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Vmware Top Five Considerations for Choosing a Zero Client Environment Techwp

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Top Five Considerations for
Choosing a Zero Client
Environment
Realizing the benefits of desktop virtualization without
sacrificing security, cost, or performance
TECHNI CAL WHI TE PAPER

T E CHNI CAL WHI T E P AP E R / 1
Top Five Considerations for Achieving Excellence at the Virtualized Endpoint

Table of Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................ 2
Criterion #1: Achieving the Best End User Experience ......................................... 3
Criterion #2: Making Your Organization Secure and Compliant ............................ 5
Criterion #3: Realizing Zero Software Management at Physical Endpoints .......... 6
Criterion #4: Gaining Freedom from Application and Video Format Dependence 8
Criterion #5: Optimizing Network Bandwidth Consumption ................................... 9
Summary ............................................................................................................. 11
Customer References .......................................................................................... 12

VMware, Inc. 3401 Hillview Avenue Palo Alto CA 94304 USA Tel 877-486-9273 Fax 650-427-5001 www.vmware.com
Copyright © 2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.
VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.
Introduction
The real value in converting to a virtual desktop environment is realized only when a
variety of seemingly conflicting requirements are met: a) the end users are happy, b) the
corporation’s needs for security and compliance are met, c) the IT organization has the
control it needs without having to add costly resources, and d) the overall system
performance and cost of ownership are improved.
When selecting a desktop virtualization solution, one of the first considerations for IT
administrators is how to get the best overall user experience while keeping management
costs and time to a minimum. A key driver in this decision is on which type of hardware
client the virtual desktop will be used. The options range all the way from larger thick
clients to small footprint zero clients that are nothing more than an LCD display with
minimal hardware and physical space requirements. Many organizations prefer to use
the smallest, easiest, most cost effective device at the endpoint, a zero client.
One of the key enablers to virtual desktops being accessed by zero clients is the ability
to process graphical information quickly and cost effectively. The processing of graphical
information can either be performed by the server located in the datacenter, referred to
as host rendering, or it is done locally using the user’s desktop, referred to as client
rendering. Host rendering utilizes the power of the server to generate the graphical
images, compress them and then send the information across the network to the client
where they are uncompressed and displayed. Client rendering sends the entire image
across the network where it is processed and displayed at the client.
Some amount of processing has to be performed for graphically intense applications and
it becomes a matter of choice where it is done. One of the benefits of processing the
images on a server in the datacenter is that the end client can be the smallest, most cost
effective device.
There are several solutions in the market that promise to provide the best bandwidth or
promise to provide the highest fidelity, but at what cost? And, can users get high fidelity
while network administrators get optimal bandwidth consumption? What about end user
experience, ease of management and application compatibility? All are important
decision criteria that often go unaddressed by narrowly focused point solutions.
This paper addresses these concerns and takes a look at the top five most important
criterion for determining whether or not a zero client infrastructure is right for your
organization.




VMware, Inc. 3401 Hillview Avenue Palo Alto CA 94304 USA Tel 877-486-9273 Fax 650-427-5001 www.vmware.com
Copyright © 2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.
VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.
Criterion #1: Achieving the Best End User
Experience
An important consideration for selecting host rendering versus client rendering is the
quality of the end user experience. End users care about the image display quality and
experiencing no perceptible delay in image rendering. They also care about the
response time or latency of the system they are using. They expect their desktop to
provide nearly instantaneous responses for any query regardless of the type of
information being retrieved – just like a laptop. Host rendering and client rendering can
both provide users with a quality experience and reasonable response times for most
environments. The difference is in which can provide the best experience for the
changing network conditions. This will help to determine which approach is more
suitable for your environment.
VMware View is the leading desktop virtualization solution that provides high quality end
user experience through the use of both host rendering and client side rendering. View
with PCoIP provides the most optimum user experience for the broadest set of end user
configurations and network conditions.

Figure 1: Host rendering does the graphics processing in the datacenter for optimum
end user experience for the broadest set of network conditions.
When using host side rendering, the first step in the process is to encode or compress
the information to be transmitted. With VMware View this step takes place in the
datacenter where compute intensive resources are readily available. The advantage of
host rendering in this case is that the data is highly compressed before sending to the
client.
VMware View with PCoIP (PC-over-IP) includes multiple encoding algorithms for the
various types of information being displayed. Different imaging algorithms are applied
depending on the type of information being encoded. For instance the algorithm used for

VMware, Inc. 3401 Hillview Avenue Palo Alto CA 94304 USA Tel 877-486-9273 Fax 650-427-5001 www.vmware.com
Copyright © 2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.
VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.
text is different than the algorithm used for motion video, or photos, or graphics, or icons.
Although one might think that there is a single best way to encode all information, the
reality is that each format is very different and has specific characteristics that determine
how the image is perceived. Consequently, View with PCoIP intelligent encoding
handles each type of content in the most appropriate and efficient way.
View with PCoIP’s approach of taking the display image from the frame buffer and
compressing different content within the frame with the appropriate encoder provides low
latency encoding to ensure desktop responsiveness. View implements a local mouse
and sends other human interface device (HID) information from keyboards, trackballs,
and joysticks, etc., over a separate prioritized channel to further improve response time
for user interactions.
View with PCoIP is able to build to lossless which means a pixel perfect image will be
displayed. Other technologies can only build lossy images that don’t contain all of the
information from the original file. They have to do this because sending all of the data
down to the endpoint would be bandwidth and performance prohibitive. With VMware
View, users don’t have to sacrifice image quality for performance or network bandwidth.
They can obtain pixel perfect images all the time.
An example of a View deployment is at Ontario-Montclair School District. The District
now offers 40% more desktop devices without expanding their operating budget by
running VMware View and PCoIP. With VMware View, desktop images are created
centrally and deployed to multiple machines. This allows them to upgrade hundreds of
clients with minimal effort adding up to lower managements costs.
“With PC over IP support, the quality of video with VMware View is perfect for use in the
classroom,” says Jeremy Wood, Technology Planning Coordinator, Ontario-Montclair.
Another example is Stefanini TechTeam who had already virtualized its datacenters with
VMware vSphere and wanted to extend the resulting cost and operational advantages to
the desktop. They chose VMware View to transform desktops into a centralized
managed service. With VMware View, Stefanini TechTeam was able to avoid building
multiple datacenters around the world. The company manages the helpdesk
infrastructure from just two co-location facilities, with View delivering excellent desktop
performance over high latency connections. The solution enables Stefanini TechTeam to
speed application upgrades, reduce repair overhead, ensure data security and support
helpdesk agents in providing outstanding customer service.
“End users notice the difference, thanks especially to PCoIP. And when IT improves
service delivery to end users, they in turn improve their service to Stefanini TechTeam
customers,” says Daniel Chapiewski, TechTeam director of global infrastructure. “A
double benefit is that you can have people work from home with the same tools they
have at the office. As for repair, we don’t have to go to their house. If you have a failure,
you just log off and start up again.”


VMware, Inc. 3401 Hillview Avenue Palo Alto CA 94304 USA Tel 877-486-9273 Fax 650-427-5001 www.vmware.com
Copyright © 2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.
VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.
Criterion #2: Making Your Organization Secure
and Compliant
Many corporations have made security and compliance their top requirements when
deploying a server hosted virtual desktop environment. The need for better security has
been demonstrated numerous times with the theft of laptops containing customer
account information and other mission critical data. The risk of corporate confidential
information getting into the wrong hands has never been higher.
A related concern is that of corporate compliance. Government regulations such as
SOX, GLBA, HIPPA and other regulations have mandated corporations following
specific measures and auditing practices in protecting customer, patient and employee
information.
How does VMware help with these concerns? View provides maximum security and
centralized control for server hosted virtual desktop environments. Absolutely no data
has to be sent to the end user client, graphical information for display purposes only is
all that is transmitted. Sensitive corporate data stays protected in the data center.
VMware View provides an ultra secure environment with its host rendering option. All
data remains locked down in the datacenter, centrally protected and managed. All pixels
are host rendered and encoded in the datacenter then delivered to simple, decode-only
devices known as zero clients.
View also offers secure client side rendering for organizations that have a laptop/desktop
environment. Depending on whether the endpoint has a zero, thin, or thick client, View
can be configured to provide the best user experience.
AGAR Supply, New England’s largest independent food distributor, selected VMware
View because it would allow users to access their desktops regardless of location, while
at the same time simplifying overall IT administration. Since the company had already
had great success using VMware vSphere to virtualize its datacenter, they felt
comfortable extending this technology to their desktop environment as well. “The
integration between vSphere Virtual Center and VMware View Manager is incredibly
tight,” says Steve Weber, network administrator at AGAR Supply. “I think the key word
here is ‘seamless’.”
“Thanks to VMware View, we don’t have to panic if someone’s laptop is stolen or
something like that,” says Weber. “The equipment we give our employees has nothing
more than a shortcut on their desktop with a login to get to their virtual desktop. So if the
laptop is lost or stolen, there’s no loss of data, no company secrets compromised, no
nothing.” says Weber.


VMware, Inc. 3401 Hillview Avenue Palo Alto CA 94304 USA Tel 877-486-9273 Fax 650-427-5001 www.vmware.com
Copyright © 2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.
VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.
Criterion #3: Realizing Zero Software Management
at Physical Endpoints
Managing operating system updates, application updates, firmware changes, and more
at the end user’s desktop is a full time job for most IT administrators. In an environment
that relies on full laptop and desktop support, organizations can spend $2,000 or more
per year on maintaining each device. The IT organization typically has to have someone
assigned to be physically onsite in case one of the users has an issue. Centralized
management is only an option for a well-managed PC environment and, the restrictions
that this implies, is not practical for most organizations. The inefficiencies and escalating
costs of managing PCs at the endpoint are well documented. For reference, Gartner
Report: “Total Cost of Ownership Comparison of PCs With Hosted Virtual Desktops,
2011 Update” itemizes these costs and compares them to a server hosted virtual
desktop environment. Most CIOs agree that zero management at the client is the most
efficient, easiest, lowest cost and most secure implementation for virtualizing desktops.

Figure 2: Traditional components at the client


VMware, Inc. 3401 Hillview Avenue Palo Alto CA 94304 USA Tel 877-486-9273 Fax 650-427-5001 www.vmware.com
Copyright © 2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.
VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.

Figure 3: Utilizing a zero client eliminates many costly and difficult to maintain
components
Another management savings of using zero clients is there are no hardware media
CODECs to support. All components are virtualized using software to decode the
graphical information. The use of a zero client architecture based on software CODECs
frees up the IT team to focus on other more pressing matters. Most organizations prefer
to simplify their management infrastructure and they choose zero clients to help them
accomplish this.
Aledo Independent School District (ISD) of Texas, Technology Help Desk Manager
Brooks Moore did a little math of his own: growing demand + commitment to excellence
! limited budget = desktop virtualization with VMware View. The VMware View solution
provides fast application deployment and imaging flexibility to suit Aledo’s institutional
needs. The district uses persistent images for faculty and administrative staff; settings
and changes are preserved to allow end users to retain modifications made to the virtual
desktop. Student devices use non-persistent images; all changes are deleted at logout
and each user gets a fresh image every time he or she logs on. Centralized
management in the datacenter and the use of zero client endpoint devices allows Moore
to deliver great customer service without increasing IT staff.
“There are so many single points of failure in the traditional desktop PCs, such as fans,
hard drives, RAM, system boards and processors,” he says. “In contrast, there’s hardly a
single point of failure with the zero clients; they’re solid state pieces of equipment. We
won’t have to devote IT staff time to running around troubleshooting device failures. And
with VMware View, the more zero clients we have out there, the more we can manage
devices centrally from the Technology office.”


VMware, Inc. 3401 Hillview Avenue Palo Alto CA 94304 USA Tel 877-486-9273 Fax 650-427-5001 www.vmware.com
Copyright © 2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.
VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.
Criterion #4: Gaining Freedom from Application
and Video Format Dependence
Desktop virtualization doesn’t tie the user to a specific version of an application or a
specific video format. It frees the user and the IT organization from specific hardware
and operating system requirements and concerns that impact application versions. In
this type of environment future applications just work since specific hardware is not
needed at the client. Host side rendering allows desktop virtualization to accomplish. For
client-side rendering this flexibility is lost because client side rendering requires specific
CODECs at the endpoint for video. Future video formats are not guaranteed to work
with client side rendering without IT intervention and upgrade at the endpoint.
Host-side rendering is completely application and video format independent which
provides a virtualized environment with no dependency on any additional software or
hardware. Client side rendered environments struggle to keep up with the latest
application user interfaces. To future proof your investment, and have a low
maintenance solution, a solid, host-rendered environment makes an excellent
investment choice.
VMware View with PCoIP offers a host side rendering option and therefore supports any
current or future video format and any current or future application. View provides
exceptional application and video format support in a server hosted virtual desktop
environment. View provides a virtualized desktop environment that provides fast
application deployment, imaging flexibility and requires very little maintenance,
Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, New York, updated its desktop environment with
VMware View to create and manage virtual desktops that provide physicians with access
to a wide array of health care applications.
“We can roll out any application we want to the virtual desktops just by updating the
master desktop image,” says Michael LaForge, network administrator at Columbia
Memorial. “That’s a far cry from having to physically visit the remote locations to install
the application.” In addition to simplifying desktop management, this capability puts more
tools in the hands of health care providers. “With VMware View, our physicians don’t just
have access to lab reports,” says Crowley. “They can see actual X-ray images, access
emergency department records and even monitor biofeedback if a patient’s in a critical
care situation. All the applications they need are right there at their fingertips, giving
them a more global picture of their patients than ever before.”




VMware, Inc. 3401 Hillview Avenue Palo Alto CA 94304 USA Tel 877-486-9273 Fax 650-427-5001 www.vmware.com
Copyright © 2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.
VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.
Criterion #5: Optimizing Network Bandwidth
Consumption
Network bandwidth is at a premium during peak hours in most organizations. Network
Administrators need devices accessing the network to use the available bandwidth
wisely. Peak hours don’t happen 100% of the time and in fact account for less then half
of daily operations. During non-peak hours, administrators desire network devices to use
bandwidth optimally while still providing the best user experience. The real goal of an IT
organization is to use network bandwidth and resources intelligently, i.e., during peak
hours use less and exhibit a “fair share” policy, and during non-peak hours use as much
as bandwidth as needed and expand to provide the best possible end user experience.
During non-peak hours, there are fewer users making fewer demands on network
resources and much of the network bandwidth is available. Older generation display
protocols don’t know how to take advantage of network resources and end up wasting
bandwidth. Leading technology will make an informed decision on how much bandwidth
to consume given the current amount of traffic. As traffic changes, the intelligent protocol
either scales out or retracts depending on the circumstance.
VMware View with PCoIP is an intelligent protocol that dynamically adjusts image quality
and frame rate based on available bandwidth on the LAN or WAN. Maximum bandwidth
can be capped to limit bandwidth utilization while fairly sharing bandwidth when multiple
user sessions are active. View includes adaptive networking and progressive image
refinement capabilities that accomplish these state-of-the-art adjustments.
Adaptive Networking is a dynamic image quality adjustment that will automatically
reduce image quality on congested networks and resume maximum image quality when
the network is no longer congested. System responsiveness is maintained by reducing
the screen update frequency during peak times.
The following examples demonstrate the adaptive nature of View with PCoIP by looking
at three users on a network. The users have different workloads and enter the network
at different times. User 1 comes online first with a larger workload and therefore uses a
larger amount of bandwidth. Then User 2 comes online with less workload that causes
User 1 to relinquish some of the bandwidth in a matter of milliseconds. Likewise, when
User 3 comes online both User 1 and User 2 adjust until all three users are sharing the
network bandwidth equitably based on their workload.

VMware, Inc. 3401 Hillview Avenue Palo Alto CA 94304 USA Tel 877-486-9273 Fax 650-427-5001 www.vmware.com
Copyright © 2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.
VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.
Figure 4: View with PCoIP efficiently shares the network

Another example below shows that when all three users have the same workload, the
available bandwidth is equally shared between them:
Figure 5: Three users with same workload available bandwidth is equally shared
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
1 13 25 37 49 61 73 85 97 109 121 133 145 157 169 181 193 205 217 229 241 253 265 277 289 301 313 325 337
User 3
User 2
User 1
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
1 7 13 19 25 31 37 43 49 55 61 67 73 79 85 91 97 103 109 115 121
Time
User 3
User 2
User 1

VMware, Inc. 3401 Hillview Avenue Palo Alto CA 94304 USA Tel 877-486-9273 Fax 650-427-5001 www.vmware.com
Copyright © 2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.
VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.
For View with PCoIP sessions, the average bandwidth for an active office worker may be
in the 80-150 Kbps range (depending on the scenario). A proper network assessment
taking into account desktop workloads will help determine how to configure and optimize
the environment for optimal performance on a WAN. Customers implementing
optimizations that match their assessment are achieving reduced average bandwidth
utilization and greater WAN performance using View with PCoIP.
View includes traffic shaping which means it will monitor the network and adapt the
encoding compression levels (imaging, and audio) and bandwidth usage. For higher
network efficiency, View will send only changed pixels resulting in just bursts of network
traffic with large screen changes.
Established in 2009, Centaur Fund Services is a fast growing hedge fund administrator
providing services to the hedge fund industry. Centaur wanted a ‘future-proof’ IT
infrastructure that would give them the flexibility to grow, without a significant initial
investment. They used VMware View with PCoIP to provide a high-performance and rich
graphical experience for users, a key requirement as Centaur staff use web-based
applications where performance and response times are crucial. In addition, by avoiding
a dependence on PC hardware, Centaur is able to avoid the significant costs of regular
PC refresh cycles. Another major benefit Centaur Fund Services has enjoyed is the
ability to access applications remotely.
“While our staff work primarily in the office, many also need to be able to access the
office applications from home or at client sites,” says Karen Malone, Managing Director,
Centaur Fund Services. “With VMware View 4, accessing my applications remotely is
identical to being in the office. Even from abroad the experience logging into the system
is very good. This also helps us with our business continuity. For example, when we had
major snowfall in Ireland the heavy travel disruption made no difference to our business
as every employee could work from home and have access to all the IT resources they
required.”

Summary

The decision to “go virtual” at the endpoint is not always a simple one. It represents a
departure from the PC-centric mindset that has been prevalent in the industry for the
past 30+ years and move toward a more user-centric model. Many different variables
need to be considered and the cost/benefit tradeoffs analyzed. This paper attempts to
simplify the decision for organizations that wish to implement a smaller footprint endpoint
solution. It presents considerations for selecting a zero client environment with host side
rendering versus utilizing thick clients and client side rendering.
The solution and examples presented illustrate that making the choice based on zero
client support and host rendering will reap many benefits. Zero clients require very little
ongoing maintenance and provide the highest security. Realizing the full benefits of a
zero client environment requires a desktop virtualization solution that has excellent host

VMware, Inc. 3401 Hillview Avenue Palo Alto CA 94304 USA Tel 877-486-9273 Fax 650-427-5001 www.vmware.com
Copyright © 2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.
VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.
rendering capabilities and can provide a consistent user experience across the broadest
set of network conditions.
Client side rendering is often used in environments with existing laptops/desktops (aka,
thick clients). For many organizations, thick clients help leverage their existing hardware
investment. Client side rendering does have its limitations such as lack of future proofing
applications and video formats as well as requiring special network acceleration
equipment and being subject to security breaches from data stored locally. The most
valuable desktop virtualization solution will provide the option to have both host side
rendering and client side rendering for the broadest set of endpoint configurations.
The specific solution offered by VMware View with PCoIP provides all the advantages of
zero clients and host side rendering as well as providing client side rendering capabilities
for mixed or predominantly laptop/desktop environments. VMware takes a balanced
approach to graphical rendering in order to successfully address the diverse desktop
environments found in most organizations.
Regardless of the type of endpoint hardware, VMware has helped even the most
complex organizations transition smoothly and securely to a virtualized desktop
environment that was best for their users.

Customer References

Links to customer success stories referenced in this document:
• Ontario-Montclair School District
http://www.vmware.com/a/customers/customer/769/Ontario+Montclair+School+D
istrict
• Stefanini TechTeam
http://www.vmware.com/a/customers/customer/794/TechTeam+Global
• AGAR Supply
http://www.vmware.com/a/customers/customer/567/AGAR+Supply
• Aledo Independent School District (ISD)
http://www.vmware.com/a/customers/customer/768/Aledo+Independent+School+
District%20%28ISD%29
• Columbia Memorial Hospital
http://www.vmware.com/a/customers/customer/686/Columbia+Memorial+Hospita
l
• Centaur Fund Services
http://www.vmware.com/a/customers/customer/658/Centaur+Fund+Services

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