RemoteFX Named as Microsoft’s New VDI ‘Umbrella Brand’

While most of you knew this – this article explains how Microsoft is planning to call everything RemoteFX  - you wont see the name RDP being marketed in WS2012 or Win8 very much…

Microsoft announced at TechEd this week that it has advanced RemoteFX as a brand that covers a collection of its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technologies.

The announcement was made during two Remote Desktop Services sessions at TechEd (now available on demand). RemoteFX is a technology that Microsoft acquired when it bought Callista Technologies in 2008. It was first integrated into Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1, mostly as a remoting solution for graphics-intensive applications, such as enabling mobile access to server-based CAD/CAM or three-dimensional applications on thin-client devices.

Things have advanced since that time, according to a presentation by Gaurav Daga, a lead program manager on the remote desktop virtualization team at Microsoft, and Rob Williams, a Microsoft principal program manager. Their session was titled, "RemoteFX and RDP Rocking RDS in Windows Server 2012," which showed the client user experience over RDS.

"If you are familiar with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, we had introduced RemoteFX, but it was solving a very particular problem," Daga said during the TechEd talk. "It was referencing primarily to the virtual graphics processor available on Windows Server for virtualizing inside your guest VM. There were a couple of other things like the codec and USB redirection that were tied in with that RemoteFX GPU, but now, in [Windows Server] 2012, RemoteFX is our umbrella brand that covers all our rich remoting experiences over both LAN or WAN conditions."

The TechEd talk described some of the differences associated with Remote Desktop Services 8 and the forthcoming Windows Server 2012. Many of the specific infrastructure, management and Remote FX differences enabled by Windows Server 2012 were highlighted last month in a blog post by Klaas Langhout, director of program management on Microsoft's RDS team. However, the TechEd session actually showed Microsoft's VDI progress, with RDS 7 sessions running side by side with RDS 8 sessions in demos.

New in Windows Server 2012 is a DirectX 11-based software graphics processing unit (GPU) that's emulated by the CPU. All of the demos in this TechEd talk used this virtualized GPU. However, Microsoft recommends using hardware-based GPUs in the server for CAD/CAM applications or fine-grained animation. Williams noted during the talk that Nvidia recently announced GPU silicon products that target hosting 100 virtual machines and is specifically designed for VDI, "so you don't have to buy special graphics cards."

As for RDS support for iPads and other non-Microsoft tablet devices, Williams said that "we have partners that are building apps for Apple and Google…


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