Teradici ups virtual desktop performance with caching and GPUs

Performance improvements are opening the door for entry-level workstation users

Teradici has updated the PCoIP Hardware Accelerator with caching and better GPU support to improve the performance of virtual desktop installations based on VMware's Horizon View platform.

The PCoIP protocol is used to run desktops in the data center. To do that the protocol compresses, encrypts and encodes the desktop and transmits the necessary pixels across an IP network to a compatible client. Depending on the applications and the number of users involved, that can put a lot of stress on the underlying servers, and that's where Teradici's PCoIP Hardware Accelerator comes in.

By off-loading image encoding to a hardware encoding card, it reduces peaks in CPU utilization, ensuring more consistent desktop performance for users, according to Teradici.

The next software update, the version 2.3 driver, will add support for caching, and the company has also fine tuned the processing of pixels to better take advantage of GPUs in VMware environments, according to Olivier Favre, director of product management at Teradici. For users, the latter means higher frame rates generated by the GPU on the server can still be presented to the user, he said.

The addition of caching lets Teradici decrease bandwidth utilization. It can be cut by up to 50 percent in cases where users run graphics-intensive tasks, such as CAD/CAM or video content, when a lot pixels change on the display, according Teradici's measurements.

Thanks to performance improvements, interest is now growing for virtualizing entry-level workstations as well as machines used for higher-end work, Favre said.

The PCoIP Hardware Accelerator runs on a PCI card. Drivers are installed on VMware's ESXi hypervisor and on the virtual machines whose performance users want to accelerate. Off-loading the process of image controlling can then be accomplished via the View administration tool.

The 2.3 driver release will be available on August 20 as a free download.

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