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VDI or desktop virtualization is an important way for users to access their applications and data, especially in a cloud computing environment or with BYOD laptops and phones. What we once simply called “Citrix” and later “remote desktop” is now available from an increasing number of vendors, but as with any complex protocol running over a wide variety of network conditions, what works great for one user may be disastrous for another.

Different VDI protocols may require different amounts of bandwidth for display, and may respond very differently to latency and packet loss. Some have better adaptive mechanisms to determine network conditions and optimize accordingly, or more end user controls to set operating parameters. And some are just better, more sophisticated systems but cost more than cheap or free alternatives. And like any other application, the only way to know is to test, and the best way to test is in the lab on a controlled test bed. And this is exactly what Gunnar Berger, Research Director at Gartner and VDI expert did using the Linktropy WAN Emulator to create a simulated WAN.

Gunnar has posted a short demo showing Microsoft Remote Desktop on Windows 8 using the Linktropy WAN emulator to determine what conditions RDP8 works fine and when it starts to become sluggish. You can view it on the Gartner blog at: http://blogs.gartner.com/gunnar-berger/user-experience-comparison-microsoft-rdp8-remotefx/