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5 Ways VMware Mirage Streamlines Your Windows XP Migration

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on January 31, 2014 by Florent Tastet

After April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available. This includes the Microsoft Security Essentials download. You likely know that Windows XP will continue to work, but your computers become more vulnerable to data breaches and viruses as there will be no more security updates for your PCs.

In this blog post I offer 5 ways VMware Mirage streamlines your Windows XP to Windows 7 migration.

What is VMware Horizon Mirage?

Horizon Mirage separates desktop, laptop or virtual endpoints into logical layers that are owned and managed by IT or the end user. This means the Mr. IT Guy (you) can update IT-Managed layers while maintaining end-user files and personalization.

Then, snapshots and backups of layered desktop images enable fast recovery or rollback in case of failure. Being able to centrally manage and abstract each component is more efficient and easier for IT, withouut creating disruption for the end-user.

There’s a great whiteboard demo called VMware Mirage Overview that visually explains how Mirage works. I highly recommend you watch it!

Horizon Mirage streamlines the two most common OS migration approaches. First, it upgrades an existing windows XP device, in place, to Windows 7. Second, it migrates a user’s profile and files in a hardware-refresh process from their previous Windows XP devices to a new Windows 7 device.

The 5 key benefits to using Horizon Mirage for migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7:

1. Reduce end-user downtime to minutes (not hours or days): When leveraging a hardware refresh cycle, IT seamlessly migrates all of the end user’s personal files and profile from the old Windows XP device over to the new Windows 7 device. A single technician is able to concurrently handle 100 or more migrations per day from the central management console. Your IT staff does not have to touch the PC, and the user downtime is typically only 30 minutes.

2. Deliver a standard Windows 7 image across all platforms: IT is able deploy a Windows 7 base layer to a collection of end-users. That base layer upgrades the local OS to Windows 7, but does not overwrite the user’s personal files or profile, reducing the time IT spends getting an end-user back up and running from 2-3 hours down to about 30 minutes.

3. Enable desktop backup and recovery: Horizon Mirage takes a full snapshot of the Windows XP system, including OS, applications, data, settings and personalization, before the migration begins. If a failure occurs on any endpoint during the migration, the end user is quickly restored to their previous system. Following the migration, Horizon Mirage continues to send updates to the IT-managed layers and synchronizes changes to maintain the latest copy of that end-user system in the datacenter.

4. Migrate branch and remote office employees without added infrastructure costs: With the centralized management provided by Horizon Mirage, IT is able to perform all of the snapshot, migration and recovery tasks remotely. This significant reduction in manual migration processes accelerates the migration project and reduces IT costs. Horizon Mirage is optimized for performance across the WAN, making it easy to support remote and branch office employees without added infrastructure or costs.

5. Save 70% on migration costs vs. traditional tools: With the central management console, Windows 7 base layer, full snapshot and update capabilities and remote management, Horizon Mirage reduces the hours required for a smooth migration. For example, benchmark testing resulted in Horizon Mirage being 5X faster with WinXP migration than Microsoft SCCM.

Where to go to learn more

Use this Horizon Mirage Technical Paper to learn:

  • Key features
  • Horizon Mirage Packaging and Licensing
  • Horizon Mirage components and architecture
  • Horizon Mirage installation and configuration
  • Hands-on evaluation exercises

If you want a case study example, VMware published this VMware Mirage ADAC Case Study profiling an automobile insurance association who completed a desktop migration in 15 days.

What you can do right now

Get a good handle on your licensing environment before you make a decision. Softchoice offersfunded VMware Licensing TechChecks! To learn more, read our blog post series covering how to prepare for IBRs and licensing updates, and how to read an IBR quickly.

Have a specific question? Leave it in the comments below and one of our dedicated VMware experts will get back to you.

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