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Performance using RDS under Windows Server 2008 R2

I've been promoting the idea of remote access to a major client for a number of years and now, all of a sudden, they are really interested in the idea and now I'm having second thoughts and feeling a little overwhelmed.  I have it set up on my own network and it works well except when the end-user attempts to "dump" one of my larger reports to an Excel file on their local system.  This process takes forever (if it even completes) and I'd like to find out if anyone can suggest a solution to make this process any faster?  More RAM, faster bandwidth, etc.?
Jim Klocksin
Jim Klocksin
2 Solutions
"dump" means save?
If that is the case, then faster bandwidth can help. You can try to connect to RDS from the computer in the same LAN and save the excel file. You probably have 1Gbps at your LAN.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Agreed - your description of "dump" is lacking.  You need to explain what you've got now before you start throwing resources at it... and then start looking at your performance statistics... Have you checked how much bandwidth is used when "dumping"?  Is it the maximum you can upload or the maximum they receive?  How is the RAM utilization in Excel - have you looked at task manager?  How is the CPU utilization?
It sounds like the client might be trying to save the file to the local computer via RDS mapped drives? If that is the case then the only solution is faster bandwidth on both ends.  Upload speed on the server side and download speed on the client side are the limiting factors for this specific operation.

I do know that performance is a bit slow savingor copying files via the RDS drives.   We solved this for one client by having them save the files locally to a share on a server in the data center or even the RDS server itself and then they copied the file via and SMB mapping over a VPN.   This allowed the file to process quickly as it was all local access and then the file copy operation was fairly quick.   This is probably due to the fact the copy is a straight write operation to the client rather that having a full file access for the export operationd from  Excel.

Let us know if that helps or you need more assistance.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
What is your up/down bandwidth? When you say 'dump' what do you mean exactly? Export from a report on your system into their excel? What is your disk subsystem?  Memory available and cpu?

All of these disk/memory/cpu/network are variables.. and you need to have sufficient resources.
Jim KlocksinOwner, Data ArchitectsAuthor Commented:
So everyone seems to concur that bandwidth is my main obstacle here and my Comcast upload speed is not good.  The basic program runs with decent throughput but, as I said, my "save file/report to an Excel spreadsheet" is a dog with the bandwidth I currently have.  I'm probably going to "host" this application on a third-party company's equipment and their bandwidth will be substantially better.  At this point, I'm preparing for a meeting with my client, actually all the contacts that are pushing for this "remote" access option, and just want to have some answers to provide them with a credible proposal.  I'm still researching and will check out some of the specific suggestions all of you have provided, but I need a definitive sign-off by my client (and their IT staff) before I actually take this to the next step.  Thanks for all the input!  I'd like to keep this question open for a few more days in case I have any other areas of concern...
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Actually, everyone seems to concur we don't know what you mean by DUMP.

We SUSPECT it has something to do with bandwidth, but you haven't taken the time to explain it or how the application/RDS design is implemented.
Jim KlocksinOwner, Data ArchitectsAuthor Commented:
I really don't know how to explain it any better than in my comment above.  My application contains numerous reports.  I provide the user the option of printing each report, saving the report as a PDF file, or saving the "raw data" from the report into an Excel spreadsheet.  

Additionally, I need to provide my client with an estimate for the cost of setting up my application as a "hosted" application running on a dedicated server using a hosting company such as Rackspace.  This is really where my original question was heading.  I've read a number of articles, blogs, etc. in order to estimate my hardware requirements and have concluded (for the moment) that a 64GB solution from Rackspace should suffice (based on 100 concurrent users, small database sizes, and running the Windows Server 2008 R2 OS, SQL Server 2008 R2, AD, and Remote Desktop Services on the same server).  I'm attaching a screenshot from their website that provides more detail on their specifications.  I'm running a single application as a RemoteApp, which runs adequately on my own network on a 16GB (RAM) server.  Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated as this is a major departure for my client who runs everything "in-house" currently, but whose end-users are desperate for a remote solution:Dedicated Server options from Rackspace web site
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
So you have an application that we have no idea what it does other than export to Excel.

We have no idea how big this "dump" is.  Is it 32 KB or 32 MB? Larger?  Somewhere in between?  What is the TYPICAL size.

We don't know what your upload speeds are.

We don't know what your client's download speeds are.

I at least have asked about and have not yet been provided with:
Have you checked how much bandwidth is used when "dumping"?  
How is the RAM utilization in Excel?  
How is the CPU utilization?

We also don't know if you configured this in a VM.

We need more information if you want a quick response that can put you on the right track.

"Dump" related details such as size and bandwidth and how they are dumping locally would help!
Jim KlocksinOwner, Data ArchitectsAuthor Commented:
I'm sorry but I need to move on.  I'm convinced by all the above comments that bandwidth is my primary obstacle (which is essentially what I thought before I even asked the question).  I'm going to start a new question "thread" based on my last comment which is really where I need some assistance in order to prepare for a meeting with representatives of my client.  Thanks for all of your input and I'm sorry if the term "dump" created so much confusion.  As I said in my last comment, "dump" was just the way I refer to saving information (whatever the volume) from my application's reports to an Excel spreadsheet.

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