Upgrading To Horizon View 5.3 – Step 1 – Composer Server

Horizon View 5.3, brings with it a host of new features.  The one which I’m most excited about is being able to use Windows Server 2008 R2 as a desktop operating system.  A list of enhancements is shown below (source VMware Horizon View 5.3 release notes)

What’s New?

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Desktop Operating System Support
  • Windows 8.1 Desktop Operating System Support
  • VMware Horizon Mirage Support
  • VMware Virtual SAN Support
  • vDGA Support
  • VMware Horizon View Agent Direct-Connection

TOP TIP: Horizon View does not support Windows 2012 Active Directory

Upgrade Process

Before we embark on this upgrade process, the number one rule is to get a good backup.  Plus I recommend you check that everything is in good working order in your Horizon View 5.2 environment.

View Upgrade 01


To make things a little more interesting, I’m going to do the upgrade whilst using a Horizon View 5.2 dedicated desktop to see if any part of the upgrade effects my experience or the ability to work.

Upgrade Order

The order in which I’m going to tackle the upgrade is as follows:

  1. View Composer
  2. View Connection Server including HTML Access
  3. View Security Server
  4. View Transfer Server (I don’t have one of these in my environment)
  5. View Agent including Remote Experience Agent
  6. View Client

View Composer

In my lab, View Composer is on a seperate Windows 2008 R2 Server called VMF-VCOM01.

The first thing we are going to do is download the correct installation which is at the time of writing is VMware-viewcomposer-5.3.0-1427647

Launch the installer and hit ‘Next’

View Upgrade 02

Accept the EULA and hit ‘Next’

View Upgrade 03

Select install location and hit ‘next’

View Upgrade 04

Enter your ODBC Password

View Upgrade 05

In my environment, I’m using an existing SSL certificate.

View Upgrade 06

Hit Install

View Upgrade 07

Once finished a reboot is required.

A quick check of the vmfocus.com Horizon View environment and we can see everything is ‘tickety boo’.

View Upgrade 08

Twist Test

Question Answer
Did the installation cause any disruption to existing Horizon View 5.2 desktop connections? No
Able to connect to existing composed desktops after installation? Yes
Recompose tasks work on Horizon View 5.2 desktops? Yes
Did the View Composer Server require a reboot? No
HTML 5.2 Access via Blast working after installation? Yes

16 thoughts on “Upgrading To Horizon View 5.3 – Step 1 – Composer Server

  1. Hi,
    allways run into error noticed in KB #2017773. Checked permissions and install user. No result. Is you certificate self signed or did you use the default certificate which was installed first time you installed composer.
    Any further idea where to look. Will open a case with VMware anyway…

    1. Hi Jan, not one I have ran into before.

      Is View Composer installed on the same server as vCenter? If so then double check your vCenter services to make sure you are using the correct credentials.

      The internal CA generated certificates on View Composer (on a separate server) where used before and after the upgrade.

      Sure VMware support will find the issue for you.

    2. Did you ever find the resolution to this error? I’m experiencing a similar issue with my Composer upgrade to 5.3.

      1. Found a resolution. Run the installer as local Administrator. I had only tried running it as a Domain Admin, but it always failed. I also did other things like disabling McAfee, changing permissions on the C:\Windows\System32\winevt\Logs folder, but nothing made a difference until I ran it as the local Administrator.

  2. Craig, thanks for the guide. One quick point you say in the twist test questions that Composer server does not need a reboot. It does need a reboot?

    1. Hi Darren, thanks for reading. During my upgrade a reboot wasn’t needed. Not sure if your View Composer is on vCenter? Mine wasn’t.

      1. Just an FYI… mine required a reboot also. And it’s not on the same server with vCenter, it’s on it’s own server.

        Great article, by the way!

  3. I noticed in this guide you didn’t talk about upgrading vCenter and your esxi hosts. Were these already done or did you not upgrade them from 5.1?

  4. my vCenter runs on a sperate server and is on 5.5u1, the ESXi where the 5.2 VDIs are running on are on ESXi 5.1. View Connection is on 5.2.

    The Baseimage sits on a ESXi 5.5u1 Server but is still on hardware version 8 … should I upgrade that as well?

    Then update the ESXi Hosts for the VDIs to 5.5u1 and then the View Connection Server to 5.3 and then roll out a new version from the Base image with the new agent, new vmware tools and the newer hardware version?

    1. I would recommend taking a backup of your base image and upgrading to hardware version 9. If you go to hardware version 10 you can only edit the VM hardware in the web client.

      The rest of the upgrade process sounds good, hope it goes well.

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