Posts Tagged ‘view 4.6’

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Short-Take: VMware View, What’s Up with PCoIP?

March 21, 2011

Isn’t it time you looked at what VMware View and PCoIP have to offer? Now that there is a server off-load card supporting View PCoIP virtual machines, the overhead of display processing opens-up opportunities for denser View servers (or does it?) Here’s what VMware says about PCoIP in the “VMware View Architecture Planning Guide, View 4.6″

VMware View with PCoIP
PCoIP is a new high-performance remote display protocol provided by VMware. This protocol is available for View desktops that are sourced from virtual machines, Teradici clients, and physical machines that have Teradici-enabled host cards.

PCoIP can compensate for an increase in latency or a reduction in bandwidth, to ensure that end users can remain productive regardless of network conditions. PCoIP is optimized for delivery of images, audio, and video content for a wide range of users on the LAN or across the WAN. PCoIP provides the following features:

  • You can use up to 4 monitors and adjust the resolution for each monitor separately, up to 2560 x 1600 resolution per display.
  • You can copy and paste text between the local system and the View desktop, but you cannot copy and paste system objects such as folders and files between systems.
  • PCoIP supports 32-bit color.
  • PCoIP supports 128-bit encryption.
  • PCoIP supports Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption, which is turned on by default.
  • For users outside the corporate firewall, you can use this protocol with your company’s virtual private network or with View security servers.
  • MMR is not supported on Windows 7 clients or virtual desktops.
    • Although MMR is not supported on Windows 7 virtual desktops, if the Windows 7 desktop has 1GB of
      RAM and 2 virtual CPUs, you can use PCoIP to play 480p- and 720p-formatted videos at native resolutions.
      For 1080p, you might need to make the window smaller than full screen size.

If you use PCoIP, the display protocol from VMware, you can adjust the display resolution and rotation
separately for each monitor. PCoIP allows a true multiple-monitor session rather than a span mode session.

  • The maximum number of monitors that you can use to display a View desktop is 10 if you use the RDP display protocol and 4 if you use PCoIP.

RAM Sizing for Specific Monitor Configurations When Using PCoIP
If you use PCoIP, the display protocol from VMware, the amount of extra RAM that the ESX host requires depends in part on the number of monitors configured for end users and on the display resolution. Table 4-1 lists the amount of overhead RAM required for various configurations. The amounts of memory listed in the columns are in addition to the amount of memory required for other PCoIP functionality.

RAM sizing for Multi-Monitor PCoIP sessions

When you consider these requirements, note that virtual machine configuration of allocated RAM does not change. That is, you do not need to allocate 1GB of RAM for applications and another 31MB for dual 1080p monitors. Instead, consider the overhead RAM when calculating the total physical RAM required for each ESX server. Add the guest operating system RAM to the overhead RAM and multiply by the number of virtual machines.

  • Software developers or other power uses with high-performance needs might have much higher CPU requirements than knowledge workers and task workers. Dual virtual CPUs are recommended for compute-intensive tasks or for Windows 7 desktops that need to play 720p video using the PCoIP display protocol.

Maximum Connections for View Connection Server
Table 4-7 provides information about the tested limits regarding the number of simultaneous connections that a VMware View deployment can accommodate.

This example assumes that you are using VMware View with vSphere 4.1 and vCenter Server 4.1. It also assumes that View Connection Server is running on a 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise operating system.

Maximum Connections for View Connection Server

PCoIP Secure Gateway connections are required if you use security servers for PCoIP connections from outside the corporate network. Tunnelled connections are required if you use security servers for RDP connections from outside the corporate network and for USB and multimedia redirection (MMR) acceleration with a PCoIP Secure Gateway connection.

Network Bandwidth Considerations
For display traffic, many elements can affect network bandwidth, such as protocol used, monitor resolution and configuration, and the amount of multimedia content in the workload. Concurrent launches of streamed applications can also cause usage spikes.

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Quick-Take: VMware View 4.6 and PCoIP Software Gateway

March 1, 2011

VMware View 4.6 has been released. Andre Leibovici has a nice summary of the PCoIP Software Gateway (PSG) functionality – new in 4.6 – that finally allows PCoIP to be negotiated without external VPN tunnels.

VMware View 4.6 has been just released and as everyone expected this release introduces support for external secure remote access with PCoIP, without requirement for a SSL VPN. This feature is also known as View Secure Gateway Server. VMware’s Mark Benson, in his blog article, does a very good job explaining why tunnelling PCoIP traffic through the Security Server using SSL was never a viable solution because VMware didn’t want to interfere with the advanced performance characteristics of the protocol.

Andre Leibovici – myvirtualcloud.net

Other enhancements in the 4.6 release include:

  • Enhanced USB device compatibility – View 4.6 supports USB redirection for syncing and managing iPhones and iPads with View desktops. This release also includes improvements for using USB scanners, and adds to the list of USB printers that you can use with thin clients. For more information, see the list of View Client resolved issues.
  • Keyboard mapping improvements – Many keyboard-related issues have been fixed. For more information, see the list of View Client resolved issues.
  • New timeout setting for SSO users – With the single-sign-on (SSO) feature, after users authenticate to View Connection Server, they are automatically logged in to their View desktop operating systems. This new timeout setting allows administrators to limit the number of minutes that the SSO feature is valid for.For example, if an administrator sets the time limit to 10 minutes, then 10 minutes after the user authenticates to View Connection Server, the automatic login ability expires. If the user then walks away from the desktop and it becomes inactive, when the user returns, the user is prompted for login credentials. For more information, see the VMware View Administration documentation.
  • VMware View 4.6 includes more than 160 bug fixes – For descriptions of selected resolved issues, see Resolved Issues.
  • Support for Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 operating systems

SOLORI’s Take: The addition of WAN-enabled PCoIP functionality takes VMware’s flagship desktop protocol to the next level. However, considerable tuning at the PCoIP desktop agent is necessary for most WAN configurations. The upside is the solution maintains PCoIP’s UDP basis without tunneling inside TCP.

Since PCoIP has always been AES encrypted by default, this is not really an issue of security but one of performance and delivery. Right-sizing the PCoIP payload for the intended WAN application will be challenging for most, so expect to see PSG use in campus-wide applications where security of PCoIP (UDP) has been difficult.

For a twist on PSG using Internet connections with dynamically assigned IP addresses, check-out Gabe’s Virtual World post – powershell included!

[updated to include links to VMware's View release notes, and link to Gabe's post.]

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