Principled Technologies has just released an interesting whitepaper comparing the performance of VMware View 5 with Citrix XenDesktop 5.5 — the doc can be found here. In this paper, View and XenDesktop are compared using LoginVSI, for both the light and medium workloads, and both network and CPU utilization data are presented.

The key benefit of this study is it compares the two VDI technologies in an apples-2-apples manner. Out of the box, View and XenDesktop deliver different levels of desktop image quality — with XenDesktop delivering a lower image quality by default. Accordingly, for a meaningful comparison between VDI technologies, it is critical to adjust the quality settings to ensure that both VDI solutions are delivering comparable quality. In this paper, Principled Technologies, provide data for both high quality imaging (increasing XenDesktop image quality to match View's default) and lossy quality (decreasing View image quality to match XenDesktop) benchmark runs. In both these usage scenarios, View is found to achieve lower resource utilization in the majority of runs! The only exception is runs with in which XenDesktop flash redirection is enabled — Principled Technologies have not configured View video as discussed in our prior blog postings (which, in many instances, is capable of bringing the bandwidth associated with server-rendered flash content close to redirected streams).

Accordingly, the main take-away from this study is that it is important for customers to determine what desktop imaging quality their particular usage scenario demands and to configure their VDI solutions appropriately, both in any bake-off performance testing and in their final VDI deployment. 

Finally, it is important to note that this study using 3rd party workload simulation tools, closely matches the findings that we presented at VMworld 2011 using VMware View Planner.