Help with RDS slowness in remote office

Sean Rhudy
Sean Rhudy used Ask the Experts™
We have a remote site connected to the main office via a site to site VPN.  Main office has a very beefy terminal server with a separate Dell DAS device and a fast coax internet connection.  The remote site has very few internet options.  We're running a 40mb down, 10mb up connection for them now.  The issue we're having is that the users at the remote site have dual 4k resolution monitors and when they are viewing large PDF's of building plans, the scrolling is very slow.  Also, switching between programs on the TS is slow.  We can't lower the screen quality because they need to be able to see the plans at max resolution.  They also access 2 or 3 applications that access a database at the main location.  So once the software opens on the TS, it's much faster than using it over the VPN.  

Would a Sonicwall WAN accelerator help?  What else could I look at doing to increase response times on the terminal server but not reduce image quality?
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Brian McDonaldIT Manager

Would it be possible to deploy these via remote app? If you did that you'd only have to pipe the video across the link and it'd work a lot faster. We made the switch to remote app with a few programs a year back and the speed improvement was amazing.
Blue Street TechLast Knight
Distinguished Expert 2018
Hi Sean,

Would a Sonicwall WAN accelerator help?
Yes, SonicWALL WXA (WAN Acceleration Appliance) enables your applications to run faster at remote & branch offices without adding more bandwidth by reducing application latency, conserving bandwidth & significantly improves user-experience. It essentially alleviates duplicate data & reduce latency for peak network performance w/data de-duplication, byte caching, file caching, metadata caching & data-in-flight compression techniques. After the initial data transmission, you can limit subsequent traffic to only new or changed data.

The WXA hardware, software or virtual appliance integrates with your SonicWALL security appliance (assuming you already have them) to minimize &prioritize app traffic.

What SonicWALL models do you have?

What else could I look at doing to increase response times on the terminal server but not reduce image quality?
Dial in your MTU in the WAN Interfaces for both locations. Here's how: Once the WXA is implemented the benefits are seen immediately without tweaks or changes to applications or the hosts, & without changes to Network by utilizing the existing WAN Infrastructure.

Also, remove double encryption! Make sure you have not inadvertently created a VPN over RDS scenario. That will slow things down as well. If you have RDS implemented then force all local connections to go out publicly that way you are not adding a second layer of encryption over the RDS sessions while also allowing the VPN to function for AD replication, file sharing, etc.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
Top Expert 2013
The limitation of the connection is the upload speed of 10Mbps, which is fixed, but do you need the VPN?  It adds overhead.  If you have a TS Gateway set up I would argue it is more secure than the VPN.

When using high resolution graphic with RDS, such as large pdf's photoshop, AutoCAD,  you can greatly improve performance by setting up Remote FX.  If your hardware meets the requirements there would be no additional costs, but it does take a fair bit to configure.

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