Horizon 7.1 unauthenticated access Horizon App

A minor version upgrade surprised me again so much… Horizon View 7.1 has been out days ago, not just bring along with enhancement in the remote protocol AGAIN, but also it brings along so many many new features. From VMware blog post HERE and HERE, you can check out some of those cool new features. While in this blog, I would like to test out the RDSH published Apps! I’ve to say that I love the new unauthenticated access feature for the RDSH.

I think this is particularly important and make sense when a customer may wanna provide their applications to others without trusting other’s AD to let them it. Of course, authenticated access to apps doesn’t means we cannot control the access of an application, the authentication can still be perform directly on the RDSH apps. For example, we can publish a vSphere C# Client from the RDSH hosts, and we allow everyone to start the C# Client using the RDSH app, yet to access the vCenter or ESXi hosts, we still need to authenticate again them.

Get Start by Upgrading to Horizon 7.1

As my environment was a Horizon 7.0.3 environment, I have to upgrade the Horizon (both Server and Client) to test the unauthenticated access. Just like any upgrade in Horizon View, it is not difficult at all, but anyway let me recap some screen here for your reference.

Run the connection server installable, remember still that, the connection server installable let you install the Horizon View Broker (Connection Server), Additional View Broker Nodes (Replica Server), Security Server (Reverse Proxy for Secure Access) and Enrolment Server (For SSO)

Access the EULA and click next to proceed the setup

Click Install to confirm the upgrade

Wait for the completion of the Upgrade

Click Finish to Finalise the Upgrade

What’s Next? Setup the RDSH Server Of Course

So to setup the RDSH hosts, we need very simple setup again, we need to install the RDSH feature in your Windows Server. And afterwards, install the Horizon Agent.

Enable the Remote Desktop Session Host feature under the  Remote Desktop Services Role

Well, if you would like to test Just In Time (JIT) applications too, do remember to check the “VMware Horizon Instant Clone” when you are installing the Agent. I choose it definitely, how could I missed this another new enhancement in Horizon 7.1

So after installing the agent you have to reboot the host and then you can just power off the VM and create a Snapshot (which is used by instant clone). Remember that you need to upgrade the VM into Virtual Hardware Version 11 before taking the snapshot

Create a normal RDS Farm in Horizon View

So before you can create a unauthenticated access RDSH applications, you would need to create a RDSH farm in Horizon View definitely. Double confirm the Horizon View has been upgraded to the 7.1 version already

Create a new “Farm” under “Resources” > “Farms”, use “Automated Farm” for testing instant Clone RDSH servers

If you didn’t setup the instant clone admin before, do set it up under “View Configuration”. Or else you won’t see the following screen.

I prefer using Blast as default protocol… trust me, it’s very good…

Give the farm a naming convention

I’m not using vSAN yet. But I would test it again in another blog with VSAN later.

Choose the Golden image information and provision information detail

Select the AD Container to provision your RDSH farm into

Confirm the Farm Provisioning

Let the instant clone working at the backend while finally (!!!), let’s start setting up the unauthenticated access to your RDSH applications. Go to the “Users and Groups” and “Unauthenticated Access”, “Add..” the user which you would like to use to login the applications on behalf

For example, I add “administrator” as the user on behalf of

Then go to the “View Configuration” > “Servers” to configure your Connection Server. “Edit” the connection server Property

You can see a new configuration “Unauthenticated Access” which is Disabled by default. Here, choose “Enabled” to toggle the configuration.

We then can go back to the “Catalog” and “Application Pools” to create the RDSH pool applications and entitle them. In Horizon 7.1, we can entitle “Unauthenticated Users”.

Add back the administrator we added into the “Unauthenticated Users” beforehand and you are done!

Test it out!!!

Remember that unauthenticated access in currently supporting Windows and Linux Clients, you would need to test it with one of these.

Download the latest Horizon View Client which is of Version 4.4. You then can see the new option by clicking the option button at the top right hand corner. Enabled the “Log in anonymously using Unauthenticated Access”.

Connect to the Horizon Server as usual. And not so much as usual, you don’t need to input the username and password anymore


So, one finally thing I would like to share. Blast demo in my office lab, no GPU, no Nvidia… and a poor broadband with <10mbps. But definitely awesome… Horizon 7.1, a MUST upgrade!





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