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Thin Client Low Bandwidth Performance

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How do thin-client solutions fare with throttled bandwidth?

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Excellent gem of a report in the July 2000 issue of PC Magazine which is available online and from which comes the summary graphic presented below.

The test found significant performance differences at slow connection speeds. The test uses 100 Mbps, 10 Mbps, T1 (1.5Mbps), DSL (3-400kbps), ISDN (128kbps), and telephone lines.

In the graphic below AT&T VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is Unix-based solution that achieves its great results by skipping screen refreshes at low bandwidth.

Conclusions: Citrix continues to kick butt under Windows 2000, Windows 2000 Terminal Server matches what you can do with Citrix under NT 4, and plain 'ol Windows NT4 Terminal Server Edition is, well, awful.

Paul Maskens, {^2000/7/5}
Practical use comment:
When running on terminal server, or via VNC across our 1Mbit/s connection between the UK and Belgium I do not see the same performance difference.
I get far better screen refresh using NT 4 TSE SP6 than I get using VNC.
Hardware probably has something to do with this: the Win NT TSE server is 2 processor, 2 Gig RAM and my desktop is 1 processor, 256Meg RAM.
But the link between the countries is the same and the Win NT TSE server is also servicing 10-20 other users.

There are many configuration options for VNC, which I'm using to remote control my desktop machine from the laptop in Belgium.
There are less options for a Termianl Server Client, as a user I only have one choice - to click on the "Low Speed Connection" checkbox.

Any tuning hints for both Win NT TSE and VNC welcome, as these will definitely affect performance.

Hmm.. VNC normally doesn't beat Terminal server. It sure doesn't beat XP's remote desktop, which is basically a slightly upgraded 2000 Terminal Server. Does anyone know exactly what this test is testing? VNC, while great (the price is right!, simple installation, etc), is simply not as fast as a Citrix based solution. There's a reason Microsoft licenced Citrix's compression protocol for several million dollars. -- Peter Crabtree {^2002-12-26}

Category Thin Client
( Topic last updated: 2002.12.26 06:35:24 PM )