Data Center

PCoIP: Enabling Graphics with Desktop Virtualization

PCoIP, developed by Teradici (and licensed by desktop virtualization vendors) is a useful protocol that enables high-definition and 3D graphics (among other demanding applications) without lag in centralized DV scenarios.

PCoIP is a desktop display protocol that transmits encrypted images of desktop sessions to zero clients that come embedded with a PCoIP encoding/decoding processor. There is no need for processing or memory at the endpoint level and hence zero clients may be sufficient.

PCoIP can enable multiple-display clients and peripherals (USB, DVI, etc.) to be used at the endpoint level. Since processing happens in the servers, and only encrypted images are transmitted from the server to the zero client, security can be better managed by administrators at the server level. Furthermore, the peripheral ports (USB) can be enabled or disabled for users, by the administrators.

PCoIP is embedded into zero clients and other endpoint devices via a special processor, right at the manufacturer’s facility. Hence, it is not possible to make the endpoint work with a different protocol, later on. Specialized hardware requirements and licensing costs not¬†withstanding,¬†the initial costs might still be lower than deploying all desktops for a greenfield project. The real advantage of DV with PCoIP comes with lower TCO as maintenance and updates of endpoints are now centralized and hence management costs come down considerably.

PCoIP is similar to Windows RDP, but differs from it significantly as explained here and here. There are pros and cons to using either of the protocols, but PCoIP might just make centralized delivery of desktops more attractive to companies that have not yet implemented DV.

For further information on PCoIP, do read the following resources:

  1. VMware View with PCoIP.
  2. Teradici’s Transforming the Business Desktop White Paper (pdf).
  3. M&A Technology’s Centralizing with PC Over IP White Paper (pdf).

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