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03/04/2012

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douq millar

Virtualized desktop has existed for years as the Remote Desktop feature of Windows (using a client as access to a server) or in many web teleconferencing systems and so performance weaknesses are well known. As per your example, while access to the first slide of the PPT is quicker than downloading everything, sending the slide as screen pixels requires much more bandwidth. Admittedly there are compression tricks that help (especially with boilerplate slides) but at a fairly small fraction of actually viewing the PPT the download will require less bandwidth than paging through all those pixels. This is the visual side; the stuttering of mouse response and mishits is yet another irritation. And if the server running the virtual desktop is just a tad slow, even more unresponsive to user. The trouble is, most applications today, are not the old "batchy" type but highly interactive and even small delays frustrate that interaction.

Andrew Chapman

Douq,

I think that it is a balancing act as usual; the bandwidth needed to download content to a local client vs. "screen scraping". The VDI technology seems to have improved and many of the screen resolution/performance issues seem to have been lessened greatly. I think that the key is that VDI allows you to use non-cloud –optimized clients without making a huge reengineering investent. Imagine some of the chatty thick clients that we have today running over the WAN vs. VDI.

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