Gartner Research

User Experience Comparison: Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp, VMware View and Microsoft RDS/VDI Protocols

Published: 24 April 2013

ID: G00245705

Analyst(s): Gunnar Berger


Interest in SHVD (VDI) and SBC has increased due to greater user mobility and efficiency needs. Protocol features and performance remain key differentiators among competing products and often influence product selection. This document compares the ICA/HDX, PCoIP and RDP8 (RemoteFX) protocols.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Core Protocol Features
    • Basic Protocol Features
    • Networking Features
  • User Experience Enhancement Features
    • Client Redirection Features
    • Device Redirection Feature Comparison
    • Intelligent Device Redirection Feature Comparison
    • Supported UC Vendors
    • Other Features
  • 3D Experience Features
  • WAN Performance Features


  • Protocol Fundamentals
    • TCP vs. UDP
    • Host vs. Client Rendering
  • Protocol Features
    • Compression Offload
    • Industry-Standard Encryption
    • Cache
    • Frame Rate Reduction
    • Session Re-establishment
    • Custom Reliability Control
    • Intelligent Transports
  • User Experience Enhancement Features
    • Client Redirection
    • USB Redirection
    • Device Redirection
    • Intelligent Device Redirection
    • Unified Communications
    • Other Features
  • 3D Experience Features
  • WAN Performance Features
    • WAN-Optimized Caching
    • QoS Optimizations
  • Use QoS on All Implementations
  • Use Multiple Simultaneous Users When Testing WAN Scenarios
  • WAN Concerns: ICA
  • WAN Concerns: PCoIP
  • WAN Concerns: RDP8
  • Consider a Different Architecture if Latency Is Above 150 ms
  • Test, Test, Test Peripherals
  • Be Careful When Choosing Client Types
  • Recommendation to All Vendors: Add Multicasting Support

The Details

  • Transport Protocol: TCP vs. UDP
    • Packet Ordering and Buffering
  • Rendering: Host vs. Client
    • Host Rendering
    • Client-Rendered Content
    • Redirected Media Content
    • Transcoding

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