I’ve been posting about monitoring Horizon with PRTG, but what if you don’t (yet) have PRTG or any other monitoring system? Or you’re in need of a low-cost but efficient insight into your VMware Horizon environment? Well, now you have Horizon Reach.
Horizon Reach is one of the great VMware Flings, tools created by VMware engineers and other contributors, unsupported, but mostly very handy or with great added value!
Before your rush into the installation, check the prerequisites first. It can only be run on Windows server 2016 or higher or Windows 10 1809. It works with VMware Horizon version 7.5.1, but according to the developer 7.6 works better and 7.10 works the best. I’ve tested it against Horizon 7.9 and it looks all is working fine. So once you’ve checked the prerequisites, you’re ready to go!
The installation is as easy as unzipping the downloaded ZIP file and run the powershell script “install-reachservice.ps1” to install the service or just run it manually by starting “horizon-reach.exe –console” According to the installation manual, it takes 2 minutes but I guess they timed it on a slow test system ?.
Once the service is started (or the console app) let’s browse to https://<reachserver>:9443 (you can adjust the port later if you want). You’ll get a certificate warning because by default a self-signed certificate is used. If you want to change that, see the installation instructions.
You’ll be presented with a familiar logon page. There are 2 users built-in: “administrator” and “viewer”. Both users have the password “Heimdall123” so be sure to change those (at least the administrator)! Use the administrator when you login for the first time, cause we’ll need to setup some things first.
We need to setup our server first. Enter your connection server details and Horizon Reach will try to search your whole Horizon environment. If all goes well, you’ll be presented with a nice dashboard showing lots of useful information about your environment. Of course, historical data will need to gather for some time first, but live that like current active sessions, disconnected sessions, problem machines, … are available immediately.
There are some reports available to see the License usage (currently doesn’t work on my environment), Peak usage and Peak Unique Users
Besides the reports, there’s also lots of live information to be found of every aspect of the Horizon Environment. Some of them are really interesting. I’ll show you some screenshots from the information
Connection servers overview
Desktop Pools overview
vCenter Hosts details/usage
Desktop Pool details/usage
The alarms view shows problematic states or incorrect configurations. They can be adjusted to your own preferences. This can be done via the Settings – Alarm Configuration. You can disable some validations (e.g. if you use self-signed certificates, it will show as a warning, but you can disable this warning). You can also set thresholds for CPU/memory/storage usage, …
As you can see, with Horizon Reach you’ll get a valuable insight into your VMware Horizon environment, but it’s not a real monitoring system. You can’t setup notifications to alert you when there’s a problem. You would have to check Horizon Reach regularly to see if there are any alarms. You could of course install PRTG and use the scripts from my Horizon/PRTG series posts to monitor and notify you if problems occur. They offer a free version for up to 100 sensors, so that should get you started. Nevertheless, I find Horizon Reach a nice extra on top of my existing monitoring system.
Kudos to Andrew Morgan, primary contributor of this and other nice projects!