PCoIP Session at BriForum

So here I am sitting at BriForum watching the PCoIP session (20 Common Myths and Useful Facts about the PCoIP Protocol). Before you decide to stop reading this, let me clarify what I think about PCoIP and what I was able to see first hand about it when doing all the tests we did with both ICA and PCoIP (and RDP for that matter).

First of all in certain cases and scenarios I do think the end-user experience is better with PCoIP. Yes, I said it. There may be some caveats though like more CPU utilization, more bandwidth (not really the 10X one that Citrix mentions on that Miercom report). But as we know from the old SBC days, how many times we deployed faster, better servers and loaded less users per box to improve the user experience? The bottom line is no matter what your project is, VDI, SBC, etc if the user experience suffers and you know you can improve it, you will do it. You may load less users per link to guarantee more bandwidth as an example. And then, does bandwidth (assuming you can increase at a reasonable cost) is really an issue? If there is more load on the servers, if I use faster, more powerful ones or even more servers, that issue is addressed. Sure, at a higher cost, lower density per box. But again, my point is how far are you willing to go to give your users that ‘almost local’ experience, especially on VDI that many people are praising as a desktop replacement solution in the long run? Some companies will do whatever they can to provide the best experience possible, no matter the resources/costs required. Others may not go that far. Really gets down to what you want to do.

Then we have what we have seen in the real world. Connections made from anywhere over the Internet or your off-the-mill WAN card. Again, if the conditions are right and depending where you are in the world, the experience will probably be good or even great to be honest. I do think the statement that PCoIP does not work on the WAN is not accurate (what I have never said). What I said on my previous posts is very clear. When things like packet loss come to the picture, PCoIP does suffer and suffers way more than the other ones. If you do not believe me, simply stop at our booth at BriForum. We have it connected live to a VMWare ESX environment hosting both XenDesktop 4 and VMWare View 4 environments. Over a real connection provided by Hilton to all exhibitors. Loss is there. Period. And all protocols suffer. PCoIP suffers more. Once we reduce the loss to 0.5% or less (and we have seen spikes over 8% here at BriForum), I do think PCoIP shines. My ‘visual’ feedback says it looks better than ICA in that case. Smoother experience.

I guess the main problem is the use of the word WAN. For some this means a highly controlled environment provided under a very restrict SLA. For others, like me, it can be a connection that I will have available from anywhere I am like a hotel connection, a rented 3G card, etc, over the Internet.

Considering that please do not try to tell me that the packet loss in the real world is between 0.01% and 0.1%. Again, for sure in a controlled environment, with a very tight SLA (that usually comes with a high sticker price) that is indeed the case. The reality is there are several companies trying to provide a way for their employees to work from home over the Internet or for that matter, trying to work from anywhere, from a train over a WAN card and so on. These connections do not have the same SLAs and quality as a high price MPLS. Simple as that. And more than that, differently from what people in Europe tend to think, the world is bigger than Europe and not every single part of the world has access to the high quality connections they have access to. Have you ever tried connecting from a not so remote location in Brazil back to your datacenter somewhere in the US? Have you tried to work off Tanzania or Kenya over an Internet connection? I tried and can tell you exactly what the experience is. If you agree with Teradici that there is no loss on the internet you probably never did any of that.

If Teradici really thinks the packet loss over the Internet is that low, sorry, they are ignoring the reality, living in an unicorn world.

Ignoring what is right in front of you with several researches showing you are wrong, just to make you look good is not only stupid but giant, mega bullshit.

So Teradici, let’s get together and run some tests from South America, Africa and Asia using PCoIP over the Internet and publish the findings together. I can guarantee you your magical mystical number of 0.1% packet loss is highly inaccurate.


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