The VMware PCoIP ‘Killer App’

Posted by Jim Moyle on September 2nd, 2009

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With the announcement of the inclusion of the PC over IP (PCoIP) Teradici in VMware View this week at VMworld.  I think that there is something people may be missing.

The big disadvantage of the original hardware to hardware PCoIP implementation was that each connection to the server required it’s own Teradici card.  This is obviously not a scalable solution.  As the software to software solution is unveiled at VMworld, the attention seems to be on the fact you can get the performance without stuffing your servers full of Teradici cards.  To my mind the software to software approach has a big flaw, you need power on the client. Power on the client means either a full PC on the other end, which defies the point, or a really expensive thin client.

The real key would be to go from software to hardware.  A software client on the server communicating with a hardware Teradici chip on the client.  You could avoid all the issues of managing the ‘almost PC’ modern thin clients and go back to the cheap, minimal management, devices I think thin clients should be.

I’m curious as to why this is not being made more of as the client devices are already there like this one from Samsung and if you look at the Teradici video on Brian Maddens site they say it will work.

As the devices get cheaper, maybe down to about $200 with the great performance of PCoIP I can see this being the ‘killer app’ for VMware in this space.

How games will show who is the remote protocol winner

Posted by Jim Moyle on June 18th, 2009


If remote protocols are almost exclusively used in regard to business applications, why are games important?  The reason is that if I try and think of what would be the hardest thing to do over a remote protocol, it would be to play games with the same quality as you would see them on your desktop.

Of course I’m not talking about web based flash games, I mean full on, high frame rate with lots of 3D and explosions, all in DirectX with HD sound games, actually lets add some kind of TeamSpeak in there too.

There are two goals in respect to remoting protocols:

  • Get desktop behaviour no matter the application over the LAN
  • Scale the fidelity of the connection according to the bandwidth and endpoint device

The first case is the one I want to talk about, VDI and TS vendors need to be able to prove that their remote protocol can cope with any type of application or companies are not going to be convinced that the old bugbears of bad sound and choppy video poorly synced are over.

If people are out there touting the ‘better than desktop experience’ line I want to see it and as yet the performance just isn’t quite there.

When Microsoft bought Calista back at the beginning of 2008, I had hopes that the features they were working on would have made it into RDP by now, but they just announced that their remote DirectX technology isn’t going to make it into final release.

VMware have the software Teradici stuff in the works and I have no doubt something from Citrix is out there.

The wild card as regards remote protocols go is a company called OnLive who plan to provide games over the cloud remoted to your PC.  I’ve no clue how it works, but I’m anxious to see.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see someone get up on stage and demo a game over a remote protocol?  I wonder who’s going to be first?  I would say that in the court of public opinion, even if not quite in the technical detail (silverlight etc) then they would have ‘won’.

I’ve always had customers ask me, why can’t I just use VOIP over Citrix, when it works to talk to my niece in Oz?  Once we have good quality bi-directional audio the second device on the users desktop can disappear.  Once we have rich multimedia, users will no longer have to manage without seeing that great presentation from their CEO :).

People are talking about Avistar at the moment in regards to this, but from the brief time I’ve had to look at it I think it requires some kind of broker server in the middle.  So if anyone can enlighten me a bit more about exactly what they do and how they do it, please leave me a comment.

Edit:  It seems I’m not the only one thinking about protocols

Virtualization Display Protocol Wars

Brian Madden on Calista

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