Follow up PCoIP Questions


Some follow up PCoIP Questions.

On Wednesday (12/15/2010) I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of people in Troy Michigan (my slide deck is at the bottom).  This was a discussion around “Why EMC for VMware View”.  We discussed all the benefits of a secure virtual desktop as well as the scalability and flexibility EMC’s storage offers them.   What was really cool is a majority of them were either wrapping up their View POC or were in full production.   We had a few questions that came up that I wanted to capture here, and post the answers for others to benefit from. 

1)      What is PCoIP

If you go to Wikipedia, it defines it as: PC-over-IP (PCoIP) is a proprietary protocol for remote workstation and desktop solution, designed and developed by Teradici. PCoIP enables remote access to workstations and servers, normally hosted in a machine room or data center, from a thin client (advertised as a ‘zero client‘), which can be just an LCD monitor with a PCoIP client processor integrated. The PCoIP protocol transmits only the changing pixels across a standard IP network to stateless PCoIP technology enabled devices

The Net-Net of this is PCoIP is a new protocol developed by Teradici that only sends the changing pixels across the network.  This has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of bandwidth needed.  YMMV.

2)      What sort of advice can you give us on PCoIP bandwidth sizing and hints/tips etc.

First and foremost, your mileage WILL vary as well as the responses you will get when asking these questions.  These are just my opinions!! 

PCoIP bandwidth sizing is an interesting endeavor!!  First and foremost, you should understand that PCoIP is a UDP protocol.  What this means is the use of WAN accelerators is not really going to help.  I can also tell you that PCoIP will eat up every bit of bandwidth it can get so network QoS is going to be really important.   There are a ton of hints and tricks to optimizing PCoIP written by Andre Leibovici of VMware on his blog so make sure you check it out.   Also, VMware has a great information guide around PCoIP Display Protocol: Information and Scenario Based Network Sizing Guide you should read.

3)      Hypothetically speaking, how many PCoIP sessions could I expect to get out of a T-1 line?

Again, you mileage will very but I’ve spoken to a few view experts (Chris Reed of INX, Aaron Patten of VCE and Ed Saiptech fellow vSpecialist) and each felt that 5 to 10 live desktops per T-1 is a good rule of thumb.  Now, if all they are doing is office/outlook work then you can probably double or triple that number, BUT your mileage will vary!!  Everyone agreed that you will want to work with a network savvy VMware View consultant. 

So, hopefully this answered a couple of the questions that were thrown out during the session.  This was my first trip to Detroit, and boy did I pick a cold day to go, but the hospitality was fantastic.  Special thanks to Dennis Callaghan, his rockstar TC Chris Pawlowski as well as all the other EMC’ers I met.  Thanks for making me feel welcomed!!


PS – here is the preso I used yesterday.  Let me know if you have any further questions !!

6 thoughts on “Follow up PCoIP Questions

  1. Tommy –

    Great post but the statement “I can also tell you that PCoIP will eat up every bit of bandwidth it can get so network QoS is going to be really important” is a little misleading. PCoIP will maximize bandwidth usage if there is a large amount of data being updated on the screen from a refresh perspective. For example, watching a full-screen flash video w/30 frame/second refresh will result in bandwidth usage that is much higher then typing e-mail.

    I use a Wyse R90 w/dual 1680×1050 monitors connecting to a Windows 7 desktop and after parsing through the logs for today I see that the largest bandwidth usage was 600 bk/s for a couple of seconds when I accidentally went to a CNET page that had a video embedded. Other then that, I’ve been hovering around 250 kb/s with dips much less then that when I’ve stepped away from the computer.


  2. Russel,

    Thank you very much for commenting. I’ve heard that the average bandwidth is around 200 – 250 kb/s which seems to be right in line with your real world results !!

    Thanks again !!

  3. Tommy –

    I am a little late getting around to posting a comment, but wanted to reiterate how great your presentation was in Troy. Our company has finished its first POC/pilot, and hopes to complete another before April with remote staff. I came away from the presentation with a lot of info and ideas, and am sure it will help us as we move forward. I’ve reached out to our Account Rep, and look forward to working with a TC on our second pilot. Thanks again.

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