Back to the desktop discussion...
I've done some testing on VMware vs. XenDesktop and for our situation VMware just couldn't compete on the broker side. (Hypervisor side is another story). Our major sticking point was RDP. We have a long distance high latency link and RDP is just not usable over that link for day to day work. We attempted to test locally using a latency generator and I couldn't stand to use it for more than about 10 minutes.
Locally without the high latency I much preferred the VMware solution but RDP vs. ICA was a deal breaker for us. I think that may be one of the biggest benchmark concerns in many cases. We weren't really concerned as much with how many desktops can we fit per processor, etc...
The experience you are describing is not really a broker problem per say. We have always focused on providing choice and customer flexibility regarding the broker. So, we provide support today for brokering RDP, ALP, Console Direct and will also support others in the near future. Supporting these other protocols and with our joint co-development PCoIP efforts we able to offer more customer choice and flexability on protocol and devices.
Your specific challenge is the desktop experiance. In your case the LAN performance is OK and the WAN performance is not acceptable using RDP, we acknowledge delivering RDP on the WAN is hit and miss. We also have worked with WAN optimization partners and other protocol partners to offer alternatives or enhanced solutions for this. For example, we know from testing and customer testimonial that ALP out
performs most other protocols on the WAN consistently time and time again.
That said, not everyone is interested in that solution. However, for
those that are, who do not mind a blended solution, we have made
the investment in to enable that and make it available to them so they
have a choice
Most protocols today were designed for point purposes and are typically really good at one thing, but not generally good at a lot of things. That said, ICA / PortICA sets the bar right. We have always acknowledged that ICA / PortICA provids a good overall protocol and Citrix has worked hard at that for some time now. In your case, if I am reading you correctly that is what you want, a single protocol that delivers a usable desktop experiance both on the LAN and WAN.
Some time ago we heard this loud and clear from our cusotmers and have been working hard we have created a dedicated Remote Display Experiance team to solve this and have been plugging away at it. We have been heads down working to bring the best solution to our customers. The basis of those efforts will be though our co-develpment work on PCoIP working with Teradici. PCoIP will allow us to deliver the single protocol solution you are looking for while at the same time our broker will continue to offer the most broad choice for customers as well.
Getting back to some of the WAN specifics and the tests you ran with simulated latencies. Are you willing to share more about what is important to you regarding WAN performance? You felt PortICA out performed RDP with higher latency. What level of latencies are you looking to be able to deliver across? Is that only delivering a typical desktop experiance with office apps and some web browsing or does that also included themeing and visual affects turned on? Or does that also include a more advanced desktop experiance content such as Multimedia, Flash etc.. Also for each desktop experiance what price are you willing to pay regarding bandwidth needs per user is that important?
The experience you are describing is not really a broker problem per say
Point taken, it was just that with 'standard' implementations the broker was the piece that we could change back and forth to test without customizing too much. Basically we have a significant VMware investment and we weren't interested in going another way with the hypervisor portion. The broker was sort of our generic term for everything beyond the virtualization infrastructure (probably wrong choice of terms but easiest for everyone to understand).
You are correct on the other comments, and we've been patiently awaiting the (software/virtualized) Teradici version to take a look at. as well. We are looking to go with a single solution and not solution A for local users and solution B for remote/home users.
Are you willing to share more about what is important to you regarding WAN performance?
You felt PortICA out performed RDP with higher latency. What level of latencies are you looking to be able to deliver across?
Our testing is based on round trip times of 280 ms.
Is that only delivering a typical desktop experiance with office apps and some web browsing or does that also included themeing and visual affects turned on? Or does that also include a more advanced desktop experiance content such as Multimedia, Flash etc..
For the most part pretty typical. I tried a 'standard' build for us and then also tried it using the recommendations for VDI implementations like some effects off, themes off, plain backgrounds, etc. That didn't make a huge difference really for what we did. My testing was not extremely scientific, but I did the same tasks on each solution and timed them. They weren't all specific tests to the applications we are using, but more general using some web, office, etc... This did include a few multimedia and flash tests.
Also for each desktop experiance what price are you willing to pay regarding bandwidth needs per user is that important?
I'd like to get a remote user to have a local experience at no added cost :). Ok, back to reality I think for the most part we are trying to squeeze what we can from current bandwidth without having to bump up the size of that pipe. One of our main goals is to do this without added hardware in the area of accelerators or solutions that involve back end hardware other than the ESX infrastructure (like the Teradici hardware solution or Sunray type scenario.
This is helpful do you have an example of the number of users and the size of the network connectivity even if its a rough target? At some point there has to be a rough allocation of bandwith per users. If we do not want to upgrade our networks what experiance and how many users can we get on that network? Is it 100Kbps, 500Kbps, 1.5Mbps, 100Mbps?