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

Feb 28, 2014
Stephane Asselin

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Stéphane Asselin is a senior architect at VMware EUC. He has more than 20 years of experience in IT, including as a senior systems engineer at Computer Associates and as a senior consultant at Microsoft.

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VMware 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.

vmware-horizon-mirage-architecture-branch-office

One of the strong features of Horizon Mirage is to minimize user downtime while the OS-migration process takes place. At a very high level, once you’ve installed the Mirage Client on the user endpoint, you can manage the endpoint from the Mirage Management Console. During the OS migration of a desktop, the user can continue to work until the actual pivot to the new OS. The only way a user knows that something is going on is a small notification text at the bottom of their screen that their endpoint is currently being migrated.

vmware-horizon-mirage-migration-client-message

This reference architecture document offers insights into the bandwidth utilized while the various Horizon Mirage operations take place—operations such as backing up and operating-system migration. You can measure the bandwidth utilized in the branch office—how much bandwidth is used by Horizon Mirage to centralize desktops and how much is used to migrate them to a newer OS.

Finally, in this reference architecture, we discuss the benefits of designating a Mirage Branch Reflector at the remote site to minimize the overall time and bandwidth utilized to complete the migration process.

The document is worth a good read and, for Horizon Mirage administrators, is a tool to keep in your back pocket. The data gathered from our testing will help you understand how Horizon Mirage works under the covers to optimize resources, minimize user downtime during migration, and reduce IT manual operations.

Take a look: VMware Horizon Mirage Branch-Office Reference Architecture!

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