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USENIX 2002 Annual Conference - Technical Program Abstract

The Performance of Remote Display Mechanisms for Thin-Client Computing

S. Jae Yang, Jason Nieh, Matt Selsky, and Nikhil Tiwari, Department of Computer Science, Columbia University


The growing popularity of thin-client systems makes it important to determine the factors that govern the performance of these thin-client architectures. To assess the viability of the thin-client computing model, we measured the performance of six popular thin-client platforms—Citrix MetaFrame, Microsoft Terminal Services, Sun Ray, Tarantella, VNC, and X—running over a wide range of network access bandwidths. We find that thin-client systems can perform well on web and multimedia applications in LAN environments, but the efficiency of the thin-client protocols varies widely. We analyze the differences in the various approaches and explain the impact of the underlying remote display protocols on overall performance. Our results quantify the impact of different approaches in display encoding primitives, display update policies, and display caching and compression techniques across a broad range of thin-client systems.
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Last changed: 16 May 2002 ml
Technical Program
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