When it comes to delivering great user experience for virtual desktops and hosted applications over WAN, highly interactive and fluid experience with rich visual quality remain the key. HDX Rich Graphics already supports native GDI remoting consuming very low bandwidth while providing local like user experience. Along with this base technology, advanced technologies like Speedscreen Progressive Display enable highly responsive and smoother experience over WAN connections. Speedscreen Progressive Display has been around since Presentation Server 4.5 (XenApp) and all the XenDesktop versions. In XenDesktop 5.5, we are introducing two new features – Adaptive Display and GDI+ Remoting – which take the user experience to the next level.
We profiled modern office applications to understand heavily used graphics operations so that they could be remoted to the client using native graphics commands instead of bitmaps. By using native graphics commands, it saves on server side CPU, saves network bandwidth and eliminates visual artifacts as it doesn’t needed to be compressed using image compression. This makes HDX Rich Graphics unique compared to competing remoting solutions which do pure bitmap remoting.
Speedscreen Progressive Display has been widely used in the existing XenDesktop and XenApp products and has been a very successful technology. Adaptive display is a natural evolution of Speedscreen Progressive Display technologies to improve visual experience, make it more adaptive to the network and eliminate complex policy configurations.
When the user is dragging a bitmap in a PowerPoint slide or rotating a CAD model or watching a server rendered video over WAN connection, he/she expects highly fluid and smoother experience. Adaptive display detects these user actions and tries to provide targeted minimum frame rate to give smoother experience. It does this by adapting the image quality and the frame rate of these frames-in-motion based on available network bandwidth to maintain the desired user interactivity and smoothness while the remaining desktop screen always remains crisp. The image quality of the frames-in-motion is also never lowered below a certain value to maintain the high fidelity user experience. User interactions like clicking on the Windows Start button, hovering the mouse over the task bar and icons, or when browsing images in Google images won’t get detected as frames-in-motion and would always be high fidelity. Unlike technologies in the competing protocols like build-to-lossless which suffer from fuzzy desktop experience, Adaptive Display provides a visually very rich experience and is a pleasure to use.
Progressive Display requires creating complex policy configurations to get it right making it a hard to use feature. Adaptive Display eliminates the need for such complex configurations and provides a fantastic out-of-the-box experience, making it zero configurations for Citrix Administrators.
Along with providing such a visually rich and fluid experience, our tests with Login VSI version 3 Multimedia Workload show more than 30% bandwidth savings with the introduction of these new technologies. This will also greatly improve WAN link scalability thus supporting more users over the same WAN connection.
Experience the rich desktop experience by yourself over any type of network and let us know your feedback…