In the minds of IT admins looking to enable a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment, Windows XP has by far been the preferred OS running in the VMs. However, with the arrival of Windows 7, IT admins have several important reasons, as outlined in this blog, to reconsider. In fact, an upcoming RDP Performance Whitepaper will provide a rich set of data to convince even the most skeptical critics that Windows 7, with its enhanced user experience, performance on the wire, and security outshines Windows XP as the virtualized guest OS of choice.
When users connect to a Windows 7 VM, the RDP7 protocol will be used to communicate between client and VM if RDP 7 or Remote Desktop Connection 7 (RDC7) client is used. RDC7 client is offered on variety of OSs, including XPSP3, Vista SP1 and Vista SP2 and the same client is part of the Windows 7 OS (see blog post for more details: Announcing the availability of Remote Desktop Connection 7.0 for Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1, and Windows Vista SP2 ).
When an RDP 7 client connects to a Windows 7 VM, it can take advantage of all the new features implemented in Windows 7. However, when the same RDP 7 client connects to a Windows XP VM, it will start talking the 9-year-old RDP 5.2 protocol.
To test the user experience improvements that the RDP 7 client provides when connecting to a Windows 7 guest VM, we picked the following scenarios:
Let’s examine the performance of the RDP 7 protocol compared to the RDP 5.2 protocol of the Windows XP era.
Windows 7 with RDP 7 takes remote session security to the next level. When connecting to a Windows XP VM, a connection will be created before security handshakes are finished:
Windows 7 VM with RDP 7 supports all of the functionality you need to keep your system more secure: user-server authentication, Single Sign On, and Network Layer Authentication.
Windows 7 VMs are easier to deploy and administrate than Windows XP VMs.
The take-home message from this blog is simple: if you are considering deploying a VDI environment and you're after the best user experience, performance, security, and administration support, I recommend you use a device running the new RDC7 client connecting to Windows 7 as the desktop OS running in the virtual machines.
although Aero Glass remoting look really cool, it requires the client OS to support Aero as well.
But VDI enables customers to use thin clients. Since there is no Windows Embedded Standard with Aero support (yet), the scenario hardly makes sense. Using a fat client for VDI is way too expensive.
Nevertheless, Aero Glass remoting will be awesome as soon as thin client support it and customers start adopting them. If a user get Aero at home, he will ask for it at work - simply because it looks cool. That's how consumers work.
I wrote about this stuff here: http://blogs.sepago.de/nicholas/2009/07/29/who-needs-aero-glass-remoting-although-its-cool/
Thanks for the feedback Nicholas. Calista will help bring Aero Glass remoting from Windows 7 based VDI VMs to Windows Embedded based thin clients - http://blogs.msdn.com/rds/archive/2009/02/10/more-details-about-calista-technologies.aspx.
The key point of this post is that irrespective of the client - rich clients now or thin clients with Calista - Windows 7 as your VDI VM is needed to get enhanced user experience features like Aero Glass remoting. Windows XP VDI VMs cannot provide Aero Glass.
Citrix XenDesktop can be purchased for as low as $95 per user. But VECD is purchased for $110/yr per desktop. Over 3 years, that's $95 for Citrix and $330 for Microsoft. That's a huge discrepancy.
Also, VECD is per device while XenDesktop is per user. That will cause additional licensing complexity.
Any plans to fix VECD? Maybe take the Citrix approach where the RDS CAL and the VECD can be combined into one license.
Thanks for not publishing my comments that are critical in nature. That's the problem with MS
Any plans to port to port RDP 7 to Server 2003 as a client OS? C'mon MS.
thanks for censoring my comment...NOT
What's the use having a blog when censoring all the comments??
Is there any chance to upgrade terminal services in XP SP3 to support RDP7 ? I am connecting to my XP machine from home to office using built-in remote desktop. However any bitmaps (even when watching colorful web sites) in the screen make it unusable...
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There are RDP7 clients for >= XP SP3, but to get the features you must be connecting to hosted or remote desktop running Win7 or 2008 R2.
To Patrick: OK, i get it, but is there some kind of a hack possible to make XP SP3 act as RDP7 server ? There is some RDP services built in already in XP, so can we upgrade it to version 7? I especially need the bitmaps compression for low bandwidth network and this seems to be improved in RDP7
No, the RDP7 stack is a feature of Win7 & 2008 R2. One could no more add these to downlevel OS than they could add SQL Server 2008 features to an older version of SQL Server.
Please make RDS for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003.
Does the new client support seamless integration with the Win7 desktop for pubished applications? (eg: thumbnail previews, flip 3d etc?)