IT administrators should no longer be shackled to the desktop, trapped in permanent rounds of helpdesk visits, security patches and upgrades. The future could be an estate of efficient and remotely managed desktops and mobile devices; freeing IT administrators to focus on deploying IT innovation for competitive advantage.

A new desktop era is upon us in the form of the managed workspace. For some IT administrators — those that run zero client desktops — life has been more manageable for some time. Easy profile set-ups and plug and play roll-outs, with centralised remote management have been offered by enlightened thin client operators for many years with the free management software included with every device.

And by offering both Windows and Linux firmware versions, with a wide range of codecs and protocols included, they are open devices — meaning IT administrators are free to deploy the IT infrastructure they wish with the flexibility to change — without having to worry about the compatibility of their desktop devices.

A Mixed Bag

But the modern day reality for the vast majority of businesses is that they have inherited a mixed bag of desktop devices or the workforce, with its varying requirements, demands a range of different devices from PC’s to notebooks and thin and zero clients.

Under the banner of workspace management, with some simple conversion and management software, many desktop PCs and laptops can now easily be deployed to a zero client solution in a matter of minutes. This conversion creates the opportunity to manage the vast majority of business desktops and mobile devices like a single estate.

The benefits of this approach and flexibility are many and instant. With a uniform desktop estate, the devices can be centrally and remotely managed at the click of a mouse. Firmware upgrades, profile changes and new device set-up can all be carried out remotely, using a simple drag and drop interface.

Simple, Cost-Effective Solutions

Another benefit is that desktop security is instantly improved — no chance of a virus here. Even in converted PC and notebook devices the USB ports can be simply disabled or controlled centrally with rules to ensure unauthorised material cannot be added to the devices without permissions. This functionality has proved invaluable organisations such as schools, colleges and local authorities.

The chance to move to a virtual or cloud infrastructure also suddenly looks simpler and more cost effective because the need to change all the end user devices has been removed. Businesses can virtualize their server infrastructure and not have to worry about the additional expense of changing all their desktop estate at the same time. Desktops can be converted to thin client devices and then replaced with new devices in a phased and financially smooth transition.

Undeniable Advantage

Put another way, five years ago, running multimedia in a thin client environment used to be a daily question we’d get asked on projects: why do you need it and how do you get it to work? Now multimedia is mainstream with people pushing for higher end graphics, Skype for Business or Go to Meeting and getting video conferencing working. It’s been solved by adding more CPU processing power to the actual thin client device and using software and redirection to manage the increased bandwidth demands between the client and server and vice versa. It works reliability and well.

There’s been lots happening in this space. VMware historically licensed two protocols: Teradici’s fairly fat PC over IP protocol — ideal for users on the same campus LAN who required high end graphics — and Microsoft RDP — a lighter weight protocol aimed at remote workers limited by data speeds or those who don’t need the same multimedia capability.

Early this year, VMware launched its Blast Extreme Protocol which delivers various video formats via the H264 codec and adds real mobile and desktop cloud capability. In addition, Microsoft announced in May of this year that it is now partnering with Citrix to standardize on Citrix XenExpress not RDP to connect Windows desktops to its Azure cloud back-end infrastructure.

This is a major step change in the ability for SMEs to quickly and simply access apps from the cloud and deliver cloud-hosted desktops at reduced complexity and cost. It is announcement which drives “easy cloud” forward but which has gone relatively unnoticed.

The advantages of a single, centrally managed estate can no longer be denied. Looking to the future, developments in the Workspace Management arena look to continue apace. Can you feel those shackles falling away from your wrists — feels good doesn’t it?

 

Case Study: Jellyfish Remote Virtual Studio

Need 35 dual monitor remote workstations

Jellyfish wanted to create a versatile virtual post production suite with 35 artists utilising dual monitors running 1920×1200 resolution while working with Autodesk Maya and other high end applications. Current solutions require high priced recurring licenses and not a true 1:1 user experience, this coupled with the Nvidia Quadro card requirements means high budget outlays.

Jeremy Smith CTO of Jellyfish decided that Teradici’s PCoIP workstation solution would offer superior performance to Cytrix and Vmware without the high cost of recurring licenses. PCoIP also offers 356-bit encryption and when setup correctly offers a bare-metal experience that can be scaled up with minimal fuss and cost.


Need full GPU Passthrough of GeForce Card

Autodesk Maya requires a high end GPU. Geforce offers the ultimate balance between cost and performance with up to 12GB of VRAM and up to 3584 CUDA cores at up to 2100MHz core clocks on boost. Nvidia Geforce drivers have been crippled and when they detect a virtual hypervisor, they issue a command to disable the driver. This means that a Geforce card in a VDI show up as Code 43 errors which reverts back to the Microsoft Basic Display driver.

Need Zero input and screen delay

The TERA2 PCoIP Remote Workstation is designed for power users who depend on graphic intensive applications. This solution is ideal for CAD/CAM applications, allowing users to secure the physical workstation and its data into a highly secure, controlled environment and connect from their office. Pixels are only streamed to the end-user, not the actual sensitive data.


Need fully working wacom tablets

Traditional solutions introduce lag when a user uses a Wacom tablet. This is unacceptable and reduces the user experience to constantly trying to cope with input lag. The goal was to reduce lag to 1ms.

About Our Process

Direct Communication

  • 01

    We had initial discussions with Jellyfish regarding their ultimate goal to have a fully virtual post production office. The merits of different graphics cards were discussed over several meetings and Jellyfish requested that the remote access would run over the Teradici PCoIP protocol in a 2U rack mounted form factor.

  • 02

    Strongbox researched the individual component requirements and met with Teradici and various Teradici host card and zero client providers to ascertain what would give the best user experience. We also identified needs for higher level of cooling due to using a Geforce GTX 1070 graphics card, 64GB of RAM and an i7 5820K running at above stock speed in a custom 2U form factor. Strongbox recommended the use of an M.2 as the OS drive to lower internal temperatures in the chassis and to create better airflow around the internal components.

03

The final specification for the solution was agreed by Jellyfish along with installation dates which were dependant on 35 new members of staff starting work in Jellyfish’s new studio.


Deployment

  • 01

    A multi stage installation was agreed prior to the new post production studio going live with component shake downs and tweaks to configurations after each deployment. The solution was delivered within timescale in fully functioning form.

  • 02

    During testing a need for BIOS post timeout to be extended was identified to allow the PCoIP protocol to access BIOS configuration. the CPU vcore was also further tuned to match Jellyfish’s current machine room cooling and to allow a further 20% overhead in additional performance should the need occur.

03

During out of office hours the graphics cards and CPU cores are then allocated slots to Jellyfish’s render farm enabling 24 hour GPU and CPU rendering.


Ongoing Discovery

  • 01

    After heavy usage, no faults or issues have occurred and Jellyfish are seeing the benefits of a silent low energy true remote and geolocation scalable studio.

  • 02

    • Silent working environment.
    • Low energy consumption, 15w per zero client,
    • Average 1ms lag,
    • True unrestricted geolocation access,
    • Zero GPU and CPU clock cycle wastage with constant 24 hour operation

Is it Real, or is it PCoIP?
Every big shift is sparked by a breakthrough technology – and the technology powering the new virtual workplace is PCoIP. Eliminating the need for local CPU power, Teradici’s PC-over-IP (PCoIP) simply transfers the image of software running on a central server or workstation to any PCoIP-ready end-point.

The PCoIP on the central source, compresses, encrypts and rapidly transports image pixels to PCoIP end-user devices. They in turn decrypt, decompress and display the image on a screen. From a user’s perspective, there is no difference between working with a local computer loaded with software and a zero client receiving the image of the software running via PCoIP.

“…our artists can achieve 100% color matching and take advantage of full-HD, lossless imaging over affordable IP networks.”Kevin Clark, Director of Engineering, Industrial Light & Magic

Secure Your Data
Because the protocol transfers images only, in the form of pixel location information, no business information ever leaves the data center. In addition, because all software lies safely inside central systems, no one can tamper with service quality or introduce malware based on application infiltration. The PCoIP security module leverages the AES 256 and NSA Suite B cyphers, which meet the highest level of security required by governments.

Enable Mobility and Collaboration
Any PCoIP-enabled device — smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop machine — can become a secure workstation.

In industries where collaboration is key, but data risk is high, PCoIP offers another layer of protection. People can work collaboratively from anywhere, knowing that sensitive information never leaves the data center and work can never be lost or stolen.

Enhance Performance
Embedded in third-party products, PCoIP accelerates back-end and front-end hardware performance to provide high resolution, full frame-rate 3D graphics and high definition streaming media. Power users can work across multiple displays, enjoy the benefits of USB peripherals, as well as send and receive high-definition audio.

Immediate benefits of PCoIP


Aprt from the ability to utilise more powerful Nvidia Geforce graphics cards, PCoIP also offers the following benefits as standard.

Facilitate Collaboration


Support postproduction, visual effects, and animation artists with remote access to the processing power they need. They can share files and take advantage of new applications and other digital resources from your secure datacenter. Or, you can set up remote workstations on project sites to facilitate on-site collaboration.


Protect Intellectual Property


Zero clients access the computing power in the datacenter. The datacenter transmits “pixels only” across a standard IP network to clients. In essence, your data never leaves the datacenter. No one can hack into local files to steal ideas or reveal secrets, because they do not exist.



Share Dailies Instantly


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Transmit full HD video over LANs and WANs to share dailies without arduous file uploads or expensive physical media shipping. Watch dailies in native playback without compromising pixel color values due to compression.


Make the Entire System Easier and Cheaper to Manage


With high performance, remote 3D computing, you can consolidate SANs, render farms and all other computing resources. Even if a production house has multiple offices and many remote contractors, you can support all of them from a central facility — providing dramatic savings in equipment, logistics and support costs.

You no longer need to support remote locations with servers, file systems and applications – and you eliminate synchronization issues between local storage and remote file servers.

Allow creative professionals to work with anyone, anywhere, using any application – even 3D apps – without sending massive data files back and forth. Artists can instantly share high definition dailies and collaborate with remote studios or work from home – efficiently and securely.Strongbox + Tera2240
network_bandwidth_on_productivity_workload.png

PCoIP requires significantly less bandwidth on the network

The following graph highlights the impact the Blast H.264 protocol has on network bandwidth for the same productivity workload. Blast H.264 uses twice the network bandwidth as PCoIP when both are being encoded in software. While the PCoIP bandwidth increases slightly with the PCoIP Hardware Accelerator, the introduction of M10 NVENC H.264 offload with Blast increases the network bandwidth by more than 5X! Also note that Blast uses more bandwidth when you need to use UDP mode. Of course, PCoIP always uses UDP for the best experience on any network.

The streamlined centralized environment created with PCoIP Remote Workstation technology has also improved security and meets regulatory audits by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).Teradici ILM case study

Simplicity: Reduce heat and noise with easy-to-deploy PCoIP Zero Clients.


Flexibility and mobility: Remote viewing of dailies speeds reviews and lets distributed teams collaborate from anywhere.
100%

Security: Consolidating file servers, render farms, and storage arrays in the datacenter gives IT the ability to maintain control of creative assets, without restricting artists’ work.
100%

Performance: PCoIP remote display protocol compresses, encodes, and delivers the entire workstation experience from the datacenter to the end user in full fidelity (full frame rate and access to 3D/HD media).
100%

From
£0.99
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Simplify Device Setup and Maintenance
Most manufacturers’ zero client units are plug-and-play — ready for use in under five minutes with network access and VMware Horizon View, VMware Horizon DaaS, Amazon WorkSpaces, or PCoIP Remote Workstations.
PCoIP Zero Clients do not require applications, patches, service updates, operating systems or antivirus software.


Protect Data and Applications
All application data remains locked down in the data center. PCoIP Zero Clients simply receive and decode encrypted image information, and are immune to viral attack. No sensitive application data ever reaches the endpoint, zero clients do not store any application data. The encryption module uses AES 256 and NSA Suite B cyphers.
Pair PCoIP Zero Clients with USB security authorization, a smart card or proximity card system or other single sign-on devices to comply with the highest security requirements including 802.1x network authentication.

Simplify and Save with PCoIP Zero Clients: Down Size the End PointDell Wyse Zero Client

PCoIP Zero Clients
Many of the top equipment manufacturers have embedded PCoIP processors into their end-point, zero client hardware. With the single purpose of image decompression and decoding, the PCoIP processor eliminates endpoint hard drives, graphic processors, operating systems, applications and security software. With no operating systems, no codecs and no software to maintain, zero clients represent the easiest to manage endpoints ever invented.

Run for Less
PCoIP Zero Clients provide the highest quality user experience. And, compared with the price of a loaded desktop or laptop, they are far less expensive. Simple, small footprint zero clients will also last years longer than any OS-driven device because there is nothing to upgrade. PCoIP Zero Clients even reduce operating costs, including power, cooling and space consumption. Some use power over Ethernet for plug and play convenience and infrastructure cost savings.