Teradici does what VMware should have done years ago: PCoIP on RDSH

This morning, Teradici announced a new product that adds PCoIP to Remote Desktop Session Host that allows you to replace RDP (RemoteFX) with PCoIP.

This morning, Teradici announced a new product that adds PCoIP to Remote Desktop Session Host that allows you to replace RDP (RemoteFX) with PCoIP. We've long thought there was a bit of a void on the the VMware desktop virtualization front, since in many situations RDSH is more appropriate than VDI, and it now appears that Teradici has come to that conclusion as well. The announcement today signals the start of a limited release to key customers, so we'll have to wait a few weeks until VMworld to get a look at it. The plan is to have a public beta in October and to release version 1.0 in December.

The idea behind this is similar to what Citrix did with ICA on Terminal Server - replace RDP while leveraging underlying tech until you can write something better. Teradici says that it's not their intent to compete with XenApp at this stage in the game, although the roadmap through version 2.0 looks like they will add things like application publishing, so that may change.

The 1.0 release, though, works on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012 RDSH, but not the built-in broker. Instead, you can use the View Connection Broker (which also gives you load balancing) or direction connections to servers. It also doesn't leverage the RD Gateway role to secure the connection. You still have options in the the form of the View Security Gateway, Horizon, or Teradici-created product for environments that aren't tied to VMware.

The real benefit of this solution come to light when you consider the clients needed to connect to mixed environments. If you wanted to deploy just VMware View and nothing more (not XenApp, no RDSH), you could get away with a dedicated, cheap SoC client that just had the PCoIP decoder in it. Many organizations, though, have more complex requirements, which means that the end user devices also need to be more complex, supporting PCoIP and HDX or RDP, for example. So, by deploying PCoIP to their RDSH servers, customers can now leverage the dedicated SoC clients (that Teradici makes the chips for :) as well as any other PCoIP client to access both VDI and RDSH applications. 

Another benefit is that now RDSH can leverage Teradici's APEX 2800 PCoIP offload card, which we covered after it was announced at VMworld last year. The APEX card handles encoding of the PCoIP protocol in VMware View environments rather than relying on a software encoder. This frees up resources on the host and increases the overall experience of PCoIP. In RDSH it will do the same thing, working on both physical hardware and on instances of Windows running in ESX. This should deliver a much better experience than RDP while still maintaining the number of sessions that a single server can host, but it remains to be seen what a side-by-side comparison to RemoteFX and HDX would look like. I smell another Geek Week coming on!

It's clear by the integration with the View Connection Broker and other VMware components that VMware is on board with this. They don't need to be, though. VMware's license for PCoIP is non-exclusive, so Teradici can do what they want. In fact, they plan on making PCoIP neutral so that all platforms can leverage it (Oracle, Hyper-V, DaaS providers, etc...). It's good to know, though, that this isn't a solution growing up independent of VMware, and that this begins to complete View's offering. Teradici also says that, despite the added competition, Microsoft is excited about this. I imagine that they don't see much of a threat from a fledgling offering, not to mention that it's simply another group of sales reps and channel partners selling RDSH licenses for them. Plus, Microsoft has a lot to be proud of with RDS in Server 2012, so they probably feel no threat at all.

So, weigh in with your thoughts on this. I think it's a good move, but there's a lot of uncertainty right now in the RDSH world with the impending release of Server 2012. It will be fun to sit down and get a look at all of them, though, so look for us to do that some time after the release in December. In the meantime, we'll catch up with Teradici at VMworld and get a look at whatever pieces of this they're showing.

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In the end you wrapped up with some of my thoughts there. I was asking right out the gate "why would Gabe think VMware should have done this.."


Most people think PCoIP is a VMware product (like Citrix has its own protocol of set of) but they just license it. You can actually license PCoIP for your own product if you want and build it in to a different broker or in this case a different server side target (TS/RDS) .


Cool to see them using it in other places.


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Yeah, I only thought VMware should have done it because they were the ones with the resources to do it and it was a big difference on the feature comparison between View and XenApp. Teradici stepping up to the plate and doing it is fine, though.


This occurred to me after I posted: I think it's interesting that they're going to build a platform-independent solution that supports multiple backends and eventually compete with XenApp. Starting from scratch to compete with XenApp in the future seems like an unenviable position to be in, especially given the whole "future of the desktop" thing. If it's just a way to leverage their technology to sell more thin clients and APEX cards, that's one thing, but I get a bit of a "Oh yeah? We're gonna make a solution that supports LOTS Of backends in the future," vibe.


I wonder if maybe there's an angle to this where they're trying to get some leverage in a contract negotiation (like, for VMware's rights to PCoIP) or some sort of acquisition play. I'm not one that likes to create FUD, so I have to walk a fine line, but I suppose it's possible.


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On the topic of the APEX card, I'm still waiting for any kind of announcement (or even speculation) on the ETA for the mezzanine card versions for blades. Being a PCIe card limits the deployment options a bit there.


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I really hope this works well. Since Citrix is innovating so slowly in the desktop arena I looking for ways to reduce the need for them moving forward. This with RemoteFX will hopefully start to create some options.


@Gabe any idea is Teradici will offer an API so a custom broker can be considered to connect using different protocols?


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Hi Gabe,


I'm rather new at the PCOIP thing. Do I need a Teradici card to use PCOIP or do I need the card so I can use PCoIP to Remote Desktop Session Host?


We;ve got a customer with VMware View 4.6. They do not want to update now, but they asked me if they can use PCOIP in their View 4.6 environment. Is it possible to implement this without the use of Teradici cards?


Regards,


Ronald


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So..... Did this ever happen?  All I see when searching are more hits related to the original announcement!


We really could use PCoIP-like desktop graphics acceleration in VMware-based Windows environments without the complexity/cost of VMware View.


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