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VMware Horizon 2006 upgrade from version 7.x

  • November 19, 2020
  • 10 min read
Cloud and Virtualization Architect. Paolo is a System Engineer, VCP-DCV, vExpert, VMCE, Veeam Vanguard, and author of the virtualization blog
Cloud and Virtualization Architect. Paolo is a System Engineer, VCP-DCV, vExpert, VMCE, Veeam Vanguard, and author of the virtualization blog

With the release of VMware Horizon 2006, existing Horizon deployments should be upgraded to the new version by following a specific upgrade process order.

If you have View Composer, do not upgrade to VMware Horizon 2006 unless you have a clear plan to move to instant clones.

The supported versions for a direct upgrade to VMware Horizon 2006 are the following:

  • VMware Horizon 7 (all 7.x versions)

Check your installed version before proceeding with the upgrade.

VMware Horizon Administartor

If you have a different version installed, check out the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix before upgrading.

Before upgrading to Horizon 2006

Before upgrading to version 2006, you must uninstall features that are no longer supported or deprecated:

  • Security Server
  • JMP Server
  • View Composer
  • Persona – this tool is no longer supported, user’s profiles must be managed with DEM.

Backup the Connection Server and record various configuration and system settings. If you have replicated Connection Servers, just backup only one instance in the group.

Make sure you have a valid license for the latest release of the Connection Server before upgrading.

Upgrade order

To perform a successful upgrade, a specific order must be followed to avoid possible issues:

  • Upgrade the Horizon Client software on end users’ client devices.
  • Upgrade the Connection Server instances. If two or more Connection Server instances fronted by a load balancer are installed in the production environment, you need to remove Connection Server instances from the load balanced cluster while they are upgraded. Once upgraded, you cannot downgrade an Horizon instance 2006 to an earlier version.
  • Upgrade the group policies used in Active Directory
  • Upgrade the Horizon Agent installed on physical or virtual machines used as templates for desktop cloning. Upgraded VMs can be used to create upgraded pools of desktops.

Remove View Composer

Since View Composer, Linked Clones and persistent disks are deprecated in the new version (features still exists thought), they should be removed unless you have a clear plan to move to instant clones.

All Linked Clones must be removed from Horizon before disabling the View Composer.

Remove Linked Clones

Remove all linked-clone desktop pools created by View Composer. In Horizon Console go to Inventory > Desktops, select the Desktop Pool to remove and disable both Provisioning and Desktop Pool.

Provisioning and Desktop Pool

Before deleting the pool, make sure to remove all linked-clone VMs present under Inventory > Machines.

Inventory > Machines

Once all linked-clone VMs have been deleted, select the Desktop Pool and click Delete.

Select the Desktop Pool

dialog box warns that you will permanently delete the linked-clone Desktop Pool in Horizon. If the linked-clone virtual machines are configured with persistent disks, you can detach and delete persistent disks. Click OK.

Delete the linked-clone Desktop Pool in Horizon

Provisioned virtual machines if still available are deleted from the vCenter Server. In addition, the associated View Composer database entries and the replicas created by View Composer are removed.

View Composer database entries and the replicas

Go to Settings > Servers and select the vCenter Servers tab. Select the vCenter Server instance associated with the View Composer and click Edit.

Settings > Servers and select the vCenter Servers

On the View Composer tab, under View Composer Server Settings, select Do not use View Composer and click OK.

Select Do not use View Composer

The View Composer has been removed from the configuration. You can now safely dismiss the View Composer Server.

View Composer Server

Upgrade the Connection Server

You should choose an appropriated maintenance Windows to perform the upgrade since the time required is from 15 minutes to half an hourNo need to reboot the Connection Server after the upgrade completes.

To obtain good performance, the Connection Server should be configured with 4 vCPUs and 10 GB of RAM.

Choose an appropriated maintenance Windows

If your deployment has multiple Connection Servers, you can upgrade the Connection Servers in parallel to save down time. You can upgrade all Connections Servers in three pods at a time.

To complete the upgrade, the local Horizon LDAP instance and the global Horizon LDAP instance in the Connection Server cluster must be in a consistent state.

To check the system for issues related to replica of the local Horizon LDAP instance, run the following command:

Horizon LDAP instance

Load balancer

If your infrastructure uses load balancers to manage a group of Connection Servers, before upgrade a specific server you need first to disable the server to process. No need to modify the configuration of the load balancers.

To disable the Connection Server to upgrade, go to Settings > Servers area from Horizon console. Go to Connection Servers tab and select the Connection Server to disable. Click the Disable button.

Disable the server

Click OK to confirm.

Dialog box - disable

Upgrade Horizon to version 2006

If you have multiple Connection Servers replicated, all servers must be upgraded to avoid instances in error states.

Run the installer on the server to upgrade and click Next. Keep in mind that during this procedure also the Horizon LDAP database is upgraded.

Upgrade Horizon to version 2006

Accept the EULA and click Next.

Accept the EULA

Click Next.


Click Install to proceed with the upgrade.

Ready to Install the Program

The new version is being installed.

The new version is being installed

After few minutes the installation completes. Click Finish to exit the wizard.

The installation completes

When the upgrade has been completed, make sure all services are properly started.

All services are properly started

Remember to enable the upgraded server if load balancers are used in your infrastructure.

Enable the upgraded server

Use the vdmexport.exe utility to backup the upgraded Horizon LDAP database. Open the Command Prompt and run the command:


The exported file.

VMware View LDIF Export

When all Connection Servers have been upgraded, you can take benefit of new features provided by VMware Horizon 2006.

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Taras Shved
Taras Shved StarWind HCI Appliance Product Manager
Look no further! StarWind HCI Appliance (HCA) is a plug-and-play solution that combines compute, storage, networking, and virtualization software into a single easy-to-use hyperconverged platform. It's designed to significantly trim your IT costs and save valuable time. Interested in learning more? Book your StarWind HCA demo now to see it in action!