View 5.2 became generally available today, and we wanted to take this opportunity to present a high-level overview of some of the performance enhancements that debut with View 5.2 and PCoIP. In this release, PCoIP's image cache has been significantly improved to allow users on memory constrained devices to run with much smaller cache sizes; firstly, support was introduced to efficiently handle situations where image content is shifted vertically, as occurs during scroll operations. Secondly, View 5.2 debuts improved cache compression algorithms that provide significant additional compression of the View client's image cache. Finally, the cache's handling of progressive build operations has been made significantly more efficient. All of these enhancements combine to allow users to derive significant bandwidth reductions using considerably smaller cache sizes than was achievable with View 5.1:
The above figure illustrates that, for typical office workflows, running View 5.2 with up to a 5X smaller cache can still deliver significant bandwidth savings; a 90MB View 5.2 cache was found to deliver comparable performance to View 5.1 configured with a 250MB cache, and even a 50MB View 5.2 cache delivered the majority of the bandwidth reduction benefits observed from View 5.1 configured with a 250MB cache. This up to 5X reduction in cache size can be a compelling option for memory constrained thin clients or tablet devices. The maximum image cache size can be configured via GPOs or set on the client device.
Alternatively, users can continue to leverage the default 250MB cache size in View 5.2 and will see reduced bandwidth utilization in comparison with View 5.1:
The above figure illustrates the average bandwidth utilization observed for View 5.2 during a VMware View Planner run in two different WAN environments for out-of-the-box PCoIP configurations. The results are normalized to the View 5.1 baseline, and illustrate that in the 2 Mb/s environment, the average session bandwidth is reduced by around 6%. Moreover, in the “extreme WAN" environment, View 5.2 delivers almost 10% reduction in bandwidth utilization, compared with View 5.1. These reductions can be compelling when consolidating View sessions from a branch office onto a limited capacity link, or when users are connecting over congested WiFi connections. Furthermore, as would be expected, reducing the number of image blocks being encoded, not only reduces the bandwidth utilization, but also has the benefit of improving interactivity (faster transmission of updates and the opportunity for higher frame rates, given the reduced bandwidth utilization) and reducing CPU consumption (less encoding work being done).
Finally, other PCoIP enhancements that debut with View 5.2 include:
1. GPO settings take immediate effect: many of the performance orientated GPO settings now take effect immediately, allowing users or administrators to closely customize the behavior of their PCoIP sessions.
2. Relative mouse support: previously, support was only provided for absolute mode. However, for certain 3D applications relative mouse is required and support is introduced on View 5.2.
We will cover all of these optimizations in greater detail in an upcoming View 5.2 Performance and Best Practices Whitepaper.