Guest blog by Greg Pellegrino, Product Manager, Pivot3
Exciting news from VMware that Horizon 6 was announced this week! VMware provided the opportunity to beta test the product, so I thought it would be fun and beneficial to share my thoughts on the new capacities framed by the impact to Pivot3’s customers and their business operations. I spent a few hours with the Horizon 6 beta software loaded on the Pivot3 Test Drive array. Pivot3 purpose-builds converged storage appliances for desktop virtualization. The vSTAC R2S P Cubed appliance comes pre-configured with VMware Horizon.
Major features in the VMware Horizon 6 release include:
By Sachin Sharma, Product Marketing Manager, End-User Computing, VMware
Along with our major announcement of VMware Horizon 6 yesterday, I’m delighted to announce VMware Mirage 5.0!
We’ve been working hard to support various new and exciting features. With Mirage 5.0 we continue with our unified image management support for the latest Windows operating system – Windows 8.1. IT can use VMware Mirage to migrate their end user’s existing Windows 7 devices onto Windows 8.1 The dynamic layering flexibility that Mirage customers are used to with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 has now been extended to support Windows 8.1. And with our previous Mirage 4.4 release, Windows 8 and 8.1 devices could be protected with automated backup and full system recovery options. We also introduced the Mirage Gateway in 4.4. We’ve been enhancing the Mirage Gateway for higher scalability and performance across distributed environments. Let’s take a look at these Mirage 5.0 features more in-depth:
Windows 8.1 Migration Support – Windows 7 devices can be migrated to Windows 8.1 in Mirage 5.0. Customers will realize the same great benefits with using Mirage for migration of Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 as they did for migration of Windows XP to Windows 7. A snapshot is taken before the migration even begins, so a safety-net is in place in case anything goes wrong during the migration. The end-user downtime is still a minimum amount, usually 30 minutes to an hour. And migrations from Windows 7 to 8.1 can be performed at grand scale. IT can mass migrate dozens to hundreds of devices per day.
Windows 8.1 Image Management Support – One of the key differentiators between Mirage and other image management solutions is the dynamic layering technology available in Mirage. As part of these layers that IT manages, IT can now distribute base and application layers to Windows 8.1 devices. This means IT can provision OS images, applications, and patches across distributed LAN or WAN environments. The flexibility in layering allows IT to easily manage which applications are removed or preserved during layer updates on Windows 8.1 devices. This fast type of provisioning even complements and extends IT shops that already have PCLM tools they may be using, and helps lower helpdesk support costs.
Windows 8 and 8.1 Disaster Recovery – Automated backup and full system recovery were features that were added to Mirage 4.4, which is already GA. However, we thought we’d highlight this feature to reiterate the benefits received with disaster recovery support for Windows 8 and 8.1. Several quick restore options are available, such as self-service restore, restoring entire devices from one piece of hardware to another, or just restoring applications and user data.
Mirage Gateway Enhancements – The Mirage Gateway was also introduced in Mirage 4.4. It essentially gives end-users an automatic way to connect from remote or branch locations, without the need to VPN back into the Mirage infrastructure in the datacenter. For distributed environments, the Mirage Gateway helps simplify endpoint management of distributed users across the WAN. In Mirage 5.0, we’ve tuned up the performance and scalability so that less infrastructure is required to support the Mirage Gateway. This greatly simplifies manageability of not only the backend infrastructure, but also the managed endpoints.
Mirage 5.0 will be generally available soon. If you have a next-generation environment that supports Windows 8.1, you’ll definitely want to give Mirage 5.0 a try! For more updates, please visit us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or discuss in our Communities.
By Judy Wu, Solution Engineer, End-User Computing, VMware, and Sheng Lu, Staff Engineer, End-User Computing, VMware
VMware Mirage 4.4 was released in March 2014! This latest release of Mirage introduces several new features. Mirage Edge Server is one of the most exciting ones. With Mirage Edge Server, remote end users can securely connect their devices back to the corporate network, where Horizon Mirage is centrally located, without going through a VPN. Saving this extra step creates a non-disruptive experience for those remote end users.
In this blog, we would like to share some guidelines and best practices for deploying and using the Mirage Edge Server. We will cover the following topics:
Topology for Mirage with Mirage Edge Server and remote clients
Mirage Edge Server installation steps and best practices, for administrators
Mirage Client installation, and troubleshooting on remote devices, for remote end users
Centralizing remote endpoints, for remote end users
By Judy Wu, Solution Engineer, End-User Computing, VMware
At times, users might experience problems with their desktop operations. The first issue to consider would be changes to the files and registry settings. These changes can occur when users, or some applications, install software on their desktops. To resolve these changes, use the Enforce Layers process in Web Manager to enforce, or reassign, the base layer or app layer that was originally provisioned by Horizon Mirage.
This example shows how to enforce a layer to recover a desktop with this type of problem.
Note: To complete this task, you must be a Web Manager Help Desk or Protection Manager. In this example, Protection Manager is used.
1. Open the Horizon Web Manager as the Protection Manager. Figure 1 displays what you see when you log in to the Web Manager as a Protection Manager.
Figure 1: Mirage Web Manager for the Protection Manager
By Judy Wu, Solution Engineer, End-User Computing, VMware
Microsoft ends support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014, so it is an urgent requirement for businesses of all sizes to migrate from Windows XP to Windows 7. VMware Horizon Mirage provides centralized image management for Windows desktops with enhanced OS migration capabilities. It is quite straightforward to migrate your Windows XP endpoints to Windows 7 with Horizon Mirage. However, you need a different methodology if your endpoint devices are encrypted with a third-party full-disk-encryption tool.
This blog tells you how to migrate to Windows 7 using Horizon Mirage without decrypting the endpoint devices that are encrypted by a third-party full-disk-encryption tool. This blog uses Sophos SafeGuard Enterprise 5.5 as an example.
By Luke Yue, Sr. Solution Engineer, End-User Computing, VMware
VMware Horizon Mirage is software used to centralize desktops in the datacenter for management and protection purposes. When Horizon Mirage is first introduced to an organization, each device must be backed up, creating a copy of it on the Mirage Server in the form of a Centralized Virtual Desktop, or CVD. You can then centrally manage the device.
The Mirage Management Console is the administrative interface used to manage endpoints. Administrative tasks in Horizon Mirage include
By Stephane Asselin, EUC Architect, Technical Enablement, End-User Computing, VMware
Horizon Mirage is a great solution to migrate your endpoints from Windows XP to Windows 7. It’s also a great solution to manage those same endpoints with a corporate image, one that’s built with the right operating-system version, drivers, and applications—all maintained centrally. It’s important to build a proper plan when deploying such a solution; you want to make sure you have all the important components (server, storage, network) properly sized to handle the workload you will manage.
The VMware Horizon Mirage Branch-Office Reference Architecture was developed to help achieve such a goal. This document clearly explains how to back up desktops deployed throughout your organization and also how to migrate them to a more recent operating system with an approved and properly configured corporate image.
The main focus of this document is to provide guidance for the management of branch-office endpoints by Horizon Mirage and of the resources utilized by Mirage servers. Following is a representation of a typical Horizon Mirage deployment, including both local and remote endpoints with Mirage Clients installed.
Many organizations face challenges during operating system and hardware migration projects. These challenges include choosing the right tool to help automate the process, utilizing precious IT staff time to accurately complete the project, pre- and post-migration assessment…to name a few. And it doesn’t help if IT is constantly under pressure to help drive the migration project to completion under strict time constraints. That is especially true for Windows XP to Windows 7 migration projects, since Microsoft’s support for Windows XP officially ends on April 8, 2014.
Some organizations may have already finished their Windows XP migration projects. Others may have just begun, just to realize the tool they’re using isn’t quite working as planned. And others may still be evaluating options for the best tool to use for their Windows XP migration project. For the latter two scenarios, IT staff must be thinking, “There has to be a tool out there to help make this migration process easier!” Well, that IT staff probably hasn’t taken a look at VMware Horizon Mirage. Horizon Mirage simplifies Windows XP migration for both IT and end-users. And with the layering capabilities that come with Horizon Mirage, the migration process gets even easier. How? Let’s explain.
By Judy Wu, Solution Engineer, End-User Computing, VMware
VMware Horizon View (formerly VMware View) is a virtual desktop infrastructure solution that simplifies desktop management and provides users with what they need, when they need it. VMware Horizon Mirage provides centralized image management for Windows desktops with enhanced levels of backup and OS migration capabilities. In short, Horizon View is used to build out the virtual desktop infrastructure, while Horizon Mirage manages the content inside the desktops—OS, applications, and user profiles and settings. So it would be fantastic to manage Horizon View desktops with Horizon Mirage, giving IT a single management solution for both physical and virtual desktop environments.
This blog tells you how to set up Horizon View full-clone desktops and manage them with Horizon Mirage.
The following graphic shows the topology for the environment.
By Tina de Benedictis, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, End-User Computing, VMWare
You may have noticed that VMware redesigned its website to better meet user needs. Over 7000 web pages were flipped over in unison to the new design on the 26th of August 2013. The new site is more modern and visually appealing, with built-in social functionality. Research on what our users want informed our decision to provide rapid access to technical content, with the business case ready for when you need to convince the funding side of your organization. You also told us which tasks you do most, so we made those tasks obvious, and you don’t have to search to find these tasks. In addition, the new design is consistent across the VMware product spectrum.
But I didn’t intend to focus all of your attention on our redesign. I want to tell you how to find those lost pages with technical resources for End-User Computing, which you may have had bookmarked, but which now give you errors. We have a lot of pages to redirect from the prior website to the new one, and we just couldn’t manage 7000 redirects!