Tech: Microsoft RemoteFX architecture and features

Posted by Kenneth van Surksum   |   Monday, November 15th, 2010   |  

Michel Roth, who works for the desktop virtualization division of Quest (previously known as the startup Provision Networks, which was acquired by Quest in 2007) and runs the blog wrote a great review about the upcoming RemoteFX functionality in Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

The review looks at what RemoteFX exactly is, what it can do (for Virtual Desktop Infrastructures and for Remote Desktop Session Hosts) and cannot do and how it works under the cover.

Some quotes from the article:

Concerning what RemoteFX is:

"…The most common misconception that exists today is that RemoteFX is a new display protocol that will replace RDP. This is not true. RemoteFX is an umbrella term for a set of technologies that will enhance RDP…


Concerning what it can do:

"…Anything! Well, from a display perspective at least. This is the really cool part. Since to the virtual desktop and its applications it appears that a “normal” GPU is available, almost all content can be rendered. RemoteFX is like a catch-all. Basically all kinds of “desktop content” can be viewed in near full fidelity in your virtual desktop…"

Concerning what it cannot do:

"…Of course RemoteFX isn’t the most brilliant thing since the seedless watermelon but it is pretty darn close! There are a couple of characteristics – I would not call them drawbacks – which you have to be aware of though:

•LAN only.

•Need for a GPU.

•No OpenGL.

•Hyper-V R2 SP1 only.

•Windows 7 SP1 only…"

And finally the conclusion from Michel:

"…Many people complained that Microsoft took too long to implement the Calista technologies into what was clear from the first minute- RDP. I personally think that Microsoft wanted to wait until all the pieces were in place to start yet another game of chess (or a more violent sport) with their good friends VMware. These pieces are not only assimilating the Calista technologies into Windows but also building the RemoteFX Ecosystem. They even decided to include a major feature as big as RemoteFX into a service pack which is pretty uncommon for Microsoft.

If it wasn’t clear, RemoteFX is (in many ways) Microsoft’s answer to PCoIP. In fact, in the same announcement that talked about RemoteFX, Microsoft also announced another feature of Service Pack 1 called “Dynamic Memory”. Dynamic Memory could be perceived to be as a countermove against VMware’s “memory overcommit”, which many people agree is one of the big things lacking in Hyper-V today. The comparison is very interesting, but beyond the scope of this piece. Regardless of what Microsoft wants to achieve with RemoteFX (or Service Pack 1 as a whole) RemoteFX will have a great impact on desktop virtualization. It will change the way we buy servers, it will change the client devices we buy (and why we buy them) and it will change the “RDP user experience”. I am not saying it will happen overnight but in time it will happen.

A question that I get a lot as well is if I think if RemoteFX will replace all other remote display protocols such as Quest EOP or Citrix HDX. I think RemoteFX will not replace these protocols. Even though there is some overlap – in particular, RemoteFX is similar to Citrix HDX 3D Pro – Microsoft has created an ecosystem around RemoteFX that allows for partners to embrace and extend RemoteFX. It is much more likely that RemoteFX will be supported by protocols from these, and other, vendors, who will continue to extend and enhance Microsoft’s Remote Desktop platforms…"

blog comments powered by Disqus Newest articles
Release: VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.5

June 13th, 2017

Log Insight is a log aggregation, management and analysis tool, that VMware first introduced in 2013 and considered a competitor of Splunk.
Yesterday VMware announced the release of version 4.5, available for…

Release: VMware vRealize Automation 7.3

June 6th, 2017

Today VMware announced the latest release of its cloud management platform vRealize Automation, former vCloud Automation Center.
VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 release notes can be found at this link.


Paper: Introducing the NSX-T Platform

February 9th, 2017

“We see greater potential strategic opportunity in NSX over the next decade than our franchise product vSphere has had for the past decade.”
said VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger talking about…

Paper: VMware vSphere Virtual Machine Encryption Performance

November 22nd, 2016

Encryption of virtual machines is something that has been requested for years by the security community. VMware continued to postpone its implementation due to the negative operational impact that many…

Quest Software leaves Dell

November 1st, 2016

In September 2012 Dell announced to have completed the acquisition of Quest Software, a Californian company with an history in systems management, security, business intelligence and, falling back in our…

Citrix announces Q3 2016 results

October 21st, 2016

Citrix announced its financial results for third quarter 2016.
The revenues for the second quarter were $841 million for an increase of 3% compared to Q3 2015.
Net income was $132…

Release: VMware vSphere 6.5 & Virtual SAN 6.5

October 19th, 2016

2016 edition of VMworld US has been quite turbulent, on the other hand during VMworld Europe, happening these days in Barcelona, the company announced a few more products for the…

Release: VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.0

October 18th, 2016

Log Insight is a log aggregation, management and analisys tool, that VMware first introduced in 2013 and now is usually compared with Splunk.
Yesterday VMware announced Log Insight’s new major…

Release: Windows Server 2016 with support for Window Server & Hyper-V containers

October 13th, 2016

Yesterday Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Server 2016 which the company defines as a cloud-ready OS.
Beside fancy definitions, one of the most relevant perks of this release…

Release: Oracle VM 3.4.2

September 22nd, 2016

During Oracle OpenWorld 2016 the company released version 3.4.2 of its enterprise virtualization solution.
Oracle VM is available for both x86 and SPARC based processor architectures and uses the Xen hypervisor…

VMworld US 2016 Wrap-up

September 1st, 2016

Today was the last day of VMware’s flagship conference VMworld in Las Vegas, an highly controversial edition which left a good chunk of the audience disoriented if not properly disappointed….

Gartner releases its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for 2016

August 11th, 2016

Last week Gartner updated its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for the year 2016. The Magic Quadrant for the year 2015 was released in May last year…

Release: Ansible Tower 3 by Red Hat

August 2nd, 2016

Ansible is one of the four main players in the automation market, younger then the well known Chef and Puppet, has been launched in 2013 in Durham, N.C. and acquired…

IBM announces earnings for Q2 2016

July 19th, 2016

Yesterday IBM announced its results for Q2 2016.

If we compare with the same quarter in 2015 earnings per share, from continuing operations, decreased 22%. Net income, from continuing operations,…

Monthly Archive