Citrix HDX better than PCoIP? VMWare promptly reply to Gartner…

November 23, 2010

Certainly you know that after a co-development with the startup Teradici, VMware launched a software-only version of the remote desktop protocol PC over IP (PCoIP). PCoIP support has been introduced in View 4.0 and it’s obviously still present in the new View 4.5.
Customers interested in VDI have wondered if PCoIP is on par or superior to the Citrix High Definition eXperience (HDX) protocol, an extension of the ICA protocol, introduced with XenDesktop 3.0 in February 2009. There are few benchmarks about the topic, but how the experience will be for the average employee? Chris Wolf, Vice President of Research at Gartner, just provided an answer to this simple(?) question…

Wolf tested both XenDesktop 4.0 Service Pack 1 and VMware View 4.5, through a L2TP/IPsec VPN to connect from Europe to his facility in US. He connects to the XenDesktop and View environments one-at-a-time and perform a few basic tasks: opening a Word document and add a comment,then opening a browser-based Flash application (imaginationcubed), watch the sample drawing, and then use the app to write the word “hello.”
The verdict is clear: the two protocols are on par on LAN, while Citrix HDX performs better over WAN links with more than 200ms latency.

In fact Wolf Said “I found that as latency increased beyond 200 ms, ICA/HDX had a decided advantage over PCoIP. Text entry and menu response with ICA/HDX was still good enough to keep me productive, while the PCoIP response hampered productivity. When latency was relatively low (e.g., under 120 ms) both protocols performed well enough to meet my expectations. At several locations (i.e., Newark Airport, Munich, and Copenhagen) both protocols were able to deliver a good user experience.”

VMware has been very quick in addressing Wolf comments. The official reply was made by Scott Davis, CTO of the End User Computing business unit, who said: “…VMware View 4.5 with and PCoIP are configured out of the box to provide the richest LAN experience. There are several important parameters that can be adjusted to optimally tune the protocol for WAN conditions and specific usage scenarios. For WAN conditions it can be very helpful to adjust the display frame rate, image quality and min/max bandwidth settings. As an example, the default frame rate with PCoIP is 30. This can be safely cut down to 12 frames per second for WAN usage resulting in less bandwidth consumption and a better experience in many such circumstances…
Davis doesn’t seem to disagree with Wolf about Citrix’s superior performance over 200ms latency links, but he certainly downplays the scenario: “Overall, this is a positive endorsement from a highly regarded unbiased analyst who validates a near equivalent user experience for PCoIP vs HDX for the majority of use cases. Customer scenarios range in bandwidth and latency, but conditions of latency above 200ms seem to represent a small minority…

According to me this is the key-point: after that for many years the Citrix protocol was superior to any other, now PCoIp can offer a similar user experience, demonstrating that the gap between the two market leader VDI solution is reduced more and more and that VMware has done a good job in filling the delay that charges against his direct competitor from Fort Lauderdale.. Don’t forget that, also if some months later Citrix XenDesktop, also View 4.5 was defined from Gartner as an “enterprise ready” VDI solution.

If you want to read more you can follow these links from Alessandro Perilli website:
Citrix HDX better than VMWare PCoIP
VMWare answer to gartner

One comment

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by VM Digest and Troy Szabo, xengeekblog. xengeekblog said: Certainly you know that after a co-development with the startup Teradici, VMware launched a… http://goo.gl/fb/OnS87 […]

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