I was recently chatting with one of my contacts in the GIS space about 3D graphics delivery from XenApp and XenDesktop, and he passed on an intriguing observation from a mutual customer. Apparently, on the same hardware, OpenGL applications perform much better under 64-bit Windows Server than they do under the 32-bit OS.

ESRI ArcScene, for example, is a 32-bit OpenGL application with 3D graphics. Running on XenApp, the graphics rendering is done in software -- that is, by the CPU -- since Windows Terminal Services does not provide GPU acceleration for OpenGL (you’ll need our Prism technology for that). The rendered graphics can then be delivered over a WAN/Internet connection using HDX 3D Progressive Display. On 32-bit Windows Server, the performance of the 3D rendering was disappointing, but on the 64-bit OS it is very usable. I’m not sure why; we have a hunch that it might be thanks to the 64-bit OS being able to leverage the SSE4 registers on the CPU.

If you have any insights on this, or any experience running OpenGL apps on XenApp under Windows Server 64-bit, please share your comments!

Derek Thorslund
HDX Product Strategist