Citrix vs. Cloud Platforms. Yawn.

Ok after reading Gabe’s article and then Brian’s take on it, instead of replying I decided to write a whole post about it. That is why you are reading this.

First of all I want to resume Brian’s post for you. I think he should start working for Gartner as he is becoming the master of failed predictions (perfect fit if you want to work for Gartner – not sure if you know this but Gartner has a lot of mediums and Gypsies on staff and is responsible for buying 83% of all crystal balls made in America) and his latest post kind of falls into the same category.

The main idea on both posts is if VMware or another player releases seamless windows apps in their cloud offerings Citrix is fucked.

Here is the deal why IMHO that is not the case and even Brian seems to contradict himself on the post he wrote.

1. The cloud. Oh the cloud. Amazes me to see most CIOs seem to have learned nothing from the whole Snowden/NSA episode. If all corporate systems and intellectual property now lives in the cloud, you just made NSA much happier. The same way Snowden put up their arse, gathering all that information and sharing with the public, don’t you think it would be possible for a Snowden Jr, to get confidential corporate data and give the finger to the NSA and go living in China or Russia with all that info ready to be sold overseas? Do we really think a pharmaceutical company with crazy drugs being developed will consider doing anything in the cloud? Or Lockheed Martin, Bombardier, making Area 51 flying shit , etc? The list of corporations in the Fortune 500 that would be MASSIVELY affected by something like this happening is simply huge. So going to the cloud just makes NSA life easier. Bring the cloud onsite and at least you have a little bit more control and chances to guarantee NSA is kept out of the door.

2. Ok I mentioned bringing the cloud onsite and Brian does mention that, meaning a common platform is there for on-premise and off-premise deployments. But on the same article he also states “Microsoft has started talking about how future versions of Windows Server will be more like “mini on-premises instances of Azure.””. That means this does NOT exist today and only Jesus knows exactly when it will see the light of the day (Nadella or Nutella as I prefer, does not know the answer for that, trust me). So as of today and for at least 3-5 years this is not happening mainstream. Also keep in mind if Windows Server 2016 does have all this shit built-in and working 100% (what is never the case with anything Microsoft releases – for God’s sake they cannot even get RDS to work 100%) companies will still have to go through the exercise of testing and validating such platform what in itself takes years for many Fortune 500 companies. These guys cannot simply change platforms overnight. The FDA would shutdown ANY pharmaceutical attempting to do that overnight. Simple as that. So the reality here is this is still YEARS away.

3. Given point #2, that means a solution, to be called a SOLUTION, and not a HAE (Half Ass Effort) has to support BOTH on-premises and off-premises TODAY. So if someone (i.e. VMware) releases something that only works off-premises, in a cloud platform, we have a problem. What do I do with my on-premises stuff? Ignore it? Choose another vendor to deal with the on-premises scenario only? That is a fucking nightmare. Now dealing with two products and two vendors so I can address my on/off-premises needs. Keep in mind this would still be the case if someone releases a platform that can indeed deal with both scenarios flawlessly within the next year. Why? Because you will still need to test and validate such platform BEFORE going full production with it (point #2). Simple. Common sense here people.

Resuming: as of today and for at least the next two to three years things will still look very similar to what they are today and if you do want to be a leader down the road you must have a platform that deals with the IT landscape of TODAY and with the IT landscape of TOMORROW. Sorry to say but VMware is nowhere near it, in terms of addressing SBC/VDI on-premises and off-premises.

Now if you do not need to test or validate anything, do believe ‘cloudfying’ your whole IT infrastructure is a great idea, and the NSA does not exist, Brian is indeed into something with his article.

CR

26,191 total views, 1 views today

Windows Phone 8: Ready for…

… Going back to my night stand drawer.

Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 920

Yes, if you do not want to continue reading and just get the resumed version of my review, this is it, put it simple. Windows Phone 8 is not ready as an enterprise device (or consumer for that matter) and if you are considering it, unless it is free and comes with free 3-year service and a week vacation in Thailand with all expenses paid, you should look somewhere else.

Now back to a detailed review.

Hardware

I got a Nokia Lumia 920 that is apparently the Windows Phone 8 (WP8 for short) to have. First of all if you are used to the iPhone 4/4S this thing will feel massive in your hands. And heavy too. Even though it is pretty much all plastic, it does feel well built and solid. With such size comes a big (and really good looking) screen. And of course the bigger the screen, the worst it is on battery life and here is no different. If you talk relatively often, do some web surfing and share your LTE with other devices, battery will die FAST. I mean you will have to recharge before the end of the day guaranteed.

Camera is awesome, especially in low light situations (simply blows the iPhone 5 out of the water in that respect). And the interface, running apps and accessing the net with it feels really fast.

Software

Here it is where things start to go downhill with the phone. Not to sound a broken record, but the lack of apps is still a problem (even though it is getting better – I can now have TripIt, Netflix, Evernote, etc all on WP8). That would not be too bad as in a way after using WP8 I realized how many apps on iOS I really did not use or needed it.

But when we start digging into the Microsoft stack and the integration between WP8 and other Microsoft products, we realize WP8 was indeed rushed out of the door and more than that, the whole thing leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. It is simply poor and I will explain why.

First of all: this is a Microsoft platform and you expect it to play nicely with all Microsoft things. Nope, not the case. No RDP client from Microsoft for their own WP8 platform! Office on WP8 is such a terrible product that if I could uninstall it I would do it. I had to download a third party app to open CSV files. Excel on WP8 cannot open CSV? And when we start testing all the remaining Office apps and file compatibility you realize that Microsoft probably bought a license from Documents to Go (from 5 years ago) and loaded on WP8 instead of loading a real Microsoft Office suite on the device. If I need poor Office compatibility I will go back  to iOS or use Android.

Then there is the terrible experience with Windows Live. I am supposed to use the same ID that I use on the Surface and on Windows 8 with the phone. For some reason I cannot buy anything on the phone. It keeps asking me to add a payment method to my account and when I add my usual business credit card it says it cannot be added as it is ALREADY on my account. If it is there why I cannot buy anything with it? This simply shows the platform was not only properly tested but there is a lack of integration with the rest of the Microsoft world. Not cohesive. If we look at iOS my Apple ID works flawlessly on my iPhone, iPad or OSX. Not the case here. I know not everyone is experiencing this but again I do know several other people with the same issue so my point regarding testing and integration is certainly valid.

And I did not even get to the Exchange integration yet…

Speaking of that, it does work. Sort of. As many people I know, I do have a mailbox with many folders and rules moving emails to these folders as I receive them. Guess what? Outlook on WP8 CANNOT tell me I have a new email on a folder, unless I manually select the folder and choose to sync it. Great if you have 5 folders. What about 200 like I have? Windows Mobile 5 and 6 could do that like a decade ago. Not anymore. We can send rovers to Mars and remote control them from here but we cannot show “X” unread emails on subfolders. Yay…

Conclusion

If you hate yourself or want to give a phone to someone you do not like or even want to get rid of your girlfriend but does not have a clue how to do it, simply buy a WP8 device for yourself or as a present to one of these people you do not care.

Seriously the poor integration with Microsoft products, the really bad Office suite loaded on the phone and the lack of several apps (some from Microsoft like I mentioned – RDP client) simply turn this phone (that hardware wise is pretty good) into just another mobile device and not a true game changer that can challenge iOS or Android devices at this stage.

My iPhone will be back in service tonight. Thank Lord.

CR

2,584 total views, 1 views today

RDS 2012 and Remote Control. A workaround is found…

As most of you know, when Microsoft shipped its best RDS build to date (Windows Server 2012), it had to screw up something. It is part of the Microsoft culture. Deliver something good but make sure you screw up something.

I am ok with the screwing up part but I would appreciate people telling me in advance I am going to get screwed. The only person that can indeed screw me with such short notice is my wife AFAIK.

As Microsoft does not fall into the “My Wife” category they should have told us Remote Control was going to be removed from Windows Server 2012. Nope, they did not say anything even to us the RDS MVP Gods.

So after the Remote Control fiasco I decided to find a way to get at least some sort of half ass solution for the problem Microsoft created. Thanks to a great session this week here in Seattle during the MVP Summit delivered by the Multipoint Server guys, I realized we could come up with something.

Before you attempt to reproduce what was done I must clarify a couple things

  1. I am no licensing monkey. I know nothing about how the Ghetto Remote Control (as I coined it) is supposed to be licensed. Plus I do not care.
  2. It is almost certainly unsupported and if you call Microsoft and tell you are doing that, you are on your own. And you may get in shit as well. And if you tell Microsoft you read that here on my blog make sure you understand you are going to hell.
  3. I am not supposed to be liable for your actions. Again this is a Ghetto hack and unsupported. So you break it, you fix it. Not me.

All that said, here you have what I tested and know it works. Oh if you do not know what MultiPoint Server 2012 is, Google is your friend.

What do you need:
– MultiPoint Server 2012. If you have MSDN/TechNet, it is there. I have tested with Premium but given what we are doing I would assume the regular one will do the trick. I may be wrong though.

How to do it:

  1. Ideally create a VM somewhere and give it 2vCPUs and 2GB RAM (more if you want it to work faster). Boot off the ISO you downloaded from TechNet/MSDN. It is just a regular Windows install really.
  2. Once the server is installed, go to one of your RDS Session Hosts servers and browse to \\your_multipoint_server\C$. Under Program Files\Windows Multipoint Server you should see a Connector folder.
  3. Copy the whole folder locally anywhere on the RDS Session Host box and run the WmsConnector.exe file as Administrator.
  4. Just follow the wizard that is really simple. This will install the MultiPoint Server connector on your RDS Session Host. This has to be done to all RDS Servers.
  5. Once you are done, logon to your MultiPoint Server and launch the MultiPoint Manager. You should see the following screen.

    MultiPoint Manager 2012
    MultiPoint Manager 2012
  6. On the right hand side corner you have the “Add or remove personal computers”. Click on it. On the screen that will follow you should see all the RDS servers you have where the connector was installed. If you do not see them (i.e. they are on a different subnet) simply enter the IP address where it says “Personal Computer name”  and click “Manually Add”. If you see them, well then simply click on the “Add >>” button.

  7. Once you did that with all RDS servers they should show up under “Managed Personal Computers”  as you see on the screenshot above (where you can see my server named iqb-2k12rds and with a “Connected” status.

You are done.

So now, how do I remote control users? Still on the MultiPoint server, simply launch the MultiPoint Dashboard. The following window will show up:

MultiPoint Dashboard

Right there you will see all the users connected to the RDS Session Host servers (admins are NOT shown). Simply click one of the users (you can actually see a “live” view of the session) and on the ribbon at the top click on “Take Control” (or right-click the session and select it on the menu that will appear). The user should get a message and once he approves you are now remote controlling the user.

It is worth mentioning that a chat window shows up on the user session so you can actually chat with the user. Yes, a feature from the 90s delivered to you by Microsoft 22 years later. Well better late than never.

But wait, things get better. Another cool feature is delivered with the “Project” button. You can “send” your screen to all your users what is useful during April Fool’s day. Seriously this opens up a lot of cool scenarios, especially when thinking about training.

Want to limit which sites all your RDS users can visit with one click? Yep it is there under “Web Limiting” and its “Configure” button. Add the sites you want to allow/block and click “Start”. Simple eh?

Before you bitch about this solution, let me remind you again:

  1. I am fully aware this is half-ass and it may have a cost associated with it. As I said the licensing monkeys may know what that means in dollars. I do not.
  2. I told you before this is Ghetto style IT solution a.k.a. typical half-ass IT delivered stuff.
  3. And unsupported.

Even with all the above I still think GRC (Ghetto Remote Control) is better than what Microsoft delivered with Windows Server 2012 RDS.

I will keep digging deeper to see what else I find on MultiPoint Server that we can use to make RDS 2012 better… So back to work.

CR

 

40,478 total views, 2 views today

Windows Surface + XenApp + RDS 2012

As part of my work I try as much as I can to be up to date on all the platforms and its clients out there in the VDI/SBC space. That said of course I did have to get a Windows Surface tablet.

Before going a little deeper on my review, let’s clarify a couple things. This is the ARM based device (what means no Intel CPU inside) running Windows 8 RT. It is basically Windows 8 as you will find on any other device that runs it but as it is not Intel based, its software has to be compiled to run on the ARM CPU. Secondly, Microsoft has tighter controls on this device than on its sibling (the upcoming Windows Surface Pro) what means you can only install apps that come from the Windows Store.

Before you bitch about that, keep in mind the iOS devices are no different. You can only, officially, install apps from the Apple AppStore and whatever you can run on your Mac (running OSX 10.X) does NOT run on the iOS devices as they run on a different CPU than the Mac ones (Intel at this stage). So pretty much the exact same scenario with the Windows Surface device.

So what have I tested so far? A couple things:

– Offline usage (running locally installed apps, varying from games to real office ones)
– Accessing hosted apps on Windows Server 2012 (RDS Session Host with RemoteApps installed) over RDP8.
– Accessing hosted apps on Windows Server 2008 R2 with XenApp 6.5 installed over ICA/HDX.
– Accessing hosted desktops running Windows 7, hosted under ESX 5.0 with XenDesktop 5.6.

For the Citrix stuff you need the latest Citrix Receiver for Windows 8 RT. It is on the Windows Store. Contrary to previous versions this one does NOT require Citrix StoreFront and DOES work with Citrix Secure Gateway (what was a big surprise for me). Here you have a screenshot showing the Citrix Receiver on the Microsoft Surface:

Citrix Receiver for Windows 8 RT

Performance wise it did work perfectly when connecting to all the scenarios above. With RDP8 I was even able to run some WAN scenarios using my Apposite box (the mighty LinkTropy Mini) as you can see in the following video:

Windows Surface – RDP 8 WAN Testing

So what do I think about the Windows Surface as a potential iPad replacement? Well there are some MAJOR advantages on it and let me explain all I can see:

– Windows Surface runs Microsoft OS/Software. That means a couple things. First, RDP support is simply unmatched. That means whatever Windows Server 2012 with RDP8 delivers, it is there for you. The same can be said of ICA/HDX. This is for sure a big thing if you are after the best experience possible when accessing remote servers/desktops.
– Office. No half-ass support for Office docs here. The full blown Word/Excel/Powerpoint apps are here and I can tell you they do work PERFECTLY. Sure I had to get some updates for these but now everything seems stable and fast. And again, FULL COMPATIBILITY with Office docs. That alone is for me the biggest advantage going right now for the Windows Surface. I tried pretty much any piece of software known to man that is available for iOS devices to deal with Office docs. NONE were able to render all documents I had  100%. The Surface did it out-of-the-box.

The main issue right now for sure is the lack of apps if compared to the iOS ecosystem. If Microsoft can indeed convince developers to step up their game and start pumping out tons and tons of apps for the platform, I would definitely say the Surface can potentially rise as a very good competitor. And so far, as an RDP 8 endpoint, nothing can come close to it what is indeed impressive.

CR

1,354 total views, 1 views today

Ericom Blaze Review

This week I had some time available to give Ericom Blaze a try. For those not familiar with the product, it is basically an add-on for Remote Desktop Services that accellerates RDP performance using compression/shaping techniques. It also reduces the overall bandwidth utilization and the effects of latency. Ok, this is all they say on their marketing materials in a nutshell.

The bottom line for me, when running the tests, was to determine two things: does it work? And given its costs, is it worth? After some not extensive testing, this is what I found out.

Installation

Dead on simple. Just load a server component that does not even require a reboot on all your RDS Session Hosts (or Terminal Servers as it is compatible with 2003/2008/2008R2) and their client on all your PCs and Thin Clients. They cover all sorts of clients, from Linux/OSX to Windows XP/Vista/7 and even Windows CE. Nice. I even recorded videos to show you how simple the install really is. Here you have them:

Server

Client

Performance

So here is the deal. No matter how good marketing is, the bottom line is if the product works. For these tests I simulated two different connection scenarios using an Apposite Linktropy Mini2 (a great device that deserves a review on its own). To determine how much bandwidth and latency I was going to use, I used the Speedtest.net website and the iOS app 10 (ten) different times and got the average numbers for each case. With these in hand I first created a baseline video where I use a plain RDP7 client on an XP SP3 box to connect to a 2008 R2 RDS SH and opened a simple PDF file and the Adobe Flash player website. Here you have the videos:

Baseline

With that out of the way I then proceeded to simulate the two scenarions: cross country connection and 3G. For the cross country, my ten tests returned a 2.5MBits down/1.9MBits up connection with 108ms latency, from Ottawa to San Francisco. For 3G, 2.2Mbits down/330kbps up, 112ms latency (using the Rogers network in Canada from a metro location like Ottawa). Again let’s watch the results:

Cross Country

3G

So what do I think of Ericom Blaze? Well the videos do not lie. It does help your RDS Session Host for sure but depending on the conditions this does not necessarily mean it is usable. IMHO Flash does get better but not to the point that makes it usable. Of course it will get down to the Flash content you have. I do expect Flash websites to work great. For video, at least on my tests, the audio was very choppy, choppier actually than with plain RDP7. But again, your mileage may vary. Bottom line is do I think it is amazing and that it greatly enhances RDP? No.

The second thing to consider, and to me the most important one, is the cost/benefit and here, again, IMHO, it fails miserably. At US$ 100-110 per USER, I cannot understand how anyone can justify such solution, considering Quest’s EOP does offer similar (if not better) capabilities in terms of RDP enhancements PLUS a lot more on the RDS SH side. And if you stretch your budget you are now in Citrix XenApp territory and its ICA protocol what does work great indeed.

Resuming: Blaze does work but it is not the silver bullet and may not be that great under certain conditions. Plus it costs. Way too much for my wallet.

CR

7,607 total views, 2 views today

Intel buys Neocleus. More to come.

Two weeks ago I posted about my thoughts on the McAfee’s acquisition by Intel. If you did not have time to read it, it is here.

Resuming all that, the point made was that acquisition was probably just the tip of the iceberg and more than that, it would make a LOT of sense for Intel to acquire a company with a Type-1 Hypervisor offering like Virtual Computer, Neocleus, MokaFive and so on. I went one step further and explained on another post why Intel buying Citrix would make even more sense.

So as of this morning, you all heard the news. Intel is acquiring Neocleus, what gives them the Type-1 Hypervisor and the management solution in one package. With McAfee, that takes care of security.

The key question now is very simple. Is Intel doing all this (and again, there IS more to come, just stay tuned) to down the road build a platform that partners like VMWare, Citrix and Microsoft can continue building/improving/enhancing their virtualization solutions (mainly Hypervisors on this case) OR the plan is to come up with Intel’s own virtualization platform given the simple fact they already own the underlying HW one?

Again, the same way Microsoft leverages to its own advantage, the fact they OWN the underlying OS where everything runs, will Intel do the same from now on? A platform where everything runs faster and is way more tightly integrated to the HW layer below? Where all sorts of HW pass through work perfectly? Of course only when your virtualization platform is Intel’s. If you go down the ESXi, XenServer, Hyper-V, etc you lose all that. Is this coming?

To better understand what will happen in the next year, two little things the industry must keep an eye on: Intel buying NVidia (or a similar company in the graphics space) and how Microsoft and VMWare (Citrix as well but IMHO at a lesser extent) will react to all this in the short term (6-9 months). This will clearly give us the clues we need to determine if Intel is doing all this to make everyone else’s life easier OR to come up with its own, I-am-better-than-you-all platform that will keep everyone else out.

Time will tell if I am right or wrong.

So far I do not look that bad.

CR

1,107 total views, 1 views today

Intel buys McAfee. Does it matter?

As you all have heard today, Intel bought McAfee. And will pay well for it.
So the question now, at least from my end, is how this can possibly affect or help the virtualization market, the one you and I live and breath on.
First of all, we all know for VDI to take off as a mainstream solution (what it is NOT at this day in 2010 – and will not be for a long time) it must get cheaper. By cheaper it means being able to cram more instances per server. This can be achieved in several ways like using the latest, greatest and fastest CPUs you can get and with as many cores as possible (and of course using quick ass disk subsystems like Fusion-io, caching/dedup like iLIO, using tons of RAM, etc).

The point is on the CPU space there is nothing that prevents other vendors like AMD to get to the level Intel is at. In many cases in the past AMD actually delivered better silicon than Intel. So Intel needs a way to differentiate itself from their competitors. Bringing stuff like AV closer to the HW is one way of doing this. Good for Intel.

And of course getting this OUT of the VMs will for sure increase scalability. That was the reason why McAfee and others were coming up with appliances and lightweight agents (to run on the VM) to offload all that work outside the virtual environment.

The main question now is really how Intel will pull this off by not being a software company really. How they will get McAfee going. Of course I think it is just way too soon for any analyst to say anything about this. Historically Intel has not managed acquisitions like this well but they were never on such scale and with such reach like McAfee has (good or bad, they do have customers and a name in the industry, especially since that .DAT file fiasco that screwed up more computers in a day than any virus they were trying to protect).

In the near future I do not expect to see anything embedded at the HW level. This is for sure something that will come way down the road as you need to come up with something that can be leveraged to anything running on top of that HW. This means you either change the OS that will be running to benefit from these new HW extensions (like vendors did when using the virtualization components exposed by Intel and AMD on their CPUs) or, in this particular AV case, you get an agent running on the OS/VM. Not an easy task to do considering the amount of hypervisors and OSs now available.

That leads us to a very important thing. To minimize this and make things much easier, would not make sense for Intel to grab a Hypervisor vendor now? Given the three main players on this space now, VMWare, Microsoft and Citrix, I am sure the low hanging fruit here is Citrix and I even wrote about this ages ago on the post ‘Intel buys Citrix’

This would give Intel a huge advantage over any other company in the Virtual Wintel echosystem. Controlling the CPU, the Hypervisor that runs on it and extra features like AV, would give you the ultimate virtualization platform, where your solution runs better or has more features than anyone else. Example? All the HW fancy features are only exposed to your own hypervisor (like Microsoft is doing with RemoteFX, only available to Hyper-V hosts) and of course your hypervisor will scale much better than the competitors as you own and know it all about the underlying HW platform. Then the next logical step would be to acquire a graphics company like NVidia (as AMD owns ATI) and leverage all that into the platform, exposing it to the virtualization layer. Then, buy a good storage vendor and a management/layering one and they are all set.

Sure such scenario could potentially bring a lot of issues to Intel from a legal perspective, as it did to Microsoft when it became what it is today. But certainly it would simplify the virtualization market a lot (and yes, I know, locking everyone into their platform – what may not be a terrible thing as Apple has shown the sceptics with their iOS echosystem).

The bottom line is this acquisition for sure will help the virtualization space in the long run (do not expect mystical benefits happening overnight with this acquisition) but I see it as just the tip of the iceberg of what is potentially coming down the road from them.

Feds, you better keep an eye on Intel.

CR

935 total views, 2 views today

RemoteFX performance over lossy networks

Just a preliminary and quick video showing RemoteFX performance when loss is there, with and without our IPQ protection.

We have been testing it under several conditions, with different latencies and loss and will be publishing the full results soon. We also have some data on how much bandwidth RemoteFX uses. Just as a quick example, WMV-HD playback takes close to 30MBits; running an app like Google Earth around 9MBits.

My personal take after testing it, RemoteFX CAN be used over the WAN as long as you know exactly what your apps are (meaning, WMV-HD playback is probably a no go) AND also guaranteeing loss is minimized as it does suffer from it, making certain applications unusable.

CR

1,001 total views, no views today

RemoteFX First Impressions

As I did not have much time to test RemoteFX extensively, here are the first impressions of it and how we got it to work.

First of all, you MUST get a compatible video card. Not everything will work with Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 with Hyper-V, so you can get your Windows 7 VMs (with SP1 of course) working with RemoteFX.

I posted about it before. You can read the list of supported video cards here.

What did we get?

– HP desktop with a six-core AMD CPU and 8GB RAM.
– FirePro 5800 Video Card (also tried the unsupported Quadro FX 580 that by the way, does work too).

Initially I simply tested the Windows 7 VM connecting from the Hyper-V host itself but later got another Windows 7 SP1 box and used that one to connect to the VM.

Performance is decent I must say. I tried playing some Windows Media HD videos (make sure you disable multimedia redirection by using videoplaybackmode:i:0 in the .RDP file (save the RDP connection to the desktop and open it using Notepad). Also very important that you set the policy for RemoteFX (as I was not sure where to set it, I set it both on the client and on the VM itself). It is described here:

To set the experience index for connections using RemoteFX

  1. Log on to the client computer as a member of the local Administrators group.
    Click Start, and in the Search programs and files box, type gpedit.msc and then press ENTER.
  2. Navigate to Computer ConfigurationPoliciesAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsRemote Desktop ServicesRemote Desktop Session HostRemote Session Environment.
  3. Double-click Set experience index for connections when using RemoteFX.
  4. Select the Enabled option.
  5. In the Screen capture rate (frames per second) box, click Highest (best quality), and then click OK.
  6. Restart the client computer.

The key thing to understand here is, why you may need RemoteFX. For example, during our tests, playing the WMV-HD tests, it used up to 30MBits so as you can see it is VERY bandwidth intensive. For comparison, running Google Earth in DirectX mode used around 9MBits. So basically the bandwidth will of course depend on the application being used. The same for how intensive CPU/GPU utilization will be.

I would expect applications like AutoCad to use way less bandwidth than something like WMV-HD and what we will be testing next is actually using RemoteFX over a typical home (cable/DSL) connection, simulated in our lab. By typical I mean a 10MBits down/1MBits up with 40-50ms latency and some packet loss probably in the 1% range (or a little more due to bursty loss). Given the first results we have seen, I am confident RemoteFX can indeed work over the WAN (at least bandwidth wise) depending on the applications.

Yes, before Brian Madden sends me a tweet or leave a comment here saying ‘MS says RemoteFX is LAN only’, I still want to make the point that IMHO, anything that is LAN only has its fate determined already. DOA. See my post about this here.

And still on the performance side, what we have seen in a nutshell is this: RemoteFX does work great BUT it is NOT the same as local. Simple things like Flip3D (using Windows key + Tab) are NOT as smooth as running them locally. Even Google Earth (that works just fine by the way) is NOT as smooth. But they both work and work fine, considering you are over RDP. For a BETA release we can expect it will be tweaked and improved even more before it hits the market.

As a sidenote, keep in mind there IS a bug on SP1 that throws a message on the RemoteFX event log about CPU encoding being used for ATI cards. It is a known issue and has been fixed apparently on later builds, what of course I have no access.  But for 1 VM testing like we did (I am after experience testing and not scalability – I will leave that to people with more time and resources on their hands like Ruben and Benny 🙂 ).

As soon as I have more results and some nice videos to show RemoteFX, I will post these here.

CR

4,472 total views, 1 views today

RemoteFX – Supported Video Cards

Ok, we have been trying to get RemoteFX working and even though we knew not all video cards are supported, we were not able to find in a single spot a list of the supported ones with the Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Beta release.

After some digging around at multiple locations here you have it:

ATI:  ATI FirePro™ v5800, v7800 and v8800 Series professional graphics

NVidia: Quadro FX 3800, 4800 , 5800 and Quadroplex  S4.

That is it. You also need to disable the onboard video card on the machine you will have Hyper-V running.

Hope this saves you the time I had to spend looking for this information. 🙂

CR

6,809 total views, 1 views today