How much bandwidth do I need between my endpoint and a Windows 10 virtual desktop?
Note: Windows 2016 Bandwidth for XenApp on this blog
It depends on the apps, on the usage, on the user and on the XenDesktop version.
But “It Depends” isn’t a very good answer. Most of us who ask this question want a rough estimate, which is why I broke the bandwidth estimate down into 3 categories
- VDA Version: Certain releases of XenDesktop make improvements to the network utilization. Bandwidth tests must account for these changes by looking at different VDA versions.
- Policy: XenDesktop policies can have a drastic impact on overall bandwidth utilization. With heavier compression (at the expense of CPU), overall bandwidth usage drops. Each test includes a look at WAN and User Experience policies (defined at the end).
- Workload: A user watching videos and browsing Internet content will consume significantly more bandwidth that someone mostly using Office applications. The workloads are broken down across task worker, knowledge worker and power worker.
First, let’s look at the averages for a 60 minute simulation:
For the task worker, there appears to be a noticeable bandwidth reduction with the 7.17 release. By only focusing on the averages, we miss out on capturing spikes in network usage. To get a better idea on the network bursts, let’s look at the 95th percentile
Again, we see a drop in the task worker with the User Experience Policy in the 7.17 release. We also see a constant drop in network usage for the Power worker with the User Experience policy.
Let’s now break this down by app:
Why is PowerPoint so high? When presenting, each slide change causes a spike in usage. Creating slides, on the other hand, has minimal bandwidth usage, similar to the usage estimates for Word.
Finally, let’s look at one more graph, looking at different bandwidth usages for video (based on quality).
Will these numbers be what you will get from a real-world environment? Not likely because your applications and your users are unique. However, these data points will let us see how different VDA versions, policies and workloads can impact the overall bandwidth usage.
Note: The naming convention is follows: “Workload – XenDesktop Policy”
The XenDesktop policies are
|Dynamic windows preview||Prohibited||Enabled|
|Extra color compression||Disabled||Disabled|
|Limit video quality||Max 480p/720kbps||Not configured|
|Preferred color depth for simple graphics||16 bits per pixel||24 bits per pixel|
|Target frame rate||16 fps||30 fps|
|Target minimum frame rate||8 fps||10 fps|
|Use video codec for compression||Do not use video codec||For the entire screen|
|View window contents while dragging||Allowed||Allowed|