PCoIP the road ahead, enabling a rich desktop experience from task workers to designers
I just finished a great webinar by Randy Groves, Chief Technology Officer at Teradici Corporation.
The challenge for this and upcoming years is to give the most demanding users a true user experience while working on a true zero client through any network. The Teradici corporation is far ahead of the rest with their PCoIP protocol. No surprise VMware embraced the technology and the Teradici corporation by working together to answer the challenge.
The entire focus of the Teradici company is PCoIP, the DNA of the team working on the PCoIP protocol is from big and important companies like Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia and others.
Why should you want to use your graphics remotely you ask?
Several branch of industries choose for running graphics in the datacenter because of several reasons. For instance the healthcare industry and because of security, Media & Entertainment and CAD/CAM because of the enormous power they can use in a datacenter and efficient way of using resources and you can connect to it from anywhere. So designers aren’t convicted to 1 pDesktop, if that 1 breaks down it will be a big loss, instead they can use almost any device to do their work from anywhere connecting to their vDesktop or even vDesktops. Also branches like the Trading Floor, Air Traffic control and others who want space savings are using graphics remotely.
The technology behind PCoIP is that all graphics are host rendered, encoded and sent compressed towards the client. So you can use very simple devices on the client side. Reducing costs when using a true zero client which uses less than 15 watts. Benefits you get are:
- No OS drivers to patch
- No antivirus/spyware needed
- Investment protection for a longer period
- No local hard drive and/or fan needed, so no moving parts that can break down
- Secure USB authorization, no one can use it unless you open it up
- Low power and heat
- Using standard RDP and PCoIP protocols
PCoIP is independent from network latency because everything is rendered on the host side then broadcasted and streamed towards the customer. If you render parts locally and parts host based you have the challenge to make sure the images and parts are in sync. So essential parts in the stream must be on the right time combined, the way PCoIP works you don’t have that problem. All applications will work because PCoIP grabs the graphics stream right from the GPU so its OS independent. So all applications will work including future applications.
PCoIP can deliver Full HD content, I have seen it at work on VMworld Europe 2009 and I must say I was impressed working in a full 3D CAD/CAM rendering application. If you use client side rendering applications will slow down to wait for items to be combined and be ready to show the user. Different items on screen use different forms of rendering, like text, icons, vectors and high quality pictures.
PCoIP uses dynamic network adaption to deliver the best experience towards a user through any network. The algorithm they use for the images dynamically adjusts to the available bandwidth.
Latency and bandwidth requirements for the current version of PCoIP are:
- 1 Mbs peak bandwidth today, later this year < 150Kbs peak later this year
- Average bandwidths well below peaks
- Network latency up to 150ms today, 250 ms later this year.
PCoIP technology enables all user types to be hosted in the datacenter so we can go towards the 100% vDesktops from the datacenter. There will still be a limit towards the top with software PCoIP and hardware will still be needed but that’s only for the last few percentages. That’s why the combination between VMware and Teradici is so nice, you can get the flexibility through VMware View connection broker, who can direct people with high graphic demand towards a blade pc with Teradici hardware acceleration in it.
The PCoIP protocol keeps sensitive data and software images in the datacenter, delivering only pixels to the end user desktop.
The future ahead
I had the opportunity to ask some questions, so I asked the following:
Q: When will be the release date of PCoIP in VMware View?
A: That’s all up to VMware, but we heard the target is mid November.
Remark: Maybe together with VMware View 4 perhaps? Answer: No comment 8-)
Q: Will there be a host card for VMware ESX servers?
A: We are developing a card that can be plugged into normal servers who will support several virtual machines for offloading their graphic processing inside VMs to be released sometime late next year.
Consider the possibilities for instance for the gaming industry so you can game anywhere with a great experience on any device even a mobile phone or maybe a videophone? The user benefits from it and the gaming industry also because it’s much easier to secure the game from being copied, protect other users against people cheating and patching the game would be very easy for instance.
PCoIP is certainly a great display protocol. However in some scenarios of slow remote connections (like over certain WANs) there may be issues where PCoIP doesn't function quite as well. In those cases, you can complement the VMware View deployment with Ericom Blaze, a software-based RDP acceleration and compression product that provides improved performance over WANs and congested LANs. Besides delivering higher frame rates and reducing screen freezes and choppiness, Blaze accelerates RDP performance by up to 10-25 times, while significantly reducing network bandwidth consumption over low-bandwidth/high latency connections.
Ericom Blaze can be used in conjunction with VMware View 4 for enhancing performance of PCoIP in a WAN environment.
Read more about Blaze and download a free evaluation at: