Provided is a quick recording of how RGS (v5.1.5) performs on a "cloud" hosted machine when playing Flash and Quicktime videos. The capture software that we used made the video a little sluggish (as can be seen from the not-so-smooth mouse movements which should otherwise be smooth when using RGS regardless of connection quality). User interface performance was crisp and interaction was very near to the all important “local feel” (which is uncharacteristic of RDP connections).

A Windows AMI configured as a "High-CPU Medium (c1.medium)" instance type was selected for this session. The HP RGS image quality was arbitrarily set to 50% to conserve bandwidth and processing load. As this is an initial proof of concept, we did not optimize the image quality parameter and as so it will be left as an additional exercise in the future. Due to time constraints, common office productivity software was not tested and demonstrated on the cloudafied desktop however we strongly believe that RGS would perform well in this area as most common office productivity software is static and thus not bound by the CPU and connection bandwidth requirements necessary for dynamic multimedia content.

We believe that performance can be improved because the EC2 hosted Windows machine is not running an optimized video driver, that is, it is using the standard Windows VGA adapter driver. This drawback limits the maximum desktop size to 1280x1024 (without explicit hacks to increase the resolution capability if at all possible). Additionally, an older version of RGS was used during testing on an operating system not intended for desktop use (although changing processor scheduling and memory usage parameters may improve apparent desktop performance); newer versions of RGS running on the intended platforms may offer improved performance. Despite these drawbacks, multimedia performance was still surprisingly satisfactory.

And now to the video:
http://engineering.ucsb.edu/~duonglt/vmware/RGSonEC2

5 thoughts on “Cloudafied Desktops: HP RGS on Amazon EC2

  1. The point of the demo (that was created over a year ago) was to show the capabilities of RGS (HP’s display protocol) in an environment outside of what is supported. So technically, it should be ICA vs. RGS (not XenDesktop since there are no brokers involved in this demo).

    RGS utilizes the display adapter that is presented to the system so I don’t think a 3D demo in Google Maps would be all that exciting since in this instance, the system involved is a VM on EC2 (with whatever virtualized display adapter is being presented to it by the Xenserver).

    Lastly, I’ve been using the ICA display protocol (through VMs being brokered by XenDesktop) and I must say that in terms of GUI latency (in WinXP/Win7), RGS definitely outperforms. It’s sad to say but ICA still feels like a remote desktop session (in low latency LAN and higher latency WAN environments as compared to RGS) aside from the enhancements afforded by HDX (e.g. MediaStream).

  2. tlduong – I have just tried using RGS and I am impressed to say the least. 3d in real time at lower resolutions is easily attainable. I am currently trying to optimize my system and network to achieve higher resolutions (which are possible now just with lower frame rates and ~300ms latency). Do you have any experience trying to optimize this? I’ll be honest I’m a bit stumped as my network, cpu, and graphics card loads on both sides appear to be low. If you have any suggestions for optimization or another software package suggestion I’d love to hear it. I know about remoteFX but I’m not looking for a VM solution rt now.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. I am curious, I dont see Windows Server as a supported platform as RGS server. I tried installing the trial version on an Amazon API and got a “Not supported” error. How did you work around this?

Thanks for the comment!