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RemoteFX device redirection is very slow

Posted on 2013-05-20
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Last Modified: 2013-05-24
I have been successful at redirecting USB devices (DVD-ROM, flash drive and card readers) with the help of but the access to those devices are extremely slow. So slow, in fact, that they would not be usable in production.

I added the following to the GPO of the client:
Allow RDP redirection of other supported RemoteFX USB devices from this computer - Administrators and Users
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Connection Client\RemoteFX USB Device Redirection

I also followed http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2653326 and added the registry entries to allow certain devices to be redirected.
All of this works just fine it's just that all of the devices are very slow.

The clients are Windows 7 SP1 and are using RDP to connect to a VM that is also Windows 7 SP1 running in Hyper-V on a Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 server. I am on a local LAN and all devices have a 1GB connection. Any ideas on the slow performnace of redirected USB devices?
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Question by:Kevin Litman
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10 Comments
 
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Author Comment

by:Kevin Litman
ID: 39181496
I also just tested this with VM's running Windows 7 and Windows 8 both on Windows Server 2012 and I received the same result of slow redirected devicves.
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Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 39183132
How slow? Any faster copying from a non USB drive?
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Author Comment

by:Kevin Litman
ID: 39183150
If I copy from the client VM to or from the network, I get expected speeds but from a USB flash drive for instance, it takes about 15-20 seconds to open a 3-4mb picture.
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Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 39183170
What we need here are read/write speeds. Copy something from the USB over rdp then back.
Then copy from the desktop in the vm to the client and back.
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Author Comment

by:Kevin Litman
ID: 39183175
I'll do that and post the results tomorrow.
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by:Kevin Litman
ID: 39184106
USB over RDP speeds are: 600KB/sec read and 500KB/sec write. The same USB flash drive not over RDP is 60MB/sec read and 8MB/sec write. From the vm to the client I get network speeds of 120MB/sec read and write.

The USB redirection over RDP is the issue. We have been VDI for a while now with Cirtix and when we redirect USB over the Citrix ICA connection we maintain expected speeds with USB devices. But since we need RemoteFX, we cannot use the Citrix ICA but need to use RDP. Also, before anyone asks, no it's not a Citrix issue as I have completed taken Citrix out of the senario for testing.
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Accepted Solution

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Aaron Tomosky earned 500 total points
ID: 39184764
According to Microsoft, USB drives don't even use USB redirection, they use drive redirection (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rds/archive/2010/06/10/introducing-microsoft-remotefx-usb-redirection-part-3.aspx)
"
Mass storage devices (hard drives, CD/DVD drives, memory card readers, USB flash drives)

Mass storage devices are redirected via drive redirection, which provides file system level access to the device. These devices are not redirected via RemoteFX USB redirection. Exception: When an all-in-one printer is redirected, the memory card reader in the device will be redirected via RemoteFX USB redirection.
Drive redirection does not provide low-level access to the redirected drive. As such, the following are not supported in the remote session:
CD Burning (However, drive-letter access (DLA) using an appropriate DLA application installed on the client will function in the remote session.)
Audio extraction/CD “ripping”
Playback of encrypted DVDs
Copy-protected games
Managing BitLocker-encrypted USB storage
"
So lets add to the information you have already gathered about the flash drive and the environment. Now I want to compare drive redirection using a USB drive and drive redirection using a local sata hard drive (without any USB flash drives plugged in). If this is still slow, we can toss the whole USB thing and focus on file transfer settings, speeds, jitter and latency. If the local sata drive is faster, then we can focus on the USB aspect of it.
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Author Comment

by:Kevin Litman
ID: 39184830
What's the difference between USB & drive redirection? When I plug in a USB CD-RW for instance, the VM I am RDP'd into sees it as an actual drive letter (E: not "E on Client"). I can even burn a CD this way in the VM but as with the flash drives, it is extremely slow on reads and writes.
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Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 39185092
you can burn a cd? thats interesting considering ms specifically states it doesn't do that. I'm in over my head at this point as I'm a VMware and have minimal experience with hyperv. All your basic network at stats look good and at this point it's likely to be some obscure setting or patch. I noticed you have also posted on the ms forums, that may go better for you. I suggest you add the information you have given me over there.
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Author Comment

by:Kevin Litman
ID: 39195503
This is being used in a Citrix environment and we wanted RemoteFX enabled so we could offload video to a server with the proper graphics card. Since RDP wasn't working so well with the USB redirection part of things, we decided to install Citrix XenApp on the physical servers with the graphics cards and then offload the graphics to hosted applications on the XenApp servers. This seems to have solved our issue by avoiding RDP and RemoteFX.
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