VMware Mirage – Only Download Layer

I have worked a VMware Mirage introduction as i mentioned earlier. Our project team specified very short time window for restart. It is only 30 minutes. The PCs are hosts to a cash register sofware witch is start a special way. In registry of Windows the shell was changed from explorer.exe to software’s exe.

Mirage will manage this settings that way it will restart PC without any question. NAG scrren will not ask the user about restart. Becouse of PCs connect by 3G network to Mirage, the assign process time of new bas layer is unpredictable. Other side we got a short restart time.

I figured out that we upload the changes between two base layer, and we will apply the changes a later time.

VMware_Mirage_PIC01
Assign Base Layer to VCD / Select “Only Download Layer”

Follow the wizard’s steps. The changes will upload to the selected CVDs, and thats all. After this process, PC will not restart automatically. We can save about 30-45 minutes.

VMware_Mirage_PIC02

In the Tasks menu we can see the state of process “Base Layer Download” is done. Mirage server uploaded the changes to CVD.

We can apply this changes (I call that Install process) if we select task and from right click menu choose “Apply Layers” option.

VMware_Mirage_PIC03

VMware Mirage will “install” the changes about 10-15 minutes, than the PC will restart automatically. It is not depens on 3G bandwith, becouse layer update process is going on PC without network usage.


My previously blog articles about Mirage

VMware Horizon Mirage 5.9 update and WebConsole install

As I mentioned in my previously article, we have introduced VMware Horizon Mirage. I would like to share our upgrade process, particularly one moment.

The upgrade process is very simple. You can follow this document:

http://pubs.vmware.com/mirage-59/topic/com.vmware.mirage.installation.doc/GUID-F55E52FE-E459-4F22-A453-D8834DC93784.html

First of all you can upgrade your Mirage management server or servers then upgrade your Mirage servers. When you want to connect to Mirage Console after upgrade (only mirage management server updated) it wont be work, becouse you have to upgrade mirage servers to. In the console, under System Configuration / Servers tree you will see configuration mismatch error message.

Check the points in secund step in VMware documentation, and the upgrade process is done! 🙂

Let’s go install a new web interface to our new Mirage server. It was part of our plan, but before we had been installed the web console we upgraded our servers to new versions.

We decided to install Web Management solution on Mirage Management servers. I didn’t find any recommendation why can’t do this.

Install IIS server

http://pubs.vmware.com/mirage-59/topic/com.vmware.mirage.installation.doc/GUID-63B2D3FE-3DA5-41C9-8A17-06175EC05CFE.html

Install Web Management server

http://pubs.vmware.com/mirage-59/topic/com.vmware.mirage.installation.doc/GUID-2219FFD2-1886-4CC0-9B52-01CD12EDA7CB.html

When we tried to install msi file, we got an error message: “VMware mirage web applications setup wizard ended prematurely”

VMware_Mirage_Setup_Wizard_ended_prematurely

Fortunately we found a VMware Community discouss about this problem, and it solved the problem.

https://communities.vmware.com/thread/518007

The solution:

  • Log into the server (our case Mirage Management server) by Mirage Service Account
  • Run a Command promt by Administrator
  • msiexec.exe /i “c:\tmp\mirage.WebManagement.x64.161934.msi” /L* “C:\TMP\mirageinstall.log”

The Web Management installed fine! 🙂

Desktop full restore by VMware Horizon Mirage

I’m part of a project where we can solve approximately 200 dekstop (PC base POS) security updates. This PCs are connecting to our company HQ by VPN over 3G connection. This is a limited size usage solution, so we have only x GB traffic in one month for whole environment. If we overuse this we will pay for our provider.

It was the main reason why we have started install the VMware Mirage system to try it.

Mirage can:

  • Split Base layer from App layer
  • Compress network traffic
  • In case of network problem
  • In case of network problem, continuous U/D traffic from position of problem
  • Easy restore to earlier snaphot / state

We tried the latest case in our POC system. The original conception was that: we remove a Windows security update manually from PC, and Mirage should have restored it to previously status.

We uninstalled the update, restarted the PC, and we couldn’t believe our eyes. Windows crashed!

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_windows_death
Hungarian Windows 🙂

Ok, don’t panic, it should have been a real situation. Let’s look what we can do in this situation?!

We find this article on VMware Documentation Site:

http://pubs.vmware.com/mirage-58/topic/com.vmware.mirage.admin.doc/GUID-20C1B965-0C9A-4C55-8C2C-85F9BCE97437.html

Follow steps in the article that you can create a bootable USB pendrive wich consist of VMware Mirage Agent.

It was our command under test:

C:\BootUSB>win7usb.cmd F:\ C:\BootUSB\MirageClient\MirageClient.x64.138892.msi 192.168.104.45 false 1 C:\BootUSB\Drivers

(You will find this “win7usb.cmd” in Mirage install zip file)

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_boot_usb_01

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_boot_usb_02

When you have connection between PC and Mirage server, the server will recognize the PC.

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_pending_restore_01

Right click and select restore option, and follow the wizard.

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_pending_restore_02

On the PC’s sceen you will see similar this.

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_pending_restore_03

That’s it, your PC/POS was restored, and it was only 45 min in our test environment! 🙂


Update 17/07/17: Vladan wrote details about how you can create a bootable usb stick:

https://www.vladan.fr/create-vmware-mirage-bootable-usb-stick/