Later this year VMware will be releasing a software only version of PCoIP. What is PCoIP? Teradici developed the protocol to compete with RDP and ICA, but offer a richer multi-media experience. Their original product requires specialized hardware on both the server and client end. However, the LAN experience is really amazing. They were showing full high-def movies at their demo booth at VMworld.
Now back to the software version. One of the major limitations of current VDI implementations is the lack of support for isosynchronous USB devices such as head-sets and webcams. In addition, advanced graphics like Windows Aero Glass are challenging. According to Teradici their first software only version for VMware View will NOT support these special USB devices or Aero Glass. Their best estimation on when these would be supported was 12 to 18 months. Without a GPU on the server end, rendering Aero Glass on the client is difficult.
That’s not to say the next version of View won’t have some great features, or be useful for a wide range of customers. But if you have specialized needs, like my customer, for USB webcam and headset, then you will need to wait. Aero Glass support will be nice too, as we start to deploy Windows 7 in 2010. Right now XenDesktop’s provisioning server with OS streaming is probably the best solution for a full client experience over the LAN.