VMware Mirage

Mirage Large-Scale Reference Architecture Available

The long-awaited VMware Mirage Large-Scale Reference Architecture is now available!

It reflects over five months of testing and includes data that will be useful to anybody planning to migrate large numbers of desktops—think hundreds or thousands—from XP to Windows 7. By “anybody” we mean not only the large customers we originally had in mind but also those who can apply our large-scale techniques and results to medium-sized implementations.

It will also be useful for those who need to migrate from Windows 7 to Window 8 or perform related tasks, such as backup management and image management.

We should note that large-scale backup and migration require substantial investments in IT, historically requiring separate tools for backup and for PC lifecycle management. This paper demonstrates how Mirage eliminates the need for separate tools, while protecting the customization, applications, and data that personalize each end-user system. Mirage also minimizes end-user downtime and time required from IT resources.

Making Life Easier for IT and for Users

As noted when we first announced this Mirage reference architecture, Mirage provides 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 can be 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, as will a new white paper on Mirage security considerations.

Quick Summary of Test Results

Our extensive testing demonstrated 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 per desktop on average.

We can say without exaggeration that these results compare very favorably with competitive solutions.

Take a look at the newly published white paper: VMware Mirage Large-Scale Reference Architecture.


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