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14: PolicyPak and VMware Horizon Mirage

You’re using VMware Horizon Mirage to manage your physical and virtual desktops. But how are you managing your applications’ settings? When you use PolicyPak with VMware Horizon Mirage you’ll see instant results. When you implement a layer to your desktops, PolicyPak can manage that layer. Check out this video to see exactly how it’s done:

PolicyPak and VMware Horizon Mirage Video Transcript

Hello, everybody. This is Jeremy Moskowitz, Microsoft MVP, Enterprise Mobility and Founder of PolicyPak Software. In this series of videos, we’re demonstrating how PolicyPak is the missing tool for VMWare’s suite of end user computing products. In this demonstration, we’re going to see how PolicyPak and VMWare Horizon Mirage make an awesome better together story.

Let me set the stage here. I’ve got my “VMWare Horizon Mirage Console” here, and I’ve got three application layers and a base layer. I’ve got a target machine here that has absolutely nothing installed on it. You can see here I’m logged on as a guy called “westasalesuser1.” If I go to “Control Panel,” you can see I’ve got a whole lot of almost nothing installed – just some baseline things like the “VMWare Horizon Mirage Client.”

Then I’m going to use PolicyPak and actually dictate some settings to the user and the application, but the applications aren’t actually installed yet. That’ going to be the magic trick. If I go over to my “West Sales Users” and I “Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here…” and I call this “Manage Winzip via PolicyPak,” we’re going to dictate settings to our target applications. Then when Mirage gets the application over there, we will have the setting pre on the machine and ready to go.

We’re going to go ahead and pick “PolicyPak for WinZip 14 and Later.” You can see that PolicyPak snaps right into the Group Policy management console just like that. We select our application, and we’ve got all sorts of settings for the application.

For purposes of this demonstration, I’ll pick all four of these checkboxes here in “Passwords.” I’ll do some PolicyPak superpowers like “Hide corresponding control in target application” and “Disable corresponding control in target application.” I’m hiding and graying things out. I’m checking all four check boxes. I’ll set some very important password lengths and strengths here, and I’ll also “Disable whole tab in target application” as well just to prove a point.

That’s on the user side. On the computer side, maybe for every desktop in West Sales (“West Sales Desktops”) we will “Manage Firefox via PolicyPak.” Now again, the applications don’t exist yet because we haven’t gotten them there using Mirage.

On the computer side, under “PolicyPak/Applications/New/Application” we’ll pick “PolicyPak for Mozilla Firefox.” Now remember, PolicyPak isn’t delivering the application. That’s what Mirage is going to do. PolicyPak is going to deliver and enforce the application’s settings.

If we pick “” as the “Home Page,” we can also right click and “Lockdown this setting using the system-wide config file” so now the users can’t work around it. Under “Security,” we’ll make sure that these checkboxes are always checked and also “Lockdown this setting using the system-wide config file.” I’ll go ahead and lockdown two out of the three of them.

Okay, now that those are locked and loaded, let me go ahead and run “gpupdate” on this machine. Again, I don’t have the applications, but PolicyPak will have downloaded the directives using Group Policy, but we don’t have the moving parts yet on the machine. That’s what we’re going to do right now..

Now that we’re done with that, let’s go over to “Mirage (123).” We’ll go to our “All CVDs,” and we’ll right click and we’ll specify that we want to “Update App Layers.” I want to deliver “Mozilla Firefox,” I want to deliver “WinZip” and the PolicyPak moving parts (“PolicyPak Client Side Extension”). I’m putting all three things, which are all three completely different layers in Mirage, over to our target machine. Passed validation. Ready to go, and click “Finish.”

Let’s go over to our “Task Monitoring,” and we’ll see that it’s “In Progress” here. Let’s go over to my target machine here, and we’ll take a look at the Mirage client and it’s doing its thing. This is going to take a little while, so I’m going to pause the demonstration and I’ll come back when we’re all set.

OK, now that we’re all done, we get the “Restart Now” message. Let’s go ahead and do that. Once again, I’ll pause the video, and we’ll come back when it’s done rebooting. OK, so we’re back. Let’s go ahead and log back in as “westsalesuser1.” This time, if you look really quick, you’ll see “Applying PolicyPak policy.” That was it. You missed it. It went by superfast.

PolicyPak delivered its settings to both “Mozilla Firefox” and “WinZip.” Let’s go ahead and see what happens when we run “WinZip” now. By the way, you can see the Mirage message over there. If we go to “Options/Configuration…” and go to “Passwords,” you can see PolicyPak delivered the settings of “11” and all four checkboxes plus grayed out the settings plus grayed out the “Cameras” tab in this case.

If a user were to try to work around the settings, PolicyPak is always working. This computer could be taken offline, and this would continue to function. PolicyPak is always working, even in the background.

If we go over to “Mozilla Firefox” and run Firefox now, we saw that Firefox was delivered, but PolicyPak delivers the “Home Page” as you saw here and locked down the settings plus delivered those three checkboxes. You saw when I was in the Group Policy Management Console, I checked all three checkboxes but grayed out just two of them, and that’s the key point.

To recap what we’ve seen here, what we saw is that the VMWare Horizon Mirage client embraced the layers, PolicyPak itself. The moving part of PolicyPak is and can be a layer along with other applications. Then as soon as the Group Policy settings are delivered either on reboot or with a GPUpdate, those settings are instantly delivered to those client machines. That is the better together story with PolicyPak and VMWare Horizon Mirage.

If you have any questions or want to get started with your trial of PolicyPak, we’re here for you.

Thanks so very much, and we’ll talk to you soon.

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  • 18-Dec-2020