RemoteFX – Windows Server 2008 R2 vs. Windows Sever 2012

Although RDP was great in a LAN environment it was not always best suited to the WAN. Thankfully RemoteFX has seen huge improvements in Windows Sever 2012 – a noteworthy point for both CitrixHDX and VMWAre PCoIP.

As a quick reference, some of the improvements are:

  • Support for 10 touch points in a remote session and pressure sensitivity
  • Full support for Microsoft Lync
  • True Single Sign-on
  • Complete USB Redirection – ANY USB device can be redirected to the remote session (scanner, printers, cameras etc.) and it will be secure, which means no one else will be able to access the USB devices you are redirecting
  • And the best feature – in my opinion – is RemoteFX Media Remoting

There has been a change in protocol for some of the content transmitted if RemoteFX believes it is necessary. This will be really useful when you are transmitting a video. Traditionally RDP would transmit the video in TCP and would then re-transmit any dropped packets. However this is pointless when you are watching a fast video as by the time the packets have been re-transmitted they are no longer required –  making UDP a perfect alternative. As with all the new features this will be controllable via GPO’s so you will have complete control over what RemoteFX is doing.

RemoteFX will now look at what it needs to transmit and optimize accordingly for example RemoteFX will send the text using a new codec that will send the data very quickly and using very little bandwidth. The images will be sent as a base jpg image and then progressive rendering will build up the image (think old fashioned web browsing) and lastly the video will be re-encoded as H.264 transmitted to the endpoint who will then de-code. If the endpoint is capable of playing video the server will not decompress the video and then transmit instead it will transmit the compressed video and allow the endpoint to decode it.

All of this is adaptive depending on the bandwidth available so if the bandwidth is tight the host will use more CPU and being to compress more to help get the content to the endpoint as quickly as possible.

No GPU needed! Microsoft have developed a software GPU so there will no longer be a need to purchase an expensive graphics card for your server for basic aero experience (you will still put a GPU in for CAD/CAM applications etc.) Microsoft have done this because in Windows 8 you will not be able to turn the aero interface off. The new software GPU will still have full DirectX support.

And lastly there will be a Windows 8 Metro App (obviously!) this will be great for people who are  using this on their tablets over a 3G connection!

All of the features mentioned above are available for both physical and virtual hosts!