Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) Optimizes Delivery of Microsoft Windows 7 Virtual Desktops to Enterprise Branch-Office and Campus Locations
What You Will Learn
• This solution developed with joint collaboration between Cisco and Microsoft increases employee productivity by combining Microsoft's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure technologies with Cisco's WAN optimization technology.
• Cisco WAAS and Cisco WAAS Mobile provide Microsoft Windows 7 VDI (Remote Desktop Protocol [RDP] 7.0) traffic acceleration and compression and optimized branch-office printing.
• Cisco WAAS and Cisco WAAS Mobile improve user response times and deliver a better subjective user experience.
• Cisco WAAS and Cisco WAAS Mobile optimize Microsoft Windows 7 RDP multimedia redirection (MMR) for Microsoft Windows Media Player content.
• Cisco WAAS scales the number of supported campus and branch-office VDI users over the WAN and helps save bandwidth upgrade costs.
• Cisco WAAS and Cisco WAAS Mobile optimize Microsoft Windows 7 virtual desktops delivered over RDP 7.1 with Microsoft RemoteFX (preliminary testing results; based on Microsoft RemoteFX beta code).
• Poor performance of VDI over the WAN, affecting employee productivity
• High bandwidth consumption, increasing solution costs
• Limited scalability, reducing the number of users that can be supported
• Poor performance of centralized printing and increased costs of printing at the branch office
• Corporate video-delivery challenges that limit employee training and learning options
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 RDS and Hyper-V Overview
Figure 1. Microsoft VDI Solution
Cisco WAAS and Cisco WAAS Mobile Overview
• Application acceleration: Improve the productivity of remote employees.
• IT desktop centralization using VDI: Lower desktop management costs and meet compliance and security mandates.
• IT branch-office and data center consolidation and WAN optimization: Reduce branch-office IT costs.
• Branch-office IT agility: Provide local branch-office IT services such as printing without additional servers.
• Migration of business applications to the cloud: Reduce infrastructure costs.
• Service agility: Lower operating costs (OpEx) with on-demand WAN optimization using:
– Cisco WAAS Express (Cisco WAAS on Cisco IOS® Software on Cisco Second-Generation Integrated Services Routers (ISR G2) branch-office routers)
– Cisco WAAS on Cisco Services-Ready Engine (SRE) Modules on Cisco ISR G2
• Simplified data protection: Ease compliance and business continuity.
Cisco WAAS and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 RDS and Hyper-V Solution for Microsoft Windows 7 Delivery
Figure 2. Microsoft Windows 7 VDI Solution with Microsoft RDS and Hyper-V, Cisco WAAS, and Cisco WAAS Mobile
Microsoft Solution Suite: Virtualizes and Centralizes Desktops
• Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 RDS provides a common infrastructure for session virtualization and VDI and uses RDP 7.0 (for R2) or RDP 7.1 (in Service Pack 1) for desktop delivery.
• Microsoft Hyper-V on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 provides the infrastructure to host virtual Microsoft Windows 7 desktops.
• Microsoft Active Directory provides user authentication.
• RDP 7.0 or RDP 7.1 with Microsoft RemoteFX provides display, print, and multimedia redirection.
Cisco WAAS: Improves RDP 7.1 with Microsoft RemoteFX and RDP 7.0 Performance and Reduces Bandwidth Demands
• Cisco WAAS Appliances deployed on both sides of the WAN optimize RDP 7.1 with Microsoft RemoteFX and RDP 7.0 traffic between the end users and the data center using a sophisticated combination of TCP flow optimization (TFO), which reduces the effects of the WAN, persistent session-based compression, and data redundancy elimination (DRE).
• The data center also hosts a Cisco WAAS Central Manager, which is used to manage the Cisco WAAS solution from a central point.
• The branch-office Cisco WAAS Appliance also provides print services locally to the branch-office users by running Microsoft Windows Print Services on the appliance.
• Cisco WAAS Mobile Software on mobile-worker laptop computers reduces the effects on the WAN through a combination of TFO, compression, and DRE. The Cisco WAAS Mobile headend device and the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) VPN device are located in the data center.
Table 1. VDI Test Activity Details
Performance Acceleration for Microsoft Windows 7 Display
• Cisco WAAS accelerates VDI display performance by up to 44 percent (Figure 3) under light WAN use conditions.
• Cisco WAAS accelerates VDI display performance by up to 61 percent (Figure 4) under heavy WAN use conditions. Users experience response times that are more than twice as fast with Cisco WAAS. The morning and peak office work hours are the typical times when WAN links near congestion.
• Cisco WAAS performance benefits under both light and heavy WAN use conditions are similar, demonstrating that Cisco WAAS can provide consistent performance acceleration even as WAN link use increases due to increasing number of users.
• Cisco WAAS offers superior subjective user experiences such as faster menu drawing, Microsoft PowerPoint transitions, and screen updates under WAN use conditions.
Figure 3. Cisco WAAS Performance Acceleration under Light WAN Utilization
Figure 4. Cisco WAAS Performance Acceleration with Heavy WAN Use
Bandwidth Optimization for Microsoft Windows 7 RDP 7.0 with Microsoft RemoteFX
• Cisco WAAS reduces bandwidth use by up to 55 percent for RDP 7.0 display (Figure 5).
• Cisco WAAS reduces bandwidth use by up to 53 percent for Microsoft RemoteFX* display (Figure 6).
• Cisco WAAS Mobile reduces bandwidth by up to 67 percent for RDP 7.0 display (Figure 7).
• Cisco WAAS Mobile reduces bandwidth by up to 52 percent for Microsoft RemoteFX* display (Figure 8).
Figure 5. Microsoft Windows 7 RDP 7.0 Bandwidth Optimization by Cisco WAAS
Figure 6. Microsoft Windows 7 RDP 7.1 with Microsoft RemoteFX Bandwidth Optimization by Cisco WAAS
Figure 7. Microsoft Windows 7 RDP 7.0 Bandwidth Optimization by Cisco WAAS Mobile
Figure 8. Microsoft Windows 7 RDP 7.1 with Microsoft RemoteFX Bandwidth Optimization by Cisco WAAS Mobile
Bandwidth Optimization for Microsoft Windows 7 RDP 7.0 MMR-Based Video Delivery
• Cisco WAAS reduces bandwidth by up to 66 percent (Figure 9) for RDP 7.0 MMR.
• Cisco WAAS Mobile reduces bandwidth by up to 51 percent (Figure 10) for RDP 7.0 MMR.
• Cisco WAAS Mobile provides a better subjective user experience for MMR under high latency (200 ms) and lossy network conditions.
Figure 9. Microsoft Windows 7 RDP 7.0 MMR Optimization by Cisco WAAS
Figure 10. Microsoft Windows 7 RDP 7.0 MMR Optimization by Cisco WAAS Mobile
• Cisco WAAS accelerates centralized printing through print-specific optimizations, data reduction, compression, and TFO to provide up to 89 percent better performance (Figure 11) and more than 90 percent reduction in WAN bandwidth (Figure 12).
• Cisco WAAS provides a Microsoft Windows Print Server-based printing option on the branch-office Cisco WAAS appliances, saving the cost of additional servers at the branch office.
Figure 11. Microsoft Windows 7 RDP 7.0 Print Response Improvements by Cisco WAAS
Figure 12. Microsoft Windows 7 RDP 7.0 Print Optimization by Cisco WAAS
• Cisco WAAS increases the number of Microsoft Windows 7 VDI users that can be supported on a given infrastructure by two to three times.
• In production networks, this increase can be higher because multiple days of DRE cache history are available, which provides higher compression performance.
• Cisco WAAS provides uniform, scalable performance for all users. It provides a better subjective user experience than native RDP.
• Improved display performance by up to 44 percent under light WAN utilization
• Improved display performance by up to 61 percent during peak hours when the WAN is heavily used
• Improved printing performance by up to 89 percent and provided the option of a local print server hosted on the Cisco WAAS Appliance in the branch office
• Increased scalability, doubling or tripling the number of VDI clients (2x - 3x)
• Reduce costly WAN bandwidth requirements by up to 55 percent for display, 66 percent for MMR video, and more than 90 percent for printing
For More Information
• Cisco Application Networking Services for Microsoft: http://www.cisco.com/go/optimizemicrosoft
• Cisco WAAS Software product information: http://www.cisco.com/go/waas
• Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services: http://www.microsoft.com/rds