With VMware's Horizon Mirage 5.7, Now is a great time to look at Windows 10!

With the release of Windows update 1511 late last year, the update for Windows 10 was seen as major update and as there is no longer service pack releases, this is the closest we are going get. Pair this with VMware latest release of Horizon Mirage 5.7 earlier this month and we have the perfect recipe for a smooth and planned migration away from Windows 7.

With Horizon Mirage 5.7 came some new updates, which were much needed after 5.6 only offered migration fro Windows 7 to Windows 10 and no other Windows 10 support. Listed below are the new Windows 10 features.

·         Windows 7 to Windows 10 Migration (released in 5.6) - For those of you who aren't aware of how Mirage migrates a user to a new OS, I'll try and keep it simple. First Mirage snapshots the machine for a simple rollback if unsuccessful. It then scans the machine to see if it already has any blocks from the Windows 10 image already present to save network bandwidth. Once its scanned the endpoint, it downloads the blocks from the Windows 10 Base image that aren't already present. This is all done whilst the user is still working on the endpoint reducing downtime. Once this is complete, the machine will prompt for a reboot (maybe a good coffee or lunch break?) then it will write the blocks it downloaded in a pre-boot environment called pivot and reboot again Then using USMT to migrate the users profile it then boots into Windows 10. This process takes about 15 minutes or so depending on different factors. The user will then be able to log back on in Windows 10. Any of their files that haven't been pulled back down are streamed and prioritized if the user requires them right away, and that’s it!

·         Windows 10 Bare metal provisioning – New machines can be imaged with your newly created Windows 10 image in a number of different ways from PXE to USB stick or if it already has an OS simply install an agent

·         Windows 10 Data Protection and Disaster recovery – Once a machine is running on windows 10 whether its been upgraded from Window 7 or freshly built on Windows 10 with Mirage, it will be protected and can be rolled back to any restore point, migrated to a new machine or restored from a failed HDD to the same machine once repaired from any of the existing restore points.

·         Windows 10 now supported on the file portal – Mirage makes users files available to them via a web portal where they can download there files from their profile from any of the restore points created by Mirage.

The only feature currently missing is to update an existing Windows 10 machine with an updated Windows 10 image, however with VMware releasing new versions now on a quarterly basis, I'm sure this will be coming in the not so distant future.

There are many other features available, but for me, these are key, as more and more businesses are looking to move away from the aging Windows 7 OS and this provides the perfect platform to do so as not only does it reduce downtime for migrations for the end user, but also reduces network bandwidth on the upgrade over conventional network imaging methods.

Be sure to keep a look out for my next post all about how mirage works in more detail.

Further reading

VMware Horizon Mirage release notes 5.7 - http://pubs.vmware.com/Release_Notes/en/mirage/57/releasenotes-mirage57.html