Time for a reality check

There’s a lot of opinion being thrown out by VMware extolling the virtues of PCoIP with their VDI only solution. I was part of a panel discussion yesterday in Toronto with VMware’s desktop CTO and continue to hear claims being made about PCoIP such as:

“The only protocol designed and built ground-up for desktop. ICA/RDP are designed for applications not for desktop”

“Superior experience from LAN to WAN”

“Seamless desktop experience: rich media and graphics, multimedia, progressive build, productivity applications, USB”

“Flexible access from multiple devices”

At Citrix we decided to engage Miercom, an independent networking and communications testing and validation firm to help validate these claims. Their background made Miercom particularly well suited for this investigation into the user experience performance of Citrix XenDesktop 4 vs. VMware View 4.

The testing looks at different workloads (general desktop use and Flash multimedia) and multiple network scenarios (LAN and WAN), and shows significant differences in bandwidth utilization, CPU consumption and overall user experience. Some key highlights:

• XenDesktop uses 64% less bandwidth than View 4 (with PCoIP) for typical desktop workloads

• XenDesktop uses 89% less bandwidth and 65% less CPU for Flash video when using our HDX MediaStream for Flash feature

• Overall, XenDesktop provides a better “Quality of Experience” as quantified by Miercom

• As a result, XenDesktop is significantly more capable of scaling and meeting end user requirements

I encourage you to download the report and see the results and methodology for yourself.