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Performance comparison of windows-based thin-client architectures

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3 Author(s)
Daniel Schlosser ; University of Würzburg, Institute of Computer Science, Germany ; Andreas Binzenhofer ; Barbara Staehle

The basic idea behind thin-client architectures is to run applications on a central server instead of installing them separately on each client. The Windows remote desktop protocol (RDP) and the Citrix presentation server are two well known approaches to separate the location of where the user input is processed from the computer he is actually working on. While both alternatives solve the same problem, they rely on significantly different mechanisms to handle the exchange of user input and screen updates between client and server. In this paper we therefore compare the performance of both protocols under different aspects. In particular, we study the load caused on network layer as well as the satisfaction of the end user with the service quality achieved by the different terminal services. As this performance heavily depends on the current network conditions, we emulate realistic scenarios in a controlled testbed environment and measure the time required for typical office tasks on application layer. As a result, we quantify the Quality-of-Experience (QoE) perceived by the end-user, compare the overhead required by the different available protocols, and unveil their advantages and disadvantages. Our results can be used to decide which protocol to use in which scenario.

Published in:

Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference, 2007. ATNAC 2007. Australasian

Date of Conference:

2-5 Dec. 2007