A list of some VMware Mirage use cases
If you are not familiar with VMware Mirage or you were just wondering what could I use this new application for, I will try and fill in the blanks for you. I was pretty excited when VMware announced that they purchased Wanova and the Mirage product. I think Mirage along with the upcoming Horizon Suite round out the VMware EUC story nicely. Both of the new products take VMware from just being a VDI focused offering to a complete EUC offering.
So what is this Mirage thing? I’ve included the description below from VMware.
With VMware Mirage, IT can centrally manage physical desktops and laptops remotely while their end users continue to leverage all of the local power of those devices. When IT has all of these endpoints centralized, they can perform remote disaster recovery, hardware refreshes, Windows 7 migrations, and single image management. Mirage offers the benefits of centralization and VDI manageability coupled with the power of local execution and persistent end-user personalization.
Here are a few of the most common user cases for VMware Mirage that I find myself talking to customers about on a regular basis. There are probably a few more that I will update as I think of them. If you have an idea drop a note in the comments.
- Physical Desktops / Laptops
- Alternate to View Local Mode
- Re-purposed endpoint management
- Upgrade Windows version ( Example: Windows XP to Windows 7)
Physical PCs – This use case is focused around using the features of Mirage to reduce management effort of physical PCs but still be able to harness the power of desktop PCs. The reason for this could be for different reasons.
- The first take on this use case could be a company that is looking for a way to reduce Operating System (OS) management effort. In the past companies might have used some other desktop management tool or maybe nothing. I think that Mirage offers some great benefits that could aid desktop admins in their daily duties. Mirage would provide the ability to use as little as one OS image for all your desktops. This image would be patched and only the updated bits would be pushed out to the endpoints. Teams would also benefit from the Mirage backups of endpoints, backups is something that most companies do not bother with at the desktop level.
- The second take on this use case might be a company that has already deployed View for virtual desktops (VDI) but there was a use case or several that were not included in the VDI deployment. This was because these use cases were not a good fit for VDI. The reasons might have been that these users had very high resource needs and consumption, possibly something like CAD or Design work for example. In the past you would have most likely just excluded them from the design. With Mirage I feel you can now bring them under a End User Computing (EUC) design that includes more than VDI. These users can be managed by Mirage and benefit form centralize image management and backups while still being able to locally execute their applications.
Alternate to View local mode – If you are not familiar with local mode its an option within VMware View that allows a user to check out a copy of their virtual desktops and run it locally on their PC. Some use cases require this but it can be a time consuming process and there are several design decisions that you must factor into this decision. In most cases companies elect not to use local mode because they don’t care for the process right now. Another would be to manage these PCs that will be working sometime in a disconnected mode with VMware Mirage. Mirage will still allow you to use central image management while allowing the user to work in a disconnected mode. Depending on the requirements from your users this might be a better fit.
Re-purposed endpoint management – For me this is one use case that I think could help companies that are adopting VDI or already using it. When most companies implement View they don’t rip and replace all their PCs with Thin Clients. So anyone using a View desktop must have their existing PC re-purposed, which means its typically loaded with a Windows image that is locked down to prevent software installs and has a small footprint. But the issue here is they still need to manage all these endpoints like typical Windows PCs. This requires normal effort, so they are getting all the benefits of VDI but did not get rid of the headache that is PC management. Enter VMware Mirage to push out this locked down PC image and use it for managing these endpoints. Reducing the need to travel to users location unless there is a hardware issue. I think this adds value to a View design, because lets face it there are not many corporations that are going to load something like Linux on their PCs to use them as a View client.
Windows Upgrades – This seems to be a pretty common use case for VMware Mirage. It was actually one of the main use cases when Wanova was selling the product. Mirage can help greatly when upgrading your Windows XP endpoints to Windows 7. By pushing out the centralized image to the endpoints the PCs can be upgrade without a trip to the desk and reduced effort by desktop admins.
Interested in other VMware Mirage topics refer to my Mirage Series.
About Brian Suhr
Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design