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