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VDI Bandwidth

Posted on 2014-07-14
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I am planning to deploy VDI for my branch office users. The users will be migrated to use thin clients so that they connect to their VDI machines hosted in the remote DC.
For this I want to understand if all the users start to use VDI will the network bandwidth at my branch location will increase or will it decrease.
How should I consider my bandwidth for my branch location. If the bandwidth usage comes down then no prob.
If the bandwidth usage increases would like to know what is the reason for the same.
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Question by:SrikantRajeev
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 40194546
This obviously depends on why they're doing now, but here's my experience. We have a number of remote locations mostly connected by DSL or Cable using a point-to-point VPN. The DSL connections aren't super fast, but the cable ones are. Mostly the users that these sites are doing web-based stuff so the band width needs weren't massive as it was mostly GETs and PUTs to or from web sites. Since VDI mostly does the heavy lifting at the host end we weren't concerned too much about bandwidth. But we were wrong. We went from a system where we were doing mostly short access to multiple web sites to one where we are always sending and receiving screen changes and the like. On the slower connections it sometimes became almost intolerable and we have had to up our speeds at those locations. We also discovered that if the line is the least bit flakey, while the PC desktop would remain up and the web traffic squirts mostly weren't affected. Since the VDI is almost a constant flow of traffic, even if it's small, we started dropping connections forcing the users to have to relog into the VDI box - we are using zero client boxes from Wyse.   In these situations we have had to purchase a better, hopefully more stable circuit.

Now, if your users are spending all day running apps from a server you might experience less bandwidth usage, but I would anticipate that it would go up at least a little.
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by:SrikantRajeev
ID: 40194577
But what is the normal bandwidth usage trend for remote branch offices ?
From my understanding the inbound traffic to the branch will increase & the outbound traffic to the branch will decrease.
If this is true what is the reason for this ?
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 40194609
I think that also depends on what you are doing.  For example, if your users on computers connected remotely  are doing things like accessing apps that run on servers or lots of file access from their computer to file servers, I would expect that the traffic overall might drop both in and out. You've gone from transferring data back and forth for all this activity to basically transferring key presses and screen updates - the heavy bandwidth would be between the VDI desktops and the servers both potentially hosted at the main site. As I mentioned above, in our case we saw an increase in bandwidth because we are actually transferring more data than before or transferring data more regularly. I do not have a handle, in our case, on how that plays out with in's vs out's.
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by:SrikantRajeev
ID: 40204049
My users will be connecting to the VDI hosted in the DC from their thin clients.
From the VDI they will be accessing mail, internet & other applications...
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jhyiesla earned 2000 total points
ID: 40204938
Honestly the only way to know is to try it out. As I said, I was a little surprised that even at our lower bandwidth sites we ran into issues when we went to VDI as far as speeds. I also need to state that we are running Zero clients and linked clone desktops. I doubt that a linked clone desktop would vary from a persistent one, but I suppose it's possible that a thin client may have different bandwidth requirement than a zero client.

While I can't back this up with hard data, from what you are saying they will be doing, I'd suspect that when you go to doing these things you bandwidth needs would either stay the same or increase. For example, if you're looking at email and are using an email server hosted in the DC or on the web, I would suspect that VDI would probably be about as efficient as a PC.  However, if you are currently running a number of applications on your local desktops and are moving them to virtual in the DC, you might see an increase in bandwidth as the virtual desktop now needs to send constant screen updates to your client which it did not need to do before because the apps were local.  Having said that, it can also depend on the app.  If the app is a heavy data transfer app on a PC you would have spent some level of bandwidth sending data back and forth between the desktop and the server. With VDI that would go away, but your data stream to show you what's happening and how you are interacting with the app could increase.

Unless someone out here has some specific experience with the specific apps or those types of apps, the only way to know for sure is just set up a couple and test.
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by:SrikantRajeev
ID: 40216062
What I am observing is that my outbound bandwidth has significantly decreased & my inbound bandwidth has been significantly increased after the VDI deployment.

Would like to check with you if there is any similar observation  identified from any one who has deployed VDI.
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by:SrikantRajeev
ID: 40992216
Thanks
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