Learn from my mistake! A VMware View/Composer basic issue

I sometimes hesitate to put my mistakes out there for the world to see, especially when they’re stupid ones. However, the whole point of this is to help other people, so here I go!

Last week, I spent some time building out our VMware View environment. We’re working on getting to a point where we can begin to reasonable deploy Teradici-based terminals to provide users with PCoIP-based virtual desktops. As any of you using View already know, there are several steps that need to be undertaken before your environment is ready for prime time. One of those steps involves enabling the View Composer from within the VMware View Administrator console.

For those of you that are not familiar with View Composer, here’s a paragraph from VMware that briefly summarizes the tool’s purpose in life:

VMware View Composer uses Linked Clone technology to reduce storage requirements by up to 70% while streamlining desktop image management by enabling the rapid creation and update of desktop images that share a virtual disk with a master image. With View Composer IT organizations can manage 100s or 1000s of desktops as a single image. All desktops linked to the master image can be patched or updated through View Manager simply by updating the master image, without affecting users’ settings, data or applications. With View 4.5, View Composer now includes support for Tiered storage making it easy for storage administrators to use different types of tiered storage for the same pool of users. View Composer and the tiered storage capability can enable further reductions in storage costs for VMware View virtual desktop deployments.

We do plan to use Composer as a part of our rollout.

I got the View Connection Server up and running with no problems. On the connection server, I had no issues whatsoever specifying the name and credentials for my vCenter server. However, when I attempt to Enable View Composer, I get the error message “Error while attempting to connect to View Composer” with no more detail. I searched through logs, but, for the life of me, could not figure out what I was doing wrong. I even went so far as to uninstall and reinstall the Composer tool on the vCenter server to make sure I hadn’t overlooked anything.

So, what had I done wrong?

When specifying the user name and password to use with the vCenter server, I failed to use the domain\user format. I had simply provided the user name. It worked for connecting to vCenter but did not work for the View Composer. Once I change the username to the right format, everything began to work as expected.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that waste the most time!

2 thoughts on “Learn from my mistake! A VMware View/Composer basic issue”

  1. Encountered roughly the same problem. My mistake, changing the ODBC connection vCenter had created while I was installing Composer. I didn't know to create a new ODBC connection for composer. Luckily, the info I needed was still in the registry. Once I got the DB stuff straightened out, things started working.

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