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Manually Uploading Dedup Files on Mirage Branch Reflector

Eric MonjoinBy Eric Monjoin

Mirage is a great desktop administration tool; it not only makes it easier to backup and restore user data easily and conveniently via a web interface, or backup all or part of the system by the IT department, but it also ensures the compliance of the user’s workstation by sending and applying operating system or applications updates through “Base Layers” and “Application Layers.”

One problem that arises for IT managers is how to update workstations located at remote locations and connected to the data center via a low-bandwidth network or saturated by other network services.

Therein Mirage provides a first solution by using “Branch Reflectors,” which can be either a PC dedicated to this task or any PC on the remote site as long as it has sufficient disk space and it stays on constantly to receive all Base Layers and Application Layers. This is used to apply updates to workstations located on the same local network, thus avoiding all desktops receiving tedious updates from central Mirage servers.

But sometimes—despite the use of reflector Branch—it appears that the necessary bandwidth is too small for an update, even if it is for only one desktop. The solution that will be developed—which is shown below—explains how to manually update a Branch Reflector from extracted Base Layers or Application Layers.

So, the first thing to do is export layers. This is achieved using a command line from the management servers, but before exporting this layer you need to know its ID and version.

From the MMC or the Web Management Console, look at the Image Composer\Base Layer or Image Composer\App Layer and note the ID and Version of the layer you want to extract.

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Then, open a command line in your Mirage Management Server or Mirage Server and run the following command:

# “c:\Program Files\Wanova\Mirage Management Server\Wanova.Server.Tools.exe” LayerExtract \\MirageStorage ID Version Path Target_Path

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Once you export the layers, copy all files to an appropriate storage device, such as an external HDD or USB stick, send it or bring it to your remote location, and copy all files to a folder in your branch reflector.

Note: If the branch reflector is not dedicated but runs on a user desktop, I would recommend hiding the folder where you put the files.

In the meantime, we have to configure the factory policy to scan for this folder so Mirage will know that files are already on the Branch Reflector and will not try to push them again.

  1. On the Mirage Management Server, open a Command Prompt and type the following command:
# “c:\Program Files\Wanova\Mirage Management Server\Wanova.Server.Cli.exe”
  1. In the CLI type: GetFactoryPolicy c:\factory_policy.xml
  1. Open and edit the file: c:\factory_policy.xml
  1. Find the “ExtraDedupArea” area and modify the section to add the directory used to receive all dedup files on the Branch Reflector:
      <Directory path="%windows%.old" recursive="true" filter="*" />
       <Directory path="%systemvolume%\MirageDedup" recursive="true" filter="*" />     <<= Line added
    <ExcludeList />
  1. Import the new rules to add them in the Factory Policy by typing in the CLI: setFactoryPolicy c:\factory_policy.xml

This generally needs to be done only once, unless you have a really big update with new applications to push to desktops.

Eric Monjoin joined VMware France in 2009 as PSO Senior Consultant after spending 15 years at IBM as a Certified IT Specialist. Passionate for new challenges and technology, Eric has been a key leader in the VMware EUC practice in France. Recently, Eric has moved to the VMware Professional Services Engineering organization as Technical Solutions Architect. Eric is certified VCP6-DT, VCAP-DTA and VCAP-DTD and was awarded vExpert for the 4th consecutive year.