Wanova Mirage 2.0

Wanova has been polishing their desktop management product, Mirage, again. This time, the key focus was scaling to meet the needs of large organizations having many remote branch offices.

What Wanova has to say about Mirage 2.0

Wanova, Inc., the pioneer of hybrid desktop virtualization, announced general availability of Wanova Mirage™ 2.0, the new release of the company’s flagship hybrid desktop virtualization software platform. Mirage software provides IT with the centralization and management benefits of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) while still providing employees with the flexibility of using an offline laptop. This new release takes the ground-breaking hybrid desktop virtualization concept and makes it enterprise ready by incorporating server clustering, optimized software delivery for branch office environments, and enhanced functionality to aid desktop support and compliance.

Traditional enterprise desktop management requires IT to piece together a myriad of solutions, including provisioning, imaging, software distribution, backup and break-fix. VDI solutions have tried to address many of these problems by centralizing everything in the data center, but this is costly and complicated and does not work for non-tethered mobile users. In contrast, Mirage centralizes the full contents of each desktop in the data center for management and data protection purposes, distributes a copy for local execution at the endpoint for superior user experience, and optimizes data transfer in between. By delivering VDI-like manageability along with the flexibility for laptop users to work offline, Mirage dramatically simplifies distributed and mobile PC management while also enhancing end-user support and desktop continuity.

Wanova Mirage 2.0 is enterprise-ready and offers the following benefits:

Enterprise Scalability

With Mirage 2.0, organizations can easily scale the Mirage server and underlying infrastructure as their needs change. The software supports dynamic server clustering, with each server node supporting 1,500 clients. The complete Mirage deployment can be managed from a single pane of glass and can leverage existing server load-balancing investments. Mirage offers a ‘grow as you go’ capability for back-end storage where volumes can be provisioned on demand. Finally, a stateless architecture ensures high availability and automated failover for disaster recovery.

Optimized Software Delivery for Branches

Wanova’s new Branch Reflector greatly eases software distribution to branch offices, making it possible to efficiently transfer an entire Base Image or software packages and service without requiring a costly or complicated hardware distribution infrastructure. IT can easily designate any PC as a Branch Reflector, enabling the PC to serve images locally to LAN-based peers and further reduce wide area network (WAN) traffic. By adding Branch Reflector to Mirage’s previous capability to automate in-place migration from Windows XP to Windows 7, IT organizations can easily upgrade entire branches to Windows 7 with minimal end-user downtime, no local IT staff and no software-distribution hardware.

Enhanced Desktop Support and Compliance Features

Building on Mirage’s existing features that help IT helpdesk organizations quickly address end-user PC problems, Mirage 2.0 allows IT to effectively re-image a PC over the WAN in minutes while preserving end-user data and settings, and adds the option to either preserve or clean user-installed applications. In Mirage 1.5, IT could restore a desktop from a snapshot. In 2.0, IT can now opt to restore just the system files and programs to a last best-known state, while preserving any new data or settings the user has added since that point in time. In addition to this greater flexibility, Mirage 2.0 extends its snapshot history to a year of full desktop snapshots for each endpoint and efficiently stores the snapshots in Mirage’s optimized single-instance store. This ensures that a user’s desktop can be restored to a desired state or archived for eCompliance purposes.

Snapshot analysis

I've written about Wanova in the past (see Wanova Desktop Virtualization) and have liked their hypervisor-neutral approach to managing desktop environments. Wanova hasn't focused their creative energies on building better virtual machine technology, they've focused instead, on building a scalable, easy-to-use, and powerful management environment that works in just about any recent Windows-based environment

Wanova makes it possible for organizations to manage operating system and application images and also for users to personalize their own environments to optimize their own productivity. They've helped organizations move from Windows XP to Windows 7 without experiencing a great deal of pain during the process.

As I've mentioned before, Wanova has interesting technology but faces competition from VMware, Citrix, Virtual Computer and Microsoft. One of their key winning features is the fact that they'll manage both physical and virtual Windows-based desktops.

If your organization is considering desktop virtualization, Wanova should be one of the Websites you visit.

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