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Tag Archives: Mirage

Mirage Large-Scale Reference Architecture

By Stephane Asselin, EUC Architect, Technical Enablement, End-User Computing, and Gary Sloane, Consultant, VMware End-User Computing

Our biggest customers deploy thousands, sometimes many thousands, of desktops throughout their enterprises. Some of the biggest challenges they face are how to manage backups, how to do proper image management, and how to migrate from one Microsoft operating system to the next.

In all cases, they need to protect the customization, applications, and data that personalize each system for the end user, while minimizing both down time and time required from IT resources. Backup and migration require substantial investments in IT and the use of separate tools for backup and PC lifecycle management.

vmware-horizon-mirage-large-scale-reference-architecture

Mirage Makes Life Easier for IT

VMware Mirage overcomes these challenges with centralized image management and enhanced capabilities for backup and OS migration. Here are just a few examples:

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Migrating to Windows 8.x Using VMware Mirage 5.0

By John Domenichini, Technical Writer, VMware

With significant contributions from Stephane Asselin, EUC Architect, Technical Enablement, End-User Computing, VMware

VMware Mirage supports Windows 7 migration and, with release 5.0, Mirage adds Windows 8.1 and 8.1 Update 1 migration support. Okay, but what does that mean to you? It might mean a lot.

While Windows 8 offers some advantages over previous Windows versions, especially in the areas of security and performance, the market did not initially respond positively to the strikingly different interface.

However, the updates to Windows 8.1 address some of the major concerns the market had with the operating system. All the same, the migration process itself raises some concerns. This is where Mirage 5.0 can help. Mirage 5.0 addresses the most common migration concerns, making the migration to Windows 8.1 or 8.1 U1 a compelling proposition.

First, let us look at what Mirage 5.0 migration support includes. Continue reading

Migrate to Windows 7 or 8.1 at 20% off!

By Sachin Sharma, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, End-User Computing

I’m still shocked with the number of PCs that continue to run Windows XP as their primary operating system. We all know Microsoft end of support for Windows XP took effect a few months ago, in April 2014. Yet according to netmarketshare.com, more than 25% of PCs are still running Windows XP. Twenty-five percent! If you are still running Windows XP in your environment, either you’re paying a good amount for extended Microsoft support, or running a high risk for security vulnerabilities with continued use of XP. Hackers are already reverse engineering methods to expose unprotected XP machines. For example, security flaws for Internet Explorer on Windows XP have already been exposed. So if you’re running Windows XP in your environment, it’s time to take control and migrate to Windows 7. And the easiest way to help you is with VMware Mirage.

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The Latest View on Horizon 6 & Pivot3 vSTAC Appliances

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:

  • Cloud Pod Architecture
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services integration
  • Virtual SAN integration

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Announcing VMware Mirage 5.0

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 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.

 

Working with Horizon Mirage Edge Server

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

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Recovering Devices Through Enforce Layers in Horizon Mirage Web Manager

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.

WebManager

Figure 1: Mirage Web Manager for the Protection Manager

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Using Horizon Mirage for Windows 7 Migration of Windows XP Endpoints with Disk Encryption

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.

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Using the Protection Manager Role with Horizon Mirage Web Manager

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

  • Updating
  • Patching by means of layer updates
  • Backing up (centralizing)
  • Troubleshooting
  • Restoring desktops
  • Auditing

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Successfully Build Your Horizon Mirage Deployment for Branch Offices and the WAN

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.

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