Business Broadband for Small Office in Dubai

Hello Experts and thank you for taking the time read this.

I currently have a small office in Dubai located in the DIFC.  The office has three desktops and a printer connected to a Juniper SSG-5 VPN router.  The Juniper SSG-5 in Dubai has the VPN terminate in our London office. The router has an incoming ISP from DU, currently using 50Mbps/12Mbps business broadband professional service.  The desktops in the office are essentially being used as thin clients because they open IE to use Citrix XenDesktop to VM's located in London which is where their exchange, file shares, profiles, etc. reside.  The VM's are local to everything they need and the network is being used for the most part to pass Citrix ICA traffic back to their machines in Dubai.

Even so, the users complain of slowness.  There is latency after all, its Dubai to London and back.  So here are my bullet points:
  • Juniper SSG-5 VPN in Dubai, terminates in London
  • Juniper SSG-5 soon to be replaced by Cisco 800 Series VPN
  • Latency at 140ms
  • Incoming ISP at 50Mbps/12Mbps
  • Desktops are Windows 7 64-bit
  • Citrix XenDesktop Client 7.8
  • Citrix Receiver 4.3.100

Our first thought is to improve the network. DU offers several flavors to pick from
  • 50Mbps/12Mbps - 1499 AED/month - Current service
  • 100Mbps/25Mbps - 2,999 AED/month
  • Symmetrical 16Mbps 18,000 AED/month (they have some for less all the way up to 1Gbps for an astronomical cost)

A bigger pipe can't fix latency, so i'm not sure how much of a help that will be.  

Would the symmetric 16Mbps improve things to where the cost could be justified (I would have to present to management the justification)?  

I'm looking for any user experience with an office in the Middle East region connecting back to a main hub office, such as London or Singapore or Hong Kong, and what the experience has been through VPN?
  • What ISP do you use?
  • What's your connection speed?
  • How do your associates work?
  • What have your challenges been?
  • How did you overcome those challenges?

I'm trying to find out what we could be doing better to improve the user experience?
Brian JohnsonTechnology Solutions ConsultantAsked:
Who is Participating?
Mark GalvinConnect With a Mentor Managing Director / Principal ConsultantCommented:

I support a company where they have HQ in London and hub office in Dubai. When the Dubai users were utilizing Citrix XenApp (accessing via NetScaler) from London HQ, we found that no matter how much bandwidth the Dubai office had the issue was with latency between sites. There is very little that we were able to do with that.

In the end, the client decided to move their XenApp app into a hosting centre in Dubai and have the Dubai office access from there. Experience much better for Dubai users much better.

However, there are users based in the UK (home/remote & HQ) that still need access to the same Citrix app. The UK users access via same method as Dubai (NetScaler) and at times the latency is terrible.

Hope that helps
Brian JohnsonTechnology Solutions ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Thanks Mark, that is helpful to know that in the end, most of the performance between Dubai and London will be effected moreso by latency than the network bandwidth.  Appreciate hearing your experience.
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