Skype for Business – VDI to Native


I recently posted a blog and video about the new Citrix Realtime Optimization Pack for Skype for Business. As you could see from the video, Citrix is able to deliver Skype for Business to RDS/VDI users with XenApp and XenDesktop. With the optimization pack, CPU utilization on the processor is negligible while the overall user experience is identical to that of a traditional PC.

Recently, as I was talking about this feature, I was asked the following question:

You show the optimization occurring between two users who are both using VDI. What happens if one user is using VDI and the other is on a traditional PC?

I find a few pictures makes the entire solution easier to understand. First, let’s look at Native VDI

Native Skype

As you can see, the audio & video occurs between the two virtual desktops as the Skype for Business client is installed on the virtual desktops.

Second, we look at the architecture when we use the Citrix Realtime Optimization Pack for Skype for Business

XA Skype

This time, the voice and video occurs between the two end points. Although the Skype for Business client is still on the virtual desktops, we’ve moved the media engine to the local end points for processing, while still making it appear that the video is executing on the virtual desktop.

And finally, we look at the architecture when we have one user running Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop with the Realtime Optimization Pack for Skype for Business and another user is using a traditional PC with the native Skype for Business client.

XA and traditional Skype

Again, look at the voice & video path, it still occurs between the two endpoints. This is because the user who utilizes a virtual desktop still has the media engine on their local endpoint while the traditional PC user has the default Skype for Business client.

So, whether your users all run XenApp/XenDesktop, or only subset uses XenApp/XenDesktop, the Citrix Realtime Optimization Pack will still be an improvement over the default install in the RDS/VDI world.

Daniel (Follow on Twitter @djfeller)
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