Teradici Takes Aim At VDI Server Performance Challenges

Teradici's APEX 2800 PCoIP Server Offload card, unveiled last month and slated for availability in January, offloads PCoIP image encoding from server CPUs in VMware View environments. Each card, priced at $1,995, offloads the 64 most resource-consuming displays, thereby freeing up CPU and avoiding latency for workloads like video that could impact VDI virtual desktop performance.

Ziad Lammam, director of product management and desktop solutions at Teradici, says the APEX 2800 is designed to account for the constantly shifting workloads that are common to View environments.

"The CPU can either handle more users, or handle demanding applications more efficiently," Lammam said in an interview.

PCoIP, which began shipping in 2009 in VMware View 4, is a remote display technology that's designed to handle high definition media and 3-D graphics.

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PCoIP streams desktops from the data center, over standard IP network and to the zero client. It uses host-side rendering, a technology that allows Teradici to support all current media codecs as well as codecs that will be developed in the future, Lammam said.

Burnaby, B.C.-based has built an ecosystem of more than 20 partners, including Wyse, Dell and ClearCube, that use PCoIP for zero clients. Lammam said plans are to continue expanding that partner based and push PCoIP into new form factors and products.

"When customers think of zero clients, they want a simple device that doesn't require too much updating, is extremely secure and doesn't need to be regularly swapped out," Lammam said. "Because we're doing everything on purpose-built silicon, we're able to deliver best performance out there."

According to Lammam, what sets PCoIP apart from competitors like Microsoft and Citrix is the fact that it uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which is built to handle real-time data and is the same protocol that VoIP uses. "PCoIP was purpose-built for real time desktop content delivery," Lammam said.

"This gives us the ability capture pixels on the host side and send them over the network to be decoded by a zero client," Lammam said.

Meanwhile, Teradici earlier this week introduced Bob Johnson, formerly of IBM, as its new vice president of business development. A 25-year industry veteran, Johnson led IBM's business development, strategic alliances and IP licensing efforts for virtualization, cloud storage/NAS, semiconductors, server/appliances and materials technology.

Johnson came to IBM in its 2008 acquisition of Transitive, a developer of cross-platform virtualization technology that allows applications written for one type of microprocessor and operating system to run on multiple platforms.