Licensing VMware Mirage when used with View

With the recent news from VMworld Barcelona that Horizon Mirage and Horizon View can now be used together, I’ve been thinking about how this might affect the licensing. With the ability to manage full clone desktops in View with Mirage the need for a user to have more than one device managed by Mirage is increased.

In the past Mirage was licensed by endpoint or PC and not by the user. This was fine when it was only for the physical world and the norm would be for each user to have only one physical PC. When VMware announced Horizon Suite the products were moved to a named user licensing model.

Lets talk about one of the options that I’ve been thinking about. The basic idea is I have 100 users that have PC’s that are managed by Mirage and are used as the method to access their View desktop. The View desktops for these 100 users are also full clones and are managed by Mirage. So this means that each use has two mirage managed OS’s.

The following is a quote from a blog post from VMware.

The benefit of named-user licensing for the Horizon Suite is that one named user can use as many devices as they wish at once, on any or all of the products in the Horizon Suite (Horizon View, Horizon Mirage, and Horizon Workspace).

So this leads me to believe that under the proposed scenario I’m fine and if I purchase a single Horizon Suite named user license for each user I will be fine. But the problem is at least it still existed in Mirage 4.2 which was part of the Suite, is that Mirage still acts in a per device licensing model. Not sure if Mirage 4.3 will fix this licensing oversight, will have to wait for it to be available for download. In the past this was not really an issue because VMware did not support the use of Mirage managing View desktops.

So the question comes down to if Mirage is still not properly supporting named users in version 4.3, how would a solution like this be licensed? I’ve come up with the two following options.

Option 1 – I would purchase 100 named user licenses for Horizon Suite from VMware and build my environment. But I need to have support for the extra 100 Mirage endpoints. So VMware will have to give me 100 separate Mirage licenses to support this.

Option 2 – This option has me still purchasing 100 named user licenses of Horizon Suite but also purchasing 100 licenses of Mirage named users separately. This adds 50% to my cost of this solution.

While I think that the second option is highly unlikely but what level of effort will it take to work out the logistics of option 1 with VMware?

 

  • License Cost

  • User Count
  • Horizon Suite Licenses
  • Mirage Licenses
  • DT's managed by Mirage
  • VDI managed by Mirage
  • Estimate Costs
  • Option 1

  • $300

    per user

  • 100
  • 100
  • 0
  • 100
  • 100
  • $30,000
  • Option 2

  • $450

    per user

  • 100
  • 100
  • 100
  • 100
  • 100
  • $45,000

 

I look forward to this licensing issue being fixed very soon. If anyone from VMware has any thoughts on this I would appreciate the feedback.

 

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

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My wishlist for a VMware EUC suite to be created

After talking to a number of customers about the vCloud suite lately and my normal EUC projects I have come to the conclusion that I would like to see VMware offer a Suite of products around their desktop related offerings. I think that this would be desirable for many reasons.

Would be great to see VMware offer the ability within a suite of offering per socket licensing for these EUC products. This would allow companies to design their View deployments to scale very dense helping reduce the licensing costs. I’m sure there will be resistance to this type of licensing since many of these products lend themselves to a per user type of cost.

I have compiled a list of products below that could be offered in two different EUC Suites. The Standard Suite offering customers the ability to implement solid VDI designs with the Enterprise Suite offering customers the ability to utilize the pending full suite of VMware desktop offerings.

VMware EUC Enterprise Suite

  • VMware View Premier
  • vCOps for View
  • Horizon Suite (Application Manager, Data and Mobile)
  • Mirage

VMware EUC Standard Suite

  • VMware View Premier
  • vCOps for View
  • Horizon Application Manager

 

 

 

 

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

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Mirage definitions for the various working parts

I thought that I would put together a detailed this of definitions for the various parts and acronyms used with VMware Mirage. This will help people understand the different parts and features of Mirage when starting to learn or work with the product. These are taken from VMware documentation and supplemented by myself.

Mirage Client on the desktop – The Mirage Client is installed on endpoint devices to enable them to run a Centralized Virtual Desktop (CVD) or convert an existing desktop into a CVD.

Mirage Management Server – The Mirage Management Server is the main component that controls and manages the Mirage Server cluster.

Mirage Management Console – The Mirage Management Console is the graphical user interface used to perform scalable maintenance, management, and monitoring of deployed endpoints. Through the Mirage Management Console, the administrator configures and manages Clients, Base Layers, and reference machines, performs operations such as update and restore, and monitors the system operation through the dashboard and event logs.

Mirage Server – The Mirage Server efficiently manages the storage and delivery of Base Layers and CVDs to clients, and consolidates monitoring and management communications. A Base Layer is used as a template for desktop content, cleared of specific identity information, and made suitable for central deployment to a large group of endpoints. Multiple Mirage Servers can be deployed as a server cluster to manage endpoint devices for large enterprise organizations.
Note: The server machine must be dedicated for use by the Mirage Server software; it should not be used for any other purposes. For hardware requirements and supported platforms, see 2.3 Hardware Prerequisites.

Reference Machine – A reference machine is used to create a standard desktop build for a set of CVDs. This usually includes operating system updates, service packs and patches, corporate applications to be used by all target end users, and corporate configuration and policies.
Mirage offers unique capabilities to maintain and update reference machines over time, either over the LAN or WAN, using a Mirage Reference CVD entity in the data center. The Reference CVD can be used at any time as a source for Base Layer capture.

Branch Reflector – The Branch Reflector is a peering service role that can be enabled on any endpoint device. When enabled, the Branch Reflector serves adjacent clients when downloading and updating Base Layers in the site, instead of having the clients download directly from the Mirage Server cluster. Using the Branch Reflector can significantly reduce bandwidth usage during mass Base Layer updates or other Base Layer download scenarios.

File Portal – The file portal (which leverages IIS 7.0 or higher) allows end users to view the files that exist in their CVD snapshots from any web browser by using the appropriate login credentials.

Centralized Virtual Desktop (CVD) – A CVD enables an Administrator to centrally manage, update, patch, back up, troubleshoot, restore, and audit the desktop in the data center – regardless of whether the endpoint is connected to the network.
A CVD comprises four components:

  • Base Layer defined by the administrator, which comprises the operating system image plus the core applications.
  • Driver Profile, defined by the IT Administrator, is a group of drivers that have been designated for use with specific hardware platforms. These drivers are applied to devices automatically when the hardware platforms match the criteria defined by the IT Administrator in the Driver Profile.
  • User-installed applications and machine state (unique identifier, hostname, any configuration changes to the machine registry, DLLs, and configuration files).
  • User settings and data.

Changes made by the end user to data, applications, or the machine state are efficiently propagated to the data center. Conversely, all changes made to the Base Layer by administrators in the data center are similarly propagated to the endpoints. Administrators can identify data that should not be protected, such as MP3s, or other files that are considered local-only to the endpoint.

Mirage Client – Installed on the endpoint, this software executes in the base operating system, making sure the image at the endpoint and the CVD are fully synchronized. The Mirage Client is hypervisor-free but hypervisor -friendly: no virtual machines or hypervisors are required, though execution on any Type 1 or Type 2 hypervisor is supported.

Distributed Desktop Optimization (DDO) – Optimizes transport of data between the Mirage Server and the Mirage Client – making it feasible to support remote endpoints regardless of network speed or bandwidth. DDO incorporates technologies that include read-write caching, file and block-level de-duplication, network optimization, and desktop streaming over the WAN.

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

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VMware Mirage design and architecture details

With VMware purchasing Mirage almost a year ago there is still little information on the use and design of Mirage available. So through working with VMware Mirage and reading documentation I have complied details about how to design a new Mirage environment. As of the time I wrote this post there is limited design details available in the Mirage administration PDF from VMware.

Mirage architecture options:

The Mirage application has a fairly simple architecture compared to many enterprise applications and tools. There are really two main options for designing the Mirage layout. You can either implement a standalone Mirage server or build a Mirage server cluster. You have the options to install the Mirage Management server and console on a separate server or one of the Mirage servers in a small design.

 

Mirage server requirements:

Each Mirage management server that you build will need the following minimum requirements.

  • 16GB of Memory
  • 2 CPU
  • Minimum of 146GB of store (does not include storage for desktop CVD’s)
  • 2 Gigabit Network interfaces

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

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What type of storage to use for VMware Mirage

Surprisingly Mirage has some fairly lean requirements for the management infrastructure. One of the key pieces is the storage, after all we are storing is our master image(s) and the backups from each endpoint. So Mirage is a fairly storage focused product.

A nice thing about VMware Mirage is that it does not require blazing fast storage to provide its services. The disks that will store the CVD backups are located on the single-instance-store (SIS) and can be located on Tier 2 or Tier 3 disks. This will allow your design to utilize larger capacity drives keeping the cost of deploying low.

One scenario that I thought of that you might want to use Tier 2 disks for would be a Windows migration project. For example if you are upgrading endpoints from Windows XP to Windows 7 you will keep pushing out larger amounts of data than your current steady state. So for this you could store the base layer for this process on better performing disk. Another reason is under a project like this you are likely to be pushing this out to larger quantities of endpoints during each wave. Once the migration is complete an Administrator can move the base layer to a lower tier of storage.

Lab Test:

I performed a quick test in my home lab. I asked a test endpoint to re-sync with the Mirage server and watched the IO activity on the Mirage server VM via ESXTOP. The Mirage server was running on a HP ML150 server with a local SSD drive. The test endpoint was running on same host located on a home office NFS storage device connected via 1GbE. The average IO during the sync on the Mirage server was 3-5 IOPs with a short spike to 30 IOPs. The endpoint moved between 30-100 IOPs. This was not a full push of an image, it was just an incremental sync of changes. This was just a simple test in a home to get an idea of what the workload might be for each sync.

You can deploy a standalone Mirage server or a Mirage server cluster. I have listed the storage options that both deployment methods support. These are the methods for connecting to storage not the performance of the storage.

Standalone Mirage Server:

  • Direct Attached Storage (DAS).
  • Storage Area Network (SAN) connected through iSCSI or Fiber Channel (FC).
  • Network Attached Storage (NAS) connected through iSCSI, Fiber Channel (FC), or CIFS network share.

Mirage Server Cluster:

  • Network Attached Storage (NAS) connected using a CIFS network share

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

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VMware Mirage how to series

I am lucky enough to work with a good amount of customers around the VDI and End User Computing (EUC) space. And one of the products that is part of the VMware offering that has me excited these days is VMware Mirage. So I will be doing a series of posts around Mirage that will cover its features and how to use many of them. I will continue to update this list as new posts are finished. I have started with a list of things that I will be working.

I will use this post as the index for reaching each of these individual posts. If you have questions around Mirage or would like to see a feature that’s not yet listed here drop me a note in the comments.

Mirage

What you need to know about Mirage

VMware Mirage use cases
Wanova and Mirage history
Mirage definitions of features and parts
What are main Mirage features
How does Mirage work over a WAN connection
Storage for Mirage
Mirage design considerations

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

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