Mirage Large-Scale Reference Architecture

Aug 22, 2014
Stephane Asselin

Author:

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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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:

  • Desktop snapshots stored in the data center let IT recover partial or full desktops when needed.
  • The Mirage Web Manager makes it easier to troubleshoot and fix endpoints.
  • The Mirage Server, designed to handle large numbers of concurrent operations in a scale-out model, enables vast improvements in endpoint centralization and reduces the drain on server resources.
  • Compared to other solutions, Mirage cuts user downtime during migration to a bare minimum.

Windows migration is more cumbersome than it might appear, especially because there is no direct upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 8.1. It is also more urgent than ever because support for XP has already ended, and Windows 7 support is scheduled to end in January.

With Mirage, you can set up a two-step automated migration—the best solution available—but any large-scale migration requires careful planning. Step-by-step instructions will be available soon.

Preview of Reference Architecture Results

Testing of a new reference architecture for large-scale Mirage deployments has just been completed. As this post goes to press, the results are being written up and will be published in time for VMworld EMEA.

Our tests demonstrate that VMware Mirage:

  • Reduced the amount of data that had to be transferred to the data center during backup of LAN-based desktops—using deduplication and compression—by 32%.
  • Increased system utilization to match increased network bandwidth, providing a linear decrease in the amount of time required to back up desktops.
  • Migrated up to 800 desktops concurrently from Windows XP to Windows 7 in less than 10 hours, requiring minimal IT resources.
  • Minimized end-user downtime and resulting productivity loss during the migration to just 26 minutes on average.

These results all compare very favorably with competitive solutions.

We will post another blog, with a link to the full reference architecture, as soon as it is published. Watch for it—we think you will like it!

 

By Stephane Asselin and Gary Sloane, consultant for VMware End-User Computing

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