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!


Excited about HP’s ‘Gen 8’servers?

I have always been a fan of HP’s server hardware and software so I have been to look at when their 8th generation ProLiant servers would have to offer and to see if HP’s claim of ‘HP ProLiant Gen8 servers are so intelligent, they virtually manage themselves’ is true.

HP’s proLiant server range is still the most popular x86 server out there it will be interesting to see if the changes this new model brings will be enough to keep it in the lead.


Solving common datacentre problems

HP claim there are two main reasons for hardware related human error downtime problems in the datacentre one of them being data corruption due to the removal of a working disk instead of a faulty one. To combat this problem HP have included a feature called Smart Drive whicnj will make it far easier to see which disk has gone down .

The second problem is bent pins and so they have come up with a solution for that to with a feature called Smart Socket, which is a new Xeon processor socket that HP developed with Intel to make sure that customers who add processors to ProLiant servers don’t bend the pins.

One of the new hardware features I am looking forward to seeing is the new SmartArray controllers which have now been optimised for use with solid state disks (will we start to see SSDs as common place drives in data centres soon?) these new controllers will also offer more secure 3 disk mirroring to keep your data nice and safe.

These are just a few of the 150 new features HP have said are included in the new range. There will be four ranges of the new Gen8 servers to take advantage of the 150+ new features HP have said will be included and these will be rolling out over the new couple of months according to John Gromala marketing director for ISSS division at HP.

The Gen8 ranges will replace the current ProLiant G7 range based on the Xeon 5500 and 5600 and Opteron 6100 and 6200 processors and will come in the ML (aimed at SME’s) and DL range (aimed at traditional data centre).


HP Proactive Support Services

HP have built a new cloud based portal ‘HP Insight Online’ ( that will give HP’s customers  and support staff (including HP partners) insight into what is happening with your servers and will allow HP’s support  staff to very quickly diagnose and repair any issues with your new Gen8 server (HP claim you will be able receive 40% + faster resolutions to your problems). Insight Online will be used to spot and fix potential trouble areas before they cause problems.


New look servers

For people who like their data centres looking top notch HP have upgraded the look of their Gen8 servers which now sport a brushed metal look with cool looking air vents.

 See HP’s Gen8 launch video here >>