Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and RemoteFX

Make RDP Sessions Perform Better over the WAN

Make your thin clients and remote sessions as responsive as any desktop. Silver Peak reduces or eliminates the effects of packet loss and network congestion that undermine Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) performance over distance. With Silver Peak, even global RDP deployments become more responsive and more reliable. 

The Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) provides remote display and input capabilities for Windows-based applications running on a server. With RDP 8.0, Microsoft updated and includ­ed the RDP protocol in its RemoteFX set of technologies. The protocol now supports UDP for transferring interactive data – such as graphics, audio, video, and touch com­mands – and forward error correction (FEC) for compensating for packet loss. Previous versions only ran over TCP, which RDP 8.0 still uses for initial connectivity and non-interactive traffic. While running over UDP, security is provided by Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS), the equivalent of SSL for TCP.

Despite these changes, RDP can face significant challenges when operating across the throughput-constrained, erratic wide area network (WAN) connections. The part of RDP that runs over TCP is degraded due to the impact of delay on the TCP stack. As delay increases, TCP performance decreases. Even if distance is nominal, delay may be significant due to numerous factors including the service provider routing policies and peering practices. Network congestion impacts delay and  will also undermine the quality of RDP experience. Outages within the provider network will lead to RDP downtime. 

Silver Peak addresses the major performance challenges facing RDP across the WAN without adding hardware, software tuning, or application-specific plug-ins: 

  • Congestion – Silver Peak makes RDP more predictable across congested WANsLost or out-of-order packets are recovered and resequenced in real time, avoiding retransmission delays. Traffic shaping and QoS mechanisms ensure RDP sessions receive the necessary bandwidth. Dynamic Path Control selects the optimum path for RDP, which is typically the one with the least loss.  In the event of an outage in the provider's network, Dynamic Path Control can direct RDP packets around the outage across an alternative path.
  • Bandwidth – Silver Peak data deduplica­tion maximizes WAN bandwidth by eliminating redundant RDP data from the WAN. The first time data is sent from the WAN, it is fingerprinted and compressed by Silver Peak. Subsequent requests are fulfilled from the local Silver Peak instance.
  • Latency – Silver Peak mitigates latency mak­ing RDP more efficient over distance. TCP Acceleration includes window scaling, selec­tive acknowledgements, and HighSpeed TCP. CIFS Acceleration indirectly improves RDP sessions by streamlining other applications sharing the WAN. Packet coalescing re-packages smaller packets into a larger ones and Dynamic Path Control can select the path  to a remote location with the least latency. 

Silver Peak establishes an Accelerated IPSec virtual private network (VPN) between locations and secures all data with AES-256, the enterprise standard for data encryp­tion. Data-at-rest within Silver Peak instances is also encrypted with AES. End-to-end encryption is provided by SSL/TLS.

Silver Peak offers the most scalable and cost-effective data acceleration software for connecting data centers, remote offices and the cloud. Download and deploy it yourself in just 20 minutes or contact us to see how Silver Peak can help your team.

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Lower IT costs by using RDP to consolidate resources.

Improve productivity by enabling users to work with RDP desktops more effectively, even over congested networks.

Lower bandwidth charges by eliminating redundant RDP data from the WAN,


  • This performance brief illustrates how Silver Peak software dramatically improves the quality of Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and RemoteFX. RDP provides remote display and input capabilities for Windows-based applications running on a server and is used in thin-client or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) implementations. Similar products include Citrix XenDesktop or XenApp and VMWare Horizon. With RDP 8.0, Microsoft updated and included the RDP protocol in its RemoteFX set of technologies.
  • Silver Peak’s WAN optimization solution helps enterprises reap the rewards of virtualization by overcoming network challenges that impact the performance of these applications across the WAN. More specifically, Silver Peak addresses latency, packet loss, and bandwidth challenges that cause virtual applications (for example, Citrix XenApp) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (for example, Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft Desktop Virtualization, Sun Ray, and VMware VDI) to be unresponsive and/or unreliable across the WAN. 
  • To keep its virtual desktops functioning at high performance during its peak season, tax preparation firm SurePrep decided virtual WAN optimization would be the best way to share resources in service centers across the globe. SurePrep’s IT needs are unusual, because its resources are dedicated to making everything run flawlessly during a short period when tax season is in full swing. “Our peak season is five days a year,” said Will Hosek, SurePrep’s vice president of information technology. Hosek said SurePrep goes from about 50 servers during most of the year to more than 100 during tax season. The Newport Beach, Calif., company has a 200-seat service center in Irvine, Calif., and another 200-seat center in Mumbai, India. Both service centers run virtual desktops with Wyse Technology Inc.’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)-based thin clients.
  • Accelrys Optimizes VDI and Replication over Distance