Mirage – Part 1: Introduction

Mirage – Part 1: Introduction

image In this series, we will go over Mirage features and installation steps.

Mirage is a solution in VMware’s end user computing portfolio that provides Unified Image management for physical and virtual desktops, and Bring your own devices (BYOD). It is also a part of VDI suite, Horizon (Advanced Edition)

With Mirage, IT can create a base layers with OS, apps to manage standardized desktops layers and preserve user data and settings on the endpoint.  Mainly,

  • Mirage provides a backup of end user desktops maintained in your datacenter by IT by layering desktop images. Hence, IT can easily take periodic snapshots to recover partial or full desktops if needed and in the case of DR scenarios.
  • Mirage can also migrate between operating systems, that is, you can easily migrate to new Windows OS without any disruption to the end user, therefore it plays a significant role in OS migrations.
  • One another use case is that the same mechanism can also be used for PC refresh cycles.
  • As mirage is designed for distributed environments, it can efficiently be used to manage PCs at the Branch Offices or remote locations.


CVD: Centralized Virtual Desktop: When we get a complete content of each Desktop to Mirage Servers, this copy is called CVD, which enables IT to manage, update, patch, backup, restore etc .

DDO: Distributed Desktop Optimizations: Mirage can work seamlessly over any network regardless of network speed and bandwidth as it optimizes the traffic by file and block level de-duplication and compressing the traffic. It also includes read-write caching and desktop streaming over WAN features.

Layering: Each PC ha the following layers. Mirage enables us to manage OS, drives and applications. With a base OS layer, IT can also use multiple application layers on top of it. The same also applies for Driver Profiles.


The basics steps of image management are simple and as follows:

  1. Build reference machine
  2. Create reference CVD
  3. Capture Base Layer
  4. Assign Base Layer

At the end the image gets streamed to the end user in the background while the user is still using the computer. Once the image gets there, Mirage will ask per IT policies to restart the PC to deploy the new image.

In summary we have the following components and architecture:



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