The virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) brings virtualization to the end-user's computer, and is one of the fastest-growing cloud services. It is a new form of server-side virtualization in which a virtual machine on a server hosts a single virtualized desktop. VDI is a popular means of desktop virtualization as it provides a fully customized user desktop, while still maintaining the security and simplicity of centralized management. Leading vendors in this area are Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix, employing technologies such as:
• PCoIP – allows all enterprise desktops to be centrally located and managed in the data center, while providing a robust user experience for remote users.
• Remote desktop protocol (RDP) – a Microsoft proprietary protocol which is an extension of the ITU-T T.128 application sharing protocol allowing a user to graphically interface with another computer.
• Citrix independent computing architecture (ICA) – a Citrix proprietary protocol that is a platform-independent means of exchanging data between servers and clients.
Network performance is a key factor here. As described in a posting on the Citrix Blog, the table below estimates the amount of bandwidth that might be used by XenDesktop users. It doesn't require many users to hit tens of Mbps.
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