Optimizing RDP

Optimizing RDP

How to achieve the “impossible” using Riverbed Steelheads

1. Upgrade to RiOS 6.0 and above – RiOS 6.1 was released on June 25th. It provides enhancement for Interactive protocols such as Terminal Services and Citrix ICA. In parallel with RVBD’s R&D work on interactive protocols, Microsoft and Citrix have also made great strides toward improving their respective proprietary protocols.

2. Using RDP client version 7 – This alone will improve terminal service sessions to Windows Server 2003 backend by around 30%. Change the backend to Windows 2008 and you can get a further 10% reduction in a high latency environment. Microsoft will not document this due to clash of interest for selling Windows Server 2008.

3. Reducing RDP encryption to “Low” – Turn encryption to low on both backend Windows server and client workstation. This ensures that keystrokes sent to the server from the client s are always encrypted but images sent back in response from the server are left unencrypted. Nonetheless, security is not compromised because the Steelheads will take care of the communication by securing the Outer and Inner channel used during the session. Effect of this is that the steelhead now has the ability to perform Scalable Data Reference functions on the RDP packets and consequently optimizing the communication

4. Enable advance TCP congestion mechanisms – By enabling TCP congestion mechanisms such as MX-TCP Queue Policy, you can greatly improve communication across a high latency WAN. MX-TCP is useful for high latency or high packet loss environments. For even further enhancement, you can look into turning on TCP Westwood. This is an adaptive bandwidth estimation protocol. It works well when MTU value varies across multiple carriers equipment in between an end-to-end communication.

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