installer on a Windows Server VM

  4. Select the check boxes for the features you want to install and click the arrow to move to the next step.
    If the VM is a GPU-backed Windows Server operating system VM, select the 3DRDSH option.
    Note: If you do not install the Help Desk Plugin option, performance-related metrics from user sessions in the desktop instances or farm server instances based on this image are not collected. As a result, some data will not be available in the user card for such sessions. For details, see The User Card in the Horizon Cloud Administration Console.
  5. If prompted with a message about using USB redirection securely, click OK.
    The final wizard step displays.
  6. Click Proceed with installation.
    The installer begins installing the components.
    Note: If a message displays asking for confirmation to install the VMware display adapters, click Install.
    When all the components are installed, the wizard displays Finish. The following screenshot is an illustration of the list of installed components when running the installer on a server image and only selecting default options. The specific entries might vary depending on the operating system and options you select.
    Screenshot of the final screen that appears when the Horizon Agents Installer has completed running on a Windows Server VM

  7. When the wizard signals it is finished, click Finish.
  8. Click Restart Now to reboot the VM and have the configuration changes take effect.
  9. When the VM is powered back on, use the Reset Agent Pairing action on the Horizon Cloud Administration Console's Imported VMs page to pair it with Horizon Cloud.
    1. Navigate to Inventory > Imported VMs and make sure that the VM has a green dot next to it that indicates the VM is powered on.
      Even though the agent software is installed on the VM, the VM is not yet paired with Horizon Cloud. The VM's Agent Status column will display Not Paired, as illustrated in the following screenshot.
      Screenshot of the Imported VMs page listing the VM with Not Paired in the Agent Status column

    2. Select the VM, and select More > Reset Agent Pairing to pair the VM with Horizon Cloud.
      Note: The pairing process can take several minutes to complete. During the pairing process, the VM is restarted and its agent status changes from Not Paired to Unknown to Active. Use the circular arrow icon to refresh the Imported VMs page to see the VM's current status.

Results

The VM pairing process is completed when the Agent Status column displays Active and an agent version, such as 19.3.0. The following screenshot illustrates a VM after the pairing process is completed. At this point, the base VM conforms to the Horizon Cloud environment's requirements to create an assignable image, also referred to as a sealed image.
Screenshot of an imported VM with its Agent Status column displaying Active (19.3.0)

What to do next

If you joined the VM to your Active Directory domain, you can use domain accounts to connect to the VM to customize the image. If you did not join the VM to your Active Directory domain, you can use the local administrator account to connect to the VM to customize the image.

Customize the image's Windows operating system, including configuring things like wallpapers and installing the applications you want this VM to provide to your end users. If you enabled a public IP address for the VM, you can connect to the created VM by using the IP address displayed on the Imported VMs page in an RDP client like Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection. For details, see Customize the Master Image VM's Windows Operating System and its subtopics:
Important: It is strongly recommended that you optimize the image VM, including removing AppX packages from Window 10 images, as described in Customize the Master Image VM's Windows Operating System, Deciding to Optimize the Windows Image When Using the Import Desktop Wizard, and Deciding to Remove Windows Store Apps When Using the Import Desktop Wizard.

If you selected to install the Dynamic Environment Manager option, configure a separate file server in your Microsoft Azure subscription that has at least SMB 2 enabled. Then configure VMware Dynamic Environment Manager using that file server. Also configure the GPO settings. See the VMware Dynamic Environment Manager documentation topics in the Dynamic Environment Manager product documentation.

For improved security regarding the use of the Horizon Agent, configure your Active Directory server domain policy GPO (Group Policy Object) to disable weak ciphers in SSL and TLS protocols. For information about disabling weak ciphers when communicating using the SSL/TLS protocol, see the appropriate agent-related information in the VMware Horizon® 7 documentation set, such as Disable Weak Ciphers in SSL/TLS.

If you selected a NV-series VM type, you must log into the VM's operating system and install the supported NVIDIA graphics drivers to get the GPU capabilities of the GPU-enabled NV-series VM. You install the drivers after the VM is created and the Imported VMs page shows the DaaS agent is active. See Install NVIDIA Graphics Drivers in a GPU-Enabled Master Image.

After you are finished customizing the master VM, use the New Image workflow to convert the master VM to an assignable image. See Convert a Configured Master Virtual Machine to an Assignable Image.