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Teradici PCoIP Integrated with Cisco NBAR for Network QoS

At VMworld 2013, Teradici announced that its flagship protocol PCoIP is now capable of adding priority tags into the UDP packets. What's important here is that we can now prioritize and classify the PCoIP traffic on the network, which improves the user experience. Up until this announcement the PCoIP protocol was an encrypted and compressed protocol, which made it impossible to optimize with any WAN acceleration products. Such a limitation has historically put PCoIP at a disadvantage, especially when organizations are looking at delivering different types of media over the WAN.

So what's new exactly? Well, Teradici now integrates with a Cisco proprietary technology known as Network Based Application Recognition, or NBAR, which identifies and classifies network packets based on a class of service or an application. What that means is you can then apply policies so you can guarantee bandwidth and provide preferential treatment of packets, among other benefits. This significantly enhances PCoIP because Cisco equipment can now see and understand each PCoIP packet. For instance, you'll want to classify USB traffic lower than keyboard and mouse click traffic, or give voice traffic higher priority than clipboard traffic.

It's a step in the right direction, but I must register my reservation, as they have limited the new features to Cisco equipment. That makes absolutely no sense to me and blatantly highlights why it is crucial for VMware to acquire Teradici. While Cisco owns a significant amount of the networking market, VMware View and PCoIP are also deployed in verticals like education, where HP networking has a significant footprint and where this technology would have been warmly welcomed. In addition to that, we see that Cisco and Citrix are working very closely together to the point where Cisco WAAS will now be replaced with Citrix's Branch Repeater. So, I am very curious if this will be supported on an OEM version of Citrix Branch Repeater.

Teradici would have been much better served having maintained the tagging of the packets within its management console in a way that is similar to how Citrix HDX approaches this issue. Doing so would allow for easier and quicker integration with networking equipment from multiple vendors, rather than now having to support multiple standards. It would have never happened had Teradici been part of VMware. That begs the question: Why is VMware not treating PCoIP as a first-class citizen, given it is crucial role with the Horizon View product? It makes absolutely no sense to me and I will forever see it as a strategic mistake.

If I were Teradici I would try and acquire an RDSH company, such as Ericom (or it could be the other way around), and develop a product along those lines to inevitably force VMware's hand. As it looks now, VMware appears to be treating a strategic component of one of its pillar products with much disregard.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 09/16/2013 at 4:15 PM


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