The base layer or app layer life cycle begins with a reference machine, where the administrator creates and maintains the layer content.

The layer management life cycle involves layer capture from a reference machine, layer assignment to endpoints, and CVD synchronization.

Figure 1. Layer Management Life Cycle
Layer management life cycle involves layer capture from a reference machine, layer assignment to endpoints, and CVD synchronization.

  1. You manage and revise the base layer and app layer contents on a reference machine, through operations such as adding core or specific applications or patching the OS. See Preparing a Reference Machine for Base Layer Capture.

  2. You perform a base layer or app layer capture from the reference machine using the Mirage Management console. Mirage collects the data from the reference machine to create the layer, which is generalized for mass deployment. You give the layer a name and version. You can make multiple captures from the same reference machine, and store them in the Mirage server’s layer repositories. See Capturing Base Layers, and Capturing App Layers.

  3. The resulting changes in an endpoint are propagated back to the endpoint’s CVD on the server. After the CVD is synchronized with the latest changes, the layer update operation for that endpoint is completed.

    Each endpoint operates at its own pace, and this phase ends at different times for different desktops depending on network connectivity and whether the desktop is online or offline.

  4. You initiate base layer or app layer assignment, or update, from the Mirage Management console.

    • This operation first distributes and stores the revised layer at each endpoint, ready to be applied.

    • It then swaps the old base or app layer on the endpoint with the new one, thereby assigning the layer to that endpoint. The base layer, or specific applications in the app layer, are instantiated on the endpoint.

    See Assign a Base Layer to CVDs and Assign an App Layer to CVDs.

When you next update the base layer or an app layer, the process begins again by generating a new version of the layer.

If you want to move an application that is being managed by the base layer to the app layer, first capture a new base layer without that application, capture an app layer with that application, then assign the new base layer and app layer to the endpoints.

The management life cycle for base layers is policy driven. For example, the Upload policy that belongs to the reference CVD contains system rules that determine which elements of the reference machine are not included in the base layer. Similarly, the Base Layer Rules policy determines which elements of the base layer are not downloaded to endpoints. Both policies contain system-defined defaults, which are typically sufficient for standard deployments. You can also add custom rules to the policy. See Working with Base Layer Rules.