Part 1 : Introduction to VMware Horizon Mirage

OVERVIEW

This post will only be an introduction to Horizon Mirage. We will talk about its Architecture , Components and Features in this post. Further we will look in to deploying Mirage and its Components .

WHY Horizon Mirage?

Horizon Mirage provides a centralized control of a full desktop instance in a distributed infrastructure by providing unified image management, Mirage supports physical desktops , virtual desktops and even a BYO device. Mirage offers IT a layered desktop image approach and there by separating OS, apps and user defined settings. We can also update a single base layer in the data center, and this will automatically synchronize the full image on all associated endpoints when they connect to the network, without overwriting user-installed applications, data, and setting preferences. With Mirage, we can not only take timely back ups of user desktop but also migrate operating systems while preserving user profile and data.

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User Personalization layer, Machine Identity layer are both controlled by Users. How ever the Driver Library, Mirage App layers and Base layers are all controlled by the IT. Hence the changes made by the User are copied over to the Mirage server in the data center and changes made by IT are synced back to the endpoint.

ARCHITECTURE

Typical Mirage architecture involves the following components in a distributed infrastructure :
1) Mirage clients is an executable file that runs on client endpoint and connects to a single or load balanced Mirage servers for fetching updates from Centralized Virtual desktop or CVD sitting in our data center
2) Mirage Management Server is administrative console that controls and manages the Mirage server cluster, Ideally we must plan for a redundant environment with a minimum of two Management servers in an enterprise deployment, however for a PoC purpose we can deploy a single instance of Management server
3) Mirage Server is located in our data center ,the main functionality is to synchronize the Mirage clients with the CVD. It is also responsible for the delivery of base layers, app layers, and CVDs to clients, and consolidate them on the client. Again we must consider a redundant environment for a large enterprise deployment
4) MongoDB File Database is created with every instance of Mirage Management server deployment , Mirage uses this DB for storing system data. Installing two Mirage Management servers creates a replica of the MongoDB database.
5) Mirage Management Console is the GUI used for maintenance, management, and monitoring of deployed endpoints. The administrator can configure and manage Mirage clients, base layers, app layers. Also changes to the CVD’s are performed using Management console
6) Centralized Virtual Desktop is nothing but complete contents of each PC. This data is migrated to the Mirage server and is stored there. We use the CVD 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. The following components make up CVD’s :
a) Base Layer – Operating systems and other and core applications such as antivirus, firewall, and Microsoft Office
b) App Layer – App layers include sets of one or more departmental or line-of-business applications
c) The Driver profile specifies a group of drivers for use with specific hardware platforms.
d) User Installed Apps and data

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The other components will such as Branch Reflector , Gateway Server will not be used for our deployment as we do not have multiple branches and outside the premise users who are going to use the Mirage Machine. Also the Mirage File Portal  is a part of Management server in our deployment.

Before we deploy Mirage System we must make sure all the Hardware, Network ports and Operating systems requirements are fulfilled. We must also have a valid license for Mirage to successfully deploy Mirage. We must make sure SQL server is installed and reachable before we install the Mirage system. The SQL browser service must be started to allow remote connections.The order in which we must deploy Mirage components are listed below :

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We will now deploy these components in an orderly manner in the following posts. Click Here for Part 2

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