How to enable vCOps Manager functionality with Windows Server 2008 R2 Desktops

Windows Server 2008 R2 is now supported as desktop operating system with Horizon View 5.3 (here). As most of you probably know Microsoft does not provide SPLA licensing model (Service Provider Level Agreement) for  Windows desktop operating systems (Windows 7, 8 and 8.1) to allow enterprise customers and service providers to create Desktop-as-a-Service offerings using enterprise grade VDI solutions such as Horizon View. However, Windows Server 2008 does provide SPLA licensing model enabling  alignment with Microsoft licensing terms.

Unfortunately vCenter Operations Manager functionality is not supported with Windows Server 2008 R2 desktops, as per VMware KB 2057605, and it won’t show up as an option during the installation process.


Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 2.25.32 PM

The picture above shows the lack of vCenter Operations Manager agent

during the Horizon View install process.


Fortunately, both products work together and are just not supported due to the lack of testing to validate its full supportability. Delivering an enterprise grade solution like Horizon View is not an easy task, and sometimes priorities play a big role into what is tested and validated before releasing a new version.

After following the instructions in VMware KB 2057605 to enable View Brokers to accept Windows 2008 servers as desktop and installing the Horizon View Agent, you must download and install the stand-alone VMware vCOPs for Horizon View Desktop Agent 1.5.1 64-bit available at

If your vCenter Operations Manager is already deployed and configured… voila! Your Windows 2008 servers desktops and it’s metrics will also start to show up in vCenter Operations Manager. See the pictures below that demonstrate my lab environment being monitored for Windows 2008 servers desktops.


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Important Notes:

  • This approach is completely not supported by VMware and all the changes and modifications in this article are purely from an experiment perspective.
  • Do not execute the instructions mentioned in this article in a production environment.
  • I am not suggesting here that Windows 2K8 Server should be used as a replacement for Windows 7 as desktop from a licensing perspective. If you have any questions on licensing, please talk to your Microsoft rep.


This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at

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