PCoIP Support for Microsoft RDS

PCoIP

This week Teradici, creator of the PCoIP protocol, released a technology preview of their new product named Teradici Arch. Teradici Arch is asoftware-based solution that enables the use of the PCoIP protocol for Microsoft  RDS as an alternative to Microsoft RDP.

This should provide better user experience and access to the entire PCoIP ecosystem, PCoIP thin clients, APEX accelerator cards, etc.

Teradici has been forced to delay the release of Arch due to a scalability issue but a new tech preview will still allow enterprises to familiarize themselves with the product. The final product release is expected in Q3 2013.

This solution should be an ideal solution for enterprises with mixed environment of VMware View VDI and Microsoft RDS. I wonder how many of these mixed environments exist. The only mixed PCoIP/RDP environments I have seen in my work are View environments where both protocols are used to connect to the same View desktops to use MMR instead of PCoIP acceleration.

The PCoIP protocol is now available for use with terminal services for more performance over any network type and access to the PCoIP ecosystem of products including low maintenance, ultra-secure zero clients. Teradici Arch enables customers to:

  • broker and manage both VMware View and RDS session desktops through VMware View Manager;
  • provide a rich, interactive experience over any network (LAN, WAN and wireless) using the PCoIP protocol;
  • support the use of ultra-secure PCoIP zero clients that comply with stringent government and security mandates and are immune to virus invasion;
  • enable the TCO savings experienced with low maintenance PCoIP zero clients and eliminate the need for expensive VPN products;
  • use the APEX server offload card to protect and ensure a consistent user experience regardless of task and activity level;
  • leverage existing infrastructure with this simple add-on software solution.

I understand Teradici’s move to broaden their scope and support Microsoft RDS. Teradici was a hardware company and only moved to software with the VMware View opportunity, but Teradici seems they don’t want to be a one trick pony. So with the release of Arch, Teradici makes a move for Microsoft Remote Desktop Services.

There are few things that will be interesting as soon as this new solution is available. Will companies pay for a View license so they can run Microsoft RDS? Teradici has also started working on adding support for a Microsoft Connection Broker but even if they can use the PCoIP protocol without VMware View, will companies pay the extra money instead of using RemoteFX?

But the technology is awesome, it enables companies to:

  • replace RDP with PCoIP for View brokered RDS or terminal services connections;
  • optimize network infrastructure on a single protocol: PCoIP;
  • manage all end-point devices from a single provisioning interface and as a single pool of assets;
  • standardize on PCoIP zero clients to reduce both TCO and security exposure of the end-points.

Arch

But how does it work? Teradici Arch published desktop is implemented by the PCoIP Connection Manager (PCM), a virtual appliance that incorporatestworoles: an internal connection manager and a security gateway. The PCM handles communication between the View Connection Server (VCS) and end points, and enables access to both View VDI and RDS published desktops. The PCM can be implemented in the corporate LAN, and in a DMZ for remote access. When the PCM is located in a DMZ, its PCoIP Security Gateway (PSG) component must be enabled. The PSG is an optional component of the PCM .ova package and replaces the VMware View Security Gateway. It allows users to access their remote desktops from the Internet without having to set up a VPN connection

For now Teradici Arch only supports Microsoft RDS publishing over the PCoIP protocol using a VMware View Connection Server but in a subsequent release they are going to support Microsoft customers who don’t have View and really just want to add PCoIP.

The Teradici Arch solution will be generally available in Q3, 2013 and sold for a list price of USD $60, per named user through Teradici distribution channels. This is a perpetual license and includes the first year of maintenance and support from Teradici. Subsequent years of maintenance and support are available for USD $10, per named user.

To use Teradici Arch (release 1.0) you need the following:

Software solution

  • Consists of two components:
    1. EXE file: to be installed on each Windows server
      Note: RDP won’t be available anymore for this Windows server
    2. OVA file: for the front end virtual appliance
      (PCoIP Connection Manager – PCM)
  • Support for up to 45 concurrent sessions per Windows server

System requirements

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 x64;
  • VMware View Agent 5.1 or later;
  • VMware View Connection Server 5.1 or later

Device compatibility

  • PCoIP Zero Clients (Tera1, Tera2);
  • VMware View soft clients: Apple OS X 1.7 or later, Windows 5.1.1 or later, latest iOS and Android apps;
  • Teradici APEX 2800 Server Offload Card, Software 2.2 or later;
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 virtualized on ESXi hypervisor.

Display support

  • Up to 2 displays supported per published desktop, at a maximum resolution of 2560×1600.

USB support

  • USB mouse and keyboard supported;
  • Additional USB support expected in Q2, 2013.

About

Erik Scholten is the founder of VMGuru.nl and works for Imtech ICT as a Solution Architect creating the most ingenious virtual infrastructures. He has over 16 years experience as a system engineer and consultant and now he specializes in virtualization. His current job includes selling, presenting, designing and developing virtual infrastructures for some major companies in the Netherlands. Erik is a certified VMware VCP (3, 4, 5), VCP Desktop (5), VSP (3, 4, 5) and VTSP (3, 4, 5). In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 VMware awarded him the vExpert award for his virtualization community efforts.