VMware answers to Gartner on HDX vs PCoIP

Last week the analysis firm Gartner generated a lot of interest for a couple of comments made about the virtualization industry.
The first one came from Thomas Bittman, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, who said that Microsoft Hyper-V is under-performing compared to his expectations
The second one came from Chris Wolf, Vice President of Research, who said that Citrix HDX remote desktop protocol performs better than VMware PCoIP in high-latency (200ms) WAN scenarios.

While Microsoft didn’t reply (not yet at least) to Bittman, VMware has been very quick in addressing Wolf comments. The official reply comes directly from Scott Davis, CTO of the End User Computing business unit (emphasis our):

…VMware View 4.5 with and PCoIP are configured out of the box to provide the richest LAN experience. There are several important parameters that can be adjusted to optimally tune the protocol for WAN conditions and specific usage scenarios. For WAN conditions it can be very helpful to adjust the display frame rate, image quality and min/max bandwidth settings. As an example, the default frame rate with PCoIP is 30. This can be safely cut down to 12 frames per second for WAN usage resulting in less bandwidth consumption and a better experience in many such circumstances…

…Similarly, there are settings for bandwidth; maximum bandwidth can be used to constrain peak consumption to avoid starvation of other users, while minimum bandwidth can be used to avoid poor desktop performance due to congestion…

…One other thing, the VPN Chris used was a Vyatta open source L2TP/IPsec VPN. There are numerous ways to configure such VPN’s, however PCoIP utilizes UDP for the graphics packets and optimizes parallelism and retransmits at the higher layers of the protocol. Hence we recommend using a VPN technology that support UDP packets natively, not to tunnel the UDP traffic over TCP/IP as doing so will typically cause responsiveness issues

Davis doesn’t seem to disagree with Wolf about Citrix’s superior performance over 200ms latency links, but he certainly downplays the scenario:

Overall, this is a positive endorsement from a highly regarded unbiased analyst who validates a near equivalent user experience for PCoIP vs HDX for the majority of use cases. Customer scenarios range in bandwidth and latency, but conditions of latency above 200ms seem to represent a small minority

Now it’s just a matter of time before Citrix releases the most complete report ever about 200ms latency use cases.