Mirage software centralizes the entire desktop contents in the data center for management and protection purposes, distributes the running of desktop workloads to the endpoints, and optimizes the transfer of data between them.

The Mirage components integrate into a typical distributed infrastructure, with the following relationships between the system components:

  • Mirage clients connect to a Mirage server, either directly or through a load balancer.

  • The administrator connects to the system through the Mirage Management server.

  • Mirage servers and the Mirage Management server share access to the back end Mirage database and storage volumes. Any server can access any volume.

Figure 1. System Components

Mirage Client

The Mirage client software runs on the base operating system and makes sure the images at the endpoint and the CVD are synchronized. The client does not create or emulate a virtual machine. No virtual machines or hypervisors are required. The Mirage client software can run on any Type 1 or Type 2 hypervisor.

Mirage Management Server

The Mirage Management server, located in the data center, is the component that controls and manages the Mirage server cluster. Installing multiple Mirage Management servers increases Mirage availability in the event that a Mirage Management server fails.


VMware recommends to set up multiple Management Servers to prevent data loss in case the Management Server fails. A message pops up in the Mirage Management Console whenever you connect to a server inside a cluster with only one enabled Mirage Management server.

Mirage Management Console (Optional)

The Mirage Management console is an optional graphical user interface used for scalable maintenance, management, and monitoring of deployed endpoints. The administrator can use the Mirage Management console to configure and manage Mirage clients, base layers, app layers, and reference machines. The administrator uses the Mirage Management console to update and restore CVDs.

MongoDB File Database

Mirage uses the MongoDB file database to store system data and small files, reducing IOPS and upload time. A MongoDB instance is installed with each Mirage Management server that you install.


VMware recommends that you replicate the file database by installing an additional Mirage Management server to achieve a fault tolerance deployment.

If your configuration has only one Mirage Management Server, the Web Management displays a red banner with the following message:

Your system has a single active Management Server. Set up multiple Management Servers to prevent data loss in case the Management Server fails. Important: Do not clone the VM.

If there is more than one management server, but any of the management servers is down or disabled, the following text is displayed:

Some of the Mongo nodes on your system are down, if all nodes are down Mirage operations will fail. View the Management Servers tab for details. After resolving the issue start the Management Server via Management Servers tab. For more information refer to KB2144975.

After you install two Mirage Management servers Mirage creates a replica of the MongoDB database.

Verify that you have a dedicated drive with at least 250GB of free disk space for the MongoDB database files. If you cannot designate a local drive or SAN for the MongoDB database files, designate a dedicated NAS volume on higher-end storage with lower latency to minimize disconnects between MongoDB and the MongoDB files.

As an administrator, you can move the MongoDB data of a selected Mirage Management Server to a different location. This feature is enabled only after installing more than one Mirage Management Server. In your Web Management, click Servers > Management Servers > Configure. In the Configure Mirage Management Server dialog, enter the name of the location where you move the MongoDB data and click OK.

Mirage Web Management

The Mirage Web Management is the Web-based application that is used for scalable maintenance, management, and monitoring of deployed endpoints. Mirage Web Management has roles such as Helpdesk, Data Protection manager, Image Manager, and Administrator. Data Protection Manager ensures data is properly backed up and protected on user devices. Image manager can capture and deploy layers, provision new devices, and manage branch reflectors. The administrator role has the highest level of permissions and can preform all operations in the system including managing servers. It helps administrator and help desk personnel respond to service queries, and lets the Protection Manager role ensure that user devices are protected. The administrator can use the Mirage Management console to configure and manage Mirage clients, base layers, app layers, and reference machines. The administrator uses the Mirage Management console to update and restore CVDs. For more information, see the VMware Mirage Web Management Guide.

Mirage Server

The Mirage servers, located in the data center, synchronize data between the Mirage client and the datacenter. The Mirage servers also manage the storage and delivery of base layers, app layers, and CVDs to clients, and consolidate monitoring and management communications. You can deploy multiple servers as a server cluster to manage endpoint devices for large enterprise organizations. It is good practice to keep the server on a dedicated machine or a virtual machine. However, a server can run on the same machine as the Mirage Management server.

The server machine must be dedicated for the Mirage server software to use. The server machine must not be used for other purposes.

Centralized Virtual Desktop

CVDs represent the complete contents of each PC. This data is migrated to the Mirage server and becomes the copy of the contents of each PC. You use the CVD to centrally manage, update, patch, back up, troubleshoot, restore, and audit the desktop in the data center, regardless of whether the endpoint is connected to the network. A CVD comprises several components.

Table 1. CVD Components


Defined By (Role)


Base layer


The base layer includes the operating system (OS) image and core applications such as antivirus, firewall, and Microsoft Office. A base layer is used as a template for desktop content, cleared of specific identity information, and made suitable for central deployment to a large group of endpoints.

App layers


App layers include sets of one or more departmental or line-of-business applications, and any updates or patches for already installed applications. App layers are suitable for deployment to a large number of endpoints.

Driver profile


The driver profile specifies a group of drivers for use with specific hardware platforms. These drivers are applied to devices when the hardware platforms match the criteria that the administrator defines in the driver profile.

User-installed applications and machine state

End users

User-installed applications and machine state can include a unique identifier, host name, any configuration changes to the machine registry, DLLs, and configuration files.

Mirage Reference Machine

A Mirage reference machine is used to create a standard desktop base layer for a set of CVDs. This layer usually includes OS updates, service packs, patches, corporate applications for all target end users to use, corporate configurations, and policies. A reference machine is also used to capture app layers, which contain departmental or line-of-business applications and any updates or patches for already installed applications.

You can maintain and update reference machines regularly over the LAN or WAN, using a Mirage reference CVD in the data center. You can use the reference CVD at any time as a source for base and app layer capture.

Mirage Branch Reflector

A Mirage branch reflector is a peering service role that you can enable on any endpoint device. A branch reflector can then serve adjacent clients in the process of downloading and updating base or app layers on the site, instead of the clients downloading directly from the Mirage server cluster. A branch reflector can significantly reduce bandwidth use in several situations, such as during mass base or app layer updates. The branch reflector also assists in downloading hardware drivers.

Mirage File Portal

End users can use appropriate Mirage login credentials and the Mirage file portal to access their data from any Web browser. The back-end component runs on the Management server.

Distributed Desktop Optimization

The Distributed Desktop Optimization mechanism optimizes transport of data between the Mirage server and clients, making the ability to support remote endpoints feasible regardless of network speed or bandwidth. Distributed Desktop Optimization incorporates technologies that include read-write caching, file and block-level deduplication, network optimization, and desktop streaming over the WAN.

Mirage Gateway Server

The Mirage Gateway server is the secure gateway server that is deployed outside the Mirage data center environment, but should be within the datacenter. The Mirage Gateway server meets the enterprise security and firewall requirements and provides a better user experience for Mirage clients that access the Mirage servers through the Internet. The Mirage Gateway server seamlessly integrates with the Mirage system with minor modifications to the Mirage system and protocol.