Virtual desktop performance gets Streamcore’s attention

Virtual desktop infrastructure traffic is highly susceptible to poor application performance, Streamcore says

As more enterprises consider deploying desktop virtualization technology, be prepared to deal with performance problems, Streamcore warns.

As more enterprises consider deploying desktop virtualization technology, they need to be prepared to deal with performance problems.

That’s the message from WAN optimization vendor Streamcore, which this week is highlighting some of the application performance challenges linked to desktop virtualization initiatives.

It’s not uncommon for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) traffic -- such as Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Citrix Systems’ ICA protocol -- to need a boost as it travels between virtual machines in the data center and clients at remote sites. VDI traffic alternates between highly interactive traffic such keyboard strokes and screen refreshes, and non-interactive traffic such as printing and file copying, Streamcore explains. The vendor’s ABBA engine can analyze the behavior of sessions and prioritize the interactive traffic over other types of traffic to boost the user experience.

“Not only do we manage the VDI traffic and other flows that are all competing for bandwidth, we prioritize VDI sessions as well. As a result, VDI traffic performs well and the full benefits of desktop virtualization can be realized,” said Frédéric Hediard, vice president of product management at Streamcore, in a statement.

In addition, monitoring and reporting capabilities help IT teams keep tabs on how VDI traffic is performing. Streamcore’s reporting can highlight which remote branch offices are suffering from the worst performance and identify the root cause, for instance.

“... a successful VDI deployment requires strong end-to-end visibility over the WAN and the significant performance gains that result from deploying QoS and bandwidth management. These techniques are necessary in order to ensure that screens refresh in a reasonable amount of time as well as to ensure the acceptable performance of VoIP and video applications,” Streamcore concludes in its newly published whitepaper, “The Impact of Virtualization on Application Delivery over the WAN.” (It’s available for download here.) 

Analyst firm Ashton, Metzler & Associates helped put together the white paper, which tackles some of the WAN-related application delivery challenges associated with virtualization and describes tools and methods used to respond to these challenges.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.