Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Citrix XenDesktop 5.6 HDX Adobe Flash Redirection Bandwidth Benefits

I’ve been asked a while ago about the benefits of Citrix’s Adobe Flash redirection in a XenDesktop environment and whether it’s worth putting in place and as I’ve been busy throughout most of last year, I never got around to demonstrating it in a blog post.  The following configuration guide from Citrix does a great job of explaining the benefits of Adobe Flash Redirection so I’ll just quote it here:

By moving the processing to the user device, Flash Redirection helps reduce server and network load, resulting in greater scalability while ensuring a high definition user experience.

Configuring HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection
http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xenapp65-admin/hd-flash-wrapper-ad.html

The type of Citrix XenDesktop environments I’ve been working with usually does not have many users playing Adobe Flash video clips so the server workloads aren’t usually a problem but what some of the clients I work with benefit most from flash redirection is the reduction in network load and bandwidth because of their satellite offices that are scattered across the world.

To demonstrate just how much bandwidth savings you can achieve with flash redirection, have a look at the following:

With HDX Adobe Flash Redirection for Internet Explorer

# of Monitors: 3
Resolution:  1920 x 1200
Browser: Not maximized by 80% of the monitor
Client Network to VDA: 1Gbps

image image

Reviewing the graph above, what I’ve noticed is that while there are spikes upwards to 14Kbps at times when I click on the video’s timeline bar to rewind or fast forward to a point, the data sent from the VDI to the Receiver (thin client) stays at around 1Kbps.  Data from the Receiver to the VDI can so be somewhat spiky but just short bursts that may or may not be related to the flash video.

Without HDX Adobe Flash Redirection for Mozilla Firefox

# of Monitors: 3
Resolution:  1920 x 1200
Browser: Not maximized by 80% of the monitor
Client Network to VDA: 1Gbps

image image

As shown in the graph above, not implementing Flash redirection would cause the traffic from the VDI to the Receiver to spike upwards to 18Mbps and hover consistently between 5Mbps to around 13Mbps. 

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Hope this helps anyone looking for some statistics on the benefits of using flash redirection for their Citrix XenDesktop environment.

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