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Tag Archives: VMware mirage

By Sachin Sharma, Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

A constant theme I hear when talking to customers about managing their virtual, physical, and cloud-hosted environments tends to center around the challenges they face with applications and users. In particular, the questions that customers are looking to solve are ones like how can I simplify management of my 100s of apps throughout their lifecycle, from provisioning, to updating, to dealing with app conflicts? How can I optimize delivery of applications to all the different environments, devices, and users I manage?  How can I drive down costs of managing user personas while delivering a consistent experience across devices? And these are just some of the questions I hear. Well, we’ve been working to help tackle these challenges with a complete Workspace Environment Management solution using our Horizon technologies.

What is Workspace Environment Management? It’s an end-to-end approach to application and end-user management across physical, virtual, and cloud-hosted desktop environments. This approach enables IT organizations to effectively isolate and deliver applications in real-time, monitor performance, and map persona and policies to best meet end-user requirements across devices and locations. These capabilities allow IT to simplify producing and delivering applications and user policies, and end-users to consume applications as a service independent of device and location. Bridget Botelho from Tech Target has a complementary explanation in her Q&A with Harry Labana, VP Products for EUC at VMware.


Workspace Environment Management


So, how does VMware fit into this space? By using a variety of technologies available in Horizon, VMware is uniquely positioned to help customers deliver and manage apps and end-users across any environment. These environments can be virtual, physical, and even cloud-hosted. Horizon enables applications to effectively be isolated, delivered, published and monitored in real-time. This in turn helps optimize the way organizations manage workspace environments, along with driving down infrastructure and management costs. Let’s take a look at what this means in the context of the Horizon offering…

App Isolation and Delivery

To begin–using VMware ThinApp, apps can be isolated so as to avoid app conflicts, or running legacy apps on newer operating systems for example. App isolation helps lower TCO by reducing or eliminating the need to install applications when needed. Simply isolate the apps to run independent of the underlying OS.

With Horizon, apps and desktops can be provisioned using a single and secure platform via Horizon RDSH capabilities. This includes published applications and desktops. With our latest release of Horizon, we now offer full RDS Hosted Apps support, Windows Media Multimedia Redirection (MMR), Scanner Redirection, and HTML Access for RDS desktops. These capabilities help streamline management for better user experience across the WAN.

A key component of WEM is application delivery. VMware has optimized application delivery to virtual and physical desktops, and even RDSH and XenApp servers. With VMware App Volumes, IT can instantly deliver applications to virtual desktops (see video below), RDSH servers, and XenApp servers in real-time with lifecycle management.

App Volumes virtualizes above the OS with VMDK or VHD files that attach to a user or virtual desktop via an AppStack. App Volumes has a one to many delivery scheme that helps organizations lower their storage capacity by 30%. Just use one VMDK or VDH file, full of applications, to attach to many users or desktops! IT can benefit from the lower costs of maintaining a non-persistent environment, while delivering a seamless end-user experience across environments. For physical and BYO scenarios, VMware Mirage provides dynamic layering that helps quickly deliver updates to operating systems and applications. Our customers have been able to reduce their device management time by nearly 67% with Mirage.

User Environment Management

Another critical component of WEM is something that we announced at PEX this year – our acquisition of Immidio. Immidio offers a user environment management (UEM) solution. IT can deliver personalization and dynamic policy configuration to end users across any virtual, physical, and cloud-based environment.  The Immidio solution simplifies end-user profile management by providing organizations with a simple and scalable solution that requires no additional infrastructure – a huge cost savings compared to other UEM solutions. IT can simply map infrastructure (including networks and printers) and dynamically set policies for end users. For example, map policies according to location, which you can see in the third part of the video below.

With this solution, end users can also enjoy quick access with a personalized and consistent experience across devices and locations. For example, changing personalization settings on apps can persist across devices, as we illustrate in the second part of the video above. The net effect—organizations leveraging Immidio can increase workplace productivity while driving down the cost of acquisition and day-to-day desktop support and operations.

Up to this point, I’ve illustrated how we are able to isolate, provision, and deliver applications, while simplifying management of user’s profiles across different devices and locations. Another component of WEM includes application access. End users should be able to access their apps and desktops through a unified workspace. VMware offers this through our Workspace Portal. With single-sign on and the ability to access all SaaS apps, ThinApps, XenApps, RDSH Apps, and virtual desktops, this is the one stop shop for accessing applications. End users can enjoy personalized access to all of their applications through a secure, unified workspace with a consistent experience across devices and locations.

Application Maintenance and Monitoring

Now that we’ve highlighted the key components of Horizon that make up WEM, let’s take a look at the natural process of app maintenance and monitoring. We simplify app maintenance by making it a repeatable process. Let’s say you have to update a patch on an application like Firefox. You simply update the application via AppStacks or Layers. Or if you need to isolate Firefox, just update it using ThinApp. Then use the delivery mechanism of choice to the preferred platform of choice, and voila, Firefox has been updated and the end-user can consume the app. IT can even proactively monitor app and desktop performance using vRealize Operations, which you can see in the video below. IT can help reduce support calls and provide better end-user experience by remediating based on proactive alerts and in-guest metrics.


Using these technologies available through Horizon, you can enable Workspace Environment Management in your environment. Now you can help your organization drive application and end-user management transformation using Horizon. For more information, I encourage you to visit us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or check out the Mobility section of our hands on labs.



Mirage API White Paper Now Available

By Judy Wu, End-User-Computing Solution Engineer, VMware

The Using the VMware Mirage API to Develop Your Own Front-End Interfaces white paper is now available.

This paper introduces the new Mirage API feature that was released along with Mirage 5.1. Mirage API is a group of APIs which allows IT administrators to develop their own front-end interfaces to the Mirage infrastructure. With Mirage API you can not only speed up the management of endpoints but also integrate your Mirage environment with third-party systems.

Organization of the White Paper

The paper consists of the following content:

  • Setting up your Mirage environment for the Mirage API – Describes the steps to set up your Mirage environment for the Mirage API in Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2.
  • Configuring your development environment – You can develop your own front-end interfaces using the Mirage API in Windows C#, Java, and Python. This section illustrates the configurations for each development environment.
  • Use cases and workflows – Both centralization and OS migration are supported in the Mirage API in Mirage 5.1. This section introduces possible workflows for each use case.

Take a look at the newly published Using the VMware Mirage API to Develop Your Own Front-End Interfaces.

Using ThinApp Virtual Applications in VMware Mirage App Layers

By Stephane Asselin, Senior End-User-Computing Architect, Technical Enablement, End-User Computing, VMware

As you all know, VMware ThinApp has been the leading application virtualization solution since 2008. ThinApp is great for application virtualization, for application isolation (enabling multiple versions of the same application on one desktop), and for supporting older applications (legacy apps). Packaging an application with ThinApp is straightforward, and VMware has published many articles on this topic. You can find information through the VMware knowledge base article Best practices for capturing an application for VMware ThinApp 4.x/5.x (KB 1030290), and you can also find many good how-to articles on the ThinApp community forum. This article does not focus on the packaging of applications, but instead focuses on application deployment of ThinApp packages through VMware Mirage application layers (app layers). We expect that you are already familiar with creating and deploying Mirage application layers. Continue reading

Mirage 5.0 Reviewer’s Guide Now Available

By Judy Wu, End-User-Computing Solution Engineer, VMware

The Mirage 5.0 Reviewer’s Guide is available now!

Organization of the Reviewer’s Guide

This guide consists of the following major sections: Introduction, Architecture and Components, and Hands-On Evaluation Exercises for Mirage:

  • Introduction – Includes major use cases, key features in Mirage, and package and licensing information.
  • Architecture and Components – Includes descriptions of the major components and functionality, as well as architectural examples.
  • Hands-On Evaluation Exercises for Mirage – Provides detailed steps for most of the use cases and functionality of Mirage 5.0: image management, layer management, OS migration, endpoint provisioning, data recovery, disaster recovery, driver management, file portal, and more.

Experienced administrators might find the features, architecture, and best practices most useful. If you are new to Mirage, you might find the step-by-step exercises of both existing and new features most useful. Continue reading

Resizing the Partitions of a Physical PC for a Mirage Migration

By Stephane Asselin, Senior End-User-Computing Architect, Technical Enablement, VMware  

When you manage physical PCs that have been in the field for some time, you will likely run into some problems that impact your approach to PC management. For example, in the early days, users would often partition their hard drives for various reasons: performance, ease of maintenance, personal data, or multiple OS support. Whatever the reason, this kind of partitioning can limit your approach to a fully automated Mirage-managed migration from Windows XP to Windows 7, or from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1. The reason: a lack of disk space. Continue reading

VMware Mirage Bootcamp Videos

By Sachin Sharma, Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

One of the easiest ways to learn about VMware technologies is through videos. The videos we record are easy to consume and available on-demand. In fact, we have many VMware Mirage videos available on our YouTube playlist. Today I’d like to introduce the VMware Mirage Bootcamp series. This series covers everything from a general overview of Mirage to architecture guides to best practices including:

  • Mirage Overview – key capabilities and core technology of VMware Mirage including a live demo of the Mirage management console
  • Image Management Architecture Guide with Mirage – core architecture principles to design a centralized image management. We also review design methodology, sizing and scalability, and integration with Horizon.
  • CVDs, Layers, Policies, and Rules in Mirage – a deep-dive look at managing CVDs in VMware Mirage. We also cover layer management, CVD policies, layer rules, and scripting in Mirage.
  • Windows Migration – how Windows migrations are performed with VMware Mirage, and the benefits IT and end users receive as a result. We cover how Mirage handles USMT, post-scripts, layers, and drivers as part of the migration process with Mirage.
  • Best Practices with Remote and Branch Offices – deep-dive look at best practices with managing endpoints across remote and branch offices using VMware Mirage.
  • Best Practices in Automation – the automation capabilities offered in VMware Mirage. We also explain how to use the Mirage Server Tools and give examples of automation tasks.

Continue reading

Image Management with VMware Mirage: The Wednesday Morning Cure for Patch Tuesday

By Stephane Asselin, End-User Computing Architect, VMware

You have all had that knot in the pit of your stomach. If you, like me, have ever managed an IT environment, you know what I mean. It happens every Wednesday morning after the 2nd Tuesday of the month. What patches did Microsoft release this time? How will it impact your environment? Will you be spending the next few days and nights testing and deploying patches, keeping your fingers crossed that the patches do not break anything?

What IT administrator would not want to manage only one or two Windows images? Everybody would like that, and let me tell you, it is possible!

Utilizing VMware Mirage, you can reduce the number of Windows images you need to manage, with an end goal of managing one image, or two at most (x32 and x64). Before you use Mirage, however, you have some work to do! You need clear processes, a well-defined management and update cycle, and people who can properly assess the level of urgency and relevance of those updates or patches. If you have those in place, then you are ready to implement a technology solution that will support a simplified image management solution. Continue reading

Introducing VMware Horizon FLEX

By Gina Daly, Technical Writer for Technical Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

Do your employees want to use Macs in the workplace? Do you want to say ‘Yes’ to a BYO program? Perhaps you are hiring more temporary and contract staff? However, you struggle with balancing corporate access and corporate compliance…

VMware Horizon FLEX is an exciting new product that addresses these use cases and more! Horizon FLEX was announced at VMworld Europe 2014 and will be generally available soon. The VMware Horizon FLEX Solution Brief discusses the enterprise use cases solved by Horizon FLEX, as well as how it works and a sample of some of the functionality. Continue reading

Alarms in Mirage 5.0

By Sachin Sharma, Product Marketing Manager, End-User Computing, VMware

It has been a few months since we released Horizon 6, yet it feels like it was just yesterday! With all the activities since the release (webinars, workshops, road shows, and so on), I have had little time to blog about one of my favorite aspects of the Horizon 6 release—Mirage 5.0.  Mirage 5.0 introduced several new features, including Windows 8.1 support and enhancements to the Mirage Gateway. I would like to tell you about one of the cool new features that might have gone unnoticed, but which can help desktop administrators in a big way—alarms. Continue reading

Announcing VMware Mirage 5.1!

By Sachin Sharma, Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

We introduced VMware Mirage 5.0 as part of our exciting Horizon 6 launch earlier this year. Since then, we’ve been hard at work enhancing the next version. And now, I’m pleased to announce the official general availability of VMware Mirage 5.1! If you were able to attend one of our Mirage breakout sessions at VMworld in San Francisco last month, you got a sneak peek at some of the enhancements we’ve put in place.  We wanted to make managing your desktop inventory even easier with this release. Let’s take a look at some of the new features in Mirage 5.1.

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