Creating an automated VMware Horizon RDS Pool with Horizon 6.2


horizonSo VMware Horizon 6.2 was announced at VMworld just a week ago and the one feature I sorely wanted to see was automated provisioning (golden image management) of a Microsoft Remote Desktop Services farm.

The provisioning process is fairly straight forward, so in this blog post I’ll walk you through the steps to avoid any issues.


  • Download the Agent, Connection Server and Composer software.
  • Upgrade your Connection Servers to 6.2.
  • Upgrade your Security Servers to 6.2 (remember you’ll need to repair with the connection servers).
  • Upgrade your Composer.
  • A Microsoft RDS server.

Once the upgrade is complete of the core infrastructure, lets hop to the Customisation Specification.

Creating a Customisation Specification:

So I originally missed this step completely and was left red faced after hours of troubleshooting and pestering some names in VMware (Sorry Ben, Pat, I’ll RTFM next time!).

I’m going to do this demo in the “God Awful” web client, but its the same in the GUI Console anyway.

Open the web console, and select Policies:


Select Customisation Specification > new:

new customisation specification

Select Windows, Create a Logical name and description, then click next:

properties Enter some organisational specific info, or not, who cares, click next:


On the Computer name Tab, for the sake of convenience, choose “use the virtual machine name”, click next:


Enter a product key if you wish, or rely on KMS, click next:


Enter the local administrators password for after the sysprep, then click Next:


  • Select the relevant timezone, click next:
  • Do not configure a “run once”, click next:
  • Select which ever networking method you like, DHCP is probably easier,click next.
  • Enter the domain name and credentials to domain join. Then Click Next:


Ensure to select “Generate New Security ID” then click Next:

new sid

Click finish on the Final page and ensure your new template shows (mine disappeared the first time, sneaky so and so):


Preparing the target:

Now lets hop first to the Remote Desktop Services target and install / upgrade the agent software!

Select the agent on the RDS server and kick off the installer:


Select Next, Agree to the license, choose IPV4, IPV6 if you’re crazy and click Next:


On the next screen, ensure to enable the “VMware Horizon View Composer Agent” and select Next:



after that, finish the install. Restart once, Shutdown and snapshot the VM.


Creating the Automated Farm:

Open the Horizon console and head to Resources > Farms > Add:

add farm

Select Automated Farm and click Next:


Select the vSphere server, select  Next:


Enter the Farm Name, click Next:


Enter the naming pattern for the farm servers, select Next:


Enter your Vsan details if you opted in to that sort of thing, click Next:vsan

On the vCenter settings, choose the VM we configured in the target section earlier, select OK:


On the SnapShot selection, choose the Snapshot we created and click OK:


After that, just select whatever you want and click Next:


On the storage selection, choose your own settings then click Next:


Select The guest settings, including the Specification we created earlier:


Once finished, simply click finish and pray you’ve gotten everything right:


And that’s it! go have a coffee and check to ensure you have a VM after the deployment:


Now to create a pool:

Select catalog > Desktop Pools > Add:


Choose RDS Desktop Pool, Select Next:


  • Name the Pool something useful, then select Next:
  • Set the Pool settings, then select Next:


Select the newly created farm, then select Next:



Select “Entitle users after this wizard finishes” then select Finish:


Click Add, enter the group you wish and click OK once selected:


Click Close:


Now open the horizon client, tada!


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