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New Microsoft Whitepaper: Remote Desktop Protocol Performance – and Some Conclusions

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The Microsoft Desktop Virtualization Team posted a new whitepaper in which they measured the impact of various RDP settings on network bandwidth consumption. There are no great surprises in this document, and the results more-or-less match expectations (and our own experience). Still, it’s definitely worthwhile reading. Here are some conclusions based on the data provided by Microsoft:

  • Using 8-bit color depth can reduce bandwidth consumption by 50% to 95% compared to higher settings. However the difference between 32-bit and 16/15-bits is not so pronounced – 50% in some cases, only 5% in others
  • ClearType is pretty but consumes lots of bandwidth
  • Themes are pretty but consume lots of bandwidth
  • Disabling bitmap caching can increase bandwidth consumption dramatically. Using a bigger cache does not help much, however
  • The new RDP compression on Windows Server 2008 can reduce bandwidth consumption by 30% to 85% compared to Windows Server 2003. Make sure to enable this compression if you have users connecting over a WAN
Profile:
Dan Shappir is responsible for all aspects of product design, software development and maintenance of the Ericom's product lines. Mr. Shappir joined Ericom in 2001 and brings over 15 years experience in computer programming, and in the design and architecture of software products. Mr. Shappir holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science (with honors) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and an M.Sc. in Computer Science (with honors) from Tel Aviv University, Israel. | Ericom Software
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