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longhorntx

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Updating remote VM's

I have a dozen coworkers spread out around the country. We all use VMware fusion with the same VM image.

We meet every quarter and I update the image on their laptop. In between quarterly meetings, I would like to ship updates to their VM. I do not need to preserve any changes they have made. I want to do this without shipping the 50gb .vmdk.

Hence, my question. Given that all users have the same .vmx, .vmdk, etc., Is there any way for me to simply send them a delta file that contains the changes I have made to the VM? For instance, suppose we all had a plain copy of windows on a vm. I then go into my copy the vm and install firefox. I then want to ship my coworkers a delta file that included the firefox install. Is this possible? Is there a linked clone option on the desktop?
Avatar of James H
James H
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I would suggest you look into VMWare latest product, Mirage.
This will do the job you are looking for.

http://wanova.com/

http://www.vmware.com/products/desktop_virtualization/mirage.html
Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
it is possible by distributing a snapshot, this can be merged with a parent disk to provide updates, but this is not an officially supported method.

and your snapshot delta update will erase any changes they have made to their image, so its best to have two disks

eg OS and Apps - disk1

eg Data users data and files - disk2

again it involves the modification of the delta snapshot to the parent for the merge, but not supported
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longhorntx

ASKER

Thanks for the help.  I checked Mirage but I don't think it does what I want.

hanccocka- the snapshot approach seems promising.  Can you confirm that the procedure is:
1) Build the master VM and take a snapshot
2) Distribute the VM folder including the snapshot
3) To update the remote vm, send a new snapshot delta file and replace the existing file on the target machines

Would you expect this to negatively impact performance?
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
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