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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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)

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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