Microsoft RDP vs Citrix ICA vs Citrix ICA+SpeedScreen progressive display

This Youtube video compares Microsoft RDP, Citrix ICA and Citrix ICA + SpeedScreen Progressive display with each other.

This Youtube video compares Microsoft RDP, Citrix ICA and Citrix ICA + SpeedScreen Progressive display with each other. See it your self!. SpeedScreen Progressive Display is a feature of Citrix XenApp (old school Presentation Server). I am curious if this feature will be added to XenDesktop!

When you want to see the same 3D appplication demo running @ XenApp 4.5 within out Solution Showcase environment 'Virtuall' please request access www.virtuall.EU

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Was that RDP version 5.x or 6? if it was version 5 do you know if verstion 6 performs better?

In the video RDP v5 has been used.  I didn't read any article's/blog entries about performance benefits of RDP v6 yet.



Actually I blogged a little bit about it here:

As you know WS08 TS has many improvements, including performance improvements (such as parallel session creation: Also RDP 6 has numerous improvements. Specifically with regard to performance the only RDP improvements I can think of are:

  1. Better compression

  2. RemoteApp - seamless windows need to pass less data than complete desktops

  3. Easy Print - less bandwidth that standard printer mapping

  4. DWM remoting, which unfortunately works only when connecting to Vista, not a WS08 TS:




I think the Speed Screen Progressive Display has to be added to XenDesktop.  One of the big features of SSPD is the fact that it reduced the required bandwidth for the same level of performance.  When you look at XenDesktop and project apollo (hardware acceleration) you need the SSPD capability to reduce bandwidth requirements.

Frankly I think Citrix messed up by releaseing XenDesktop with a version of ICA that is not consistent with XenApp.  They have had the PortICA (ICA on WinXP) technology for several years now, so they should have been able to keep them on par.  It is not like the SSPD technology is that new either, it has been around for a few years (in some form) and only became part of the official product in CPS 4.5.


Hi Guest,

I think you're right the SSPD should be added to XenDesktop asap! We will see when this happens. I am also curious what Microsofts Calista buy would bring us. There isn't much information about Calista yet..

Great marketspace!

At Provision Networks we have been working on our own RDP Graphics Acceleration, Multimedia Redirection and Latency Reduction, so there will be less decisions based upon  "we have to use Citrix because of ICA".  This was announced at VMWorld 2007.  I'm not knocking Citrix, as I like the new SLR Progressive Display feature in 4.5, and what I've seen of Apollo and Pictor looked good.  As far as I know, our enhancements will not require RDP6.
How could Citrix mess up by releasing XenDesktop when XenDesktop hasn't been released yet?

Calista definately looks interesting.  They popped up on my radar about a year ago.  The fact that they never released a product has me a little concerned that whatever is release (if anytime soon) from Microsoft will not be very mature.  This whole concept of remoting 3D contect is very cool, but the technology available today (and tomorrow) is a little lacking.  Most of the destkop remoting solutions that tout 3D performance with hardware acceleration need a physical machine to run on per user, such as a blade workstation.  There are many vendors that have or are working on these solutions (Citrix, HP, IBM, Dell, ClearCube, Verari, etc).  However, with constant pressure of green computing we are trying to reduce the number of physical devices in the data center, which is in stark contrast to the blade workstation idea. 

I would like to see, and think it is esential, is these technologies enabled in virtual machines.  That means virtualizing the GPU in a hypervisor.  Today's high-end GPUs are sufficient for supporting more than one user with most applications.  There are also rendering devices from NVIDIA (Quadro Plex) that can be used in the data center as well.  Calista talks about their patent pending virtual GPU technology, but there is not much information about that, so I am not sure if they enable hardware acceleration in a VM or not.  To my knowledge no hypervisors out there support this, so my thought is that the virtual GPU must not be what I am hoping for.

Citrix Virtual Design Studio (formerly known as Project Pictor) is another option in this space as it will allow multiple users per physical server, but it to has some draw backs.

All in all it has been and will continue to be fun watching this segment develop. 


These RDP enhancements are no longer announcements, but are reality.  We have done what many previously thought was not possible, i.e. to make RDP perform like ICA, even over low bandwidth connections.