Microsoft RemoteFX on Hyper-V

MikeTrike

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I was going to throw this into the networking thread with the rest of the stuff. But this is way more virtualization-centric.

I finally got a chance to get a system running with a proper GPU. Now RemoteFX is working as it should, it's not bad right out of the box.



http://youtu.be/uhAYcUe832w

Server Details: HP DL385 G7, 64GB RAM, 8x256GB Corsair Performance Pro SSD's (RAID50). Gigabit network to clients. Quadro 4000 2GB GPU. Which is pretty decently powered.

Client Details: Acer Veriton N VN281G-UA4252W, replaced the 500GB Spindle drive with a 64GB Crucial M4 to speed up boot.

p.s. Sorry for the lackluster video quality. :)
 

leeleatherwood

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In your opinion, how is the performance? I am interested in a Remote FX setup for the ability to play semi-demanding games in any room of my house using my currently existing HTPC's.

Is there any loss of video quality at 1080p? If so, is it severe enough to worry about?
Is there a noticable input lag?
Have you tried the RemoteFX USB Redirection?
Do you notice any glitches that would make it annoying to use?

If you mentioned any of this in the video, I appologize I am not able to look at youtube videos at the moment.

Thanks!
 

MikeTrike

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The particular setup I'm using is slightly choppy. Though I'm not sure if that's GPU limited or the network or a bit of both. I'm still playing around with it.

There is no real input lag on the normal desktop stuff. I haven't tried any actual games yet, that's a real test. From what I'm told, you would be fine playing an RTS, but might not enjoy an FPS game. Unless you were running some more expensive stuff with maybe Citrix HDX or whatever it is on top of all this.

I haven't tried the USB redirection, but that's on my to-do list. For daily use, it would be convenient to have more power out of a thin client or netbook. But I would not "hardcore game" on it.

I mostly went over the hardware/setup I was running in the video.
 

oplin

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What route are you going with for USB Redirection? I'm going to start looking into that, figured it'd be built in but doesn't appear to be

Are you running Server 8 or 2008 R2?
 

HalfJawElite

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What route are you going with for USB Redirection? I'm going to start looking into that, figured it'd be built in but doesn't appear to be

Are you running Server 8 or 2008 R2?

Good point! Server 8 can do all the RemoteFX features even without a physical GPU present. I'm very interested in knowing the exact specs, as this reminds me of a video I saw with guest vm's playing Bioshock 2 at 1080p in Citrix Xenserver.
 

MikeTrike

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Currently running Server 2008 R2, haven't really messed with USB Redirection just yet.
 

HalfJawElite

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The particular setup I'm using is slightly choppy. Though I'm not sure if that's GPU limited or the network or a bit of both. I'm still playing around with it.

There is no real input lag on the normal desktop stuff. I haven't tried any actual games yet, that's a real test. From what I'm told, you would be fine playing an RTS, but might not enjoy an FPS game. Unless you were running some more expensive stuff with maybe Citrix HDX or whatever it is on top of all this.

I haven't tried the USB redirection, but that's on my to-do list. For daily use, it would be convenient to have more power out of a thin client or netbook. But I would not "hardcore game" on it.

I mostly went over the hardware/setup I was running in the video.

The choppy gameplay is mostly from the GPU restrictions. Most wired networks shouldn't have too much trouble pumping high-res streams down the pipes, especially in a home network (unless you got some serious EM interference in the building). The GPU's I've noticed that are certified for RemoteFX by Microsoft are all workstation GPUs. Those are mostly used for video editing and photoshop and other demanding animation application. The AMD Radeon HD series and Nvidia's equals are tuned for gaming and can therefore handle the processing power required by game engines. I'm disappointed that they can't certify the Desktop series for this as it would make for a great way to host LAN parties and gaming on thin clients much easier. The key difference between the workstation and desktop GPU lineups is the drivers. Those make the difference between gaming and rendering.
 

MikeTrike

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I originally had a FirePro GPU in this thing, let's say the hypervisor had a habit of crash-rebooting. So even the workstation cards can be picky. So far this seems the most stable option.

That would definitely be an interesting way to have a LAN party. Never thought of that one... hmm...
 

Jerky_san

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As far as I know the reason it would be lagging would be because of lack of video memory.. I remember that Microsoft limited it to 128 megs of ram in 2008 R2 HyperV so I wonder how much they upped it..
 

HalfJawElite

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I originally had a FirePro GPU in this thing, let's say the hypervisor had a habit of crash-rebooting. So even the workstation cards can be picky. So far this seems the most stable option.

That would definitely be an interesting way to have a LAN party. Never thought of that one... hmm...

Yeah I use to run VMware's ESXi 5.0 U1. Apparently some people have been able to get certain desktop Radeon HD series cards working with GPU passthrough in ESXi and do some nice gaming demos on them. Not sure how much of a headache it would cause trying to set it up but I sure as hell wouldn't unless I had another server to play with at home.

Here is the Xenserver demo I had mentioned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtmwnx-k2qg
Its in use right now at the Ubisoft Quebec studio with 2 Nvidia GTX 460s (their desktop gaming cards series)

Here is another one direct from Citrix: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwQlog5WInQ

I haven't seen any videos on the ESXi gaming as proof that it can actually be done with minimal issues but there are sites that claim it!
 

HalfJawElite

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As far as I know the reason it would be lagging would be because of lack of video memory.. I remember that Microsoft limited it to 128 megs of ram in 2008 R2 HyperV so I wonder how much they upped it..

I think you're right. Most hypervisors limit the amount of video memory available to the guest vm's.. If one were to try doing the direct GPU passthrough idea, as I mentioned Xenserver can do, then you're looking at the vm's ability to directly access the entire card, use all its features and even install the proper oem drivers for it.
 

mayhem87

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well done! i've been kicking this idea around for a bit. Does anyone know if the server 2012 upped the video ram? also are you running the hyper-v stand alone or is this a full install of server?
 

wildbill001

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I can tell you that a Radeon 6750 did not work on my ESXi5.0-U1 box. 'Least ways I could never get it to be recognized by the VM. Passed thru fine just could not use it.

Have not tried 5.1 'cause I would have to reconfigure too much now to try it.
 

Jerky_san

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o_O wildbill001 look at the end of the supermicro thread on page 2.. I detail how to get all that working.. I've read on 2012 server they allow for "adjustments" to the video memory but I believe its capped to like 384 or something..
 

ND40oz

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The choppy gameplay is mostly from the GPU restrictions. Most wired networks shouldn't have too much trouble pumping high-res streams down the pipes, especially in a home network (unless you got some serious EM interference in the building). The GPU's I've noticed that are certified for RemoteFX by Microsoft are all workstation GPUs. Those are mostly used for video editing and photoshop and other demanding animation application. The AMD Radeon HD series and Nvidia's equals are tuned for gaming and can therefore handle the processing power required by game engines. I'm disappointed that they can't certify the Desktop series for this as it would make for a great way to host LAN parties and gaming on thin clients much easier. The key difference between the workstation and desktop GPU lineups is the drivers. Those make the difference between gaming and rendering.

The GTX 285 is certified, that what I used when I messed around with it on Server 2008 R2's release. I'll try it out with 2012, see how it works.
 

bAMtan2

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Server 2012 hyper v is a hypervisor, so at least in theory the desktop is a VM just like the other vms are. and Ive run games full speed under server 2012 with hyper v enabled.

This thread is full of a lot of speculation and crappy video cards. not much point doing that
 

ND40oz

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Server 2012 hyper v is a hypervisor, so at least in theory the desktop is a VM just like the other vms are. and Ive run games full speed under server 2012 with hyper v enabled.

This thread is full of a lot of speculation and crappy video cards. not much point doing that

That's not quite the same, regular video cards work fine under 2012 and 2008 R2, the question is does it work for remote fx. But yes, regular video cards work fine for gaming under both OS's when Hyper-V is enabled, my main workstation runs 2012 Datacenter and as long as you install a few missing directx dlls, gaming on it is just like gaming on Windows 8.
 

MikeTrike

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Server 2012 hyper v is a hypervisor, so at least in theory the desktop is a VM just like the other vms are. and Ive run games full speed under server 2012 with hyper v enabled.

This thread is full of a lot of speculation and crappy video cards. not much point doing that

I'm guessing you haven't used it in a RemoteFX (i.e. RDP/Remote Desktop style setup). Think terminal services except with Virtual Desktops.

9aOsM.png
 
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-Dragon-

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Another thing to keep in mind is RFX isn't passthrough video of other hypervisors, it's just specialized videocard virtualization. It's not so you can add a video card to your host and get near native speeds in a VM it's so you can put a beefy (ideally professional) video card in a large host and let lots of VMs share the resources of that card to get much better than non RFX video performance even if it's nowhere near what the host card is capable when used natively.

You might not be able to do Crysis on ultra in a RFX VM but you may be able to get away with 3 or 4 VMs playing it on medium on the same host. Or one game of Crysis at medium on a netbook with better performance than otherwise possible and less heat and battery drain.

Power wise (for those who care) it seems when RFX isn't actively being used any cards not being used to power the desktop seem for the most part powered down. I added a GTX580 to my big VM host and there's 0W power difference from before and after if I'm not using a RFX VM, if I do fire one up power jumps up ~20W. So those of you with a spare last gen or two video card and Hyper-V hosts who may want to try out RFX but were thinking you didn't want to add another 100W worth of power/heat to your server area can do so without worrying about that, yeah it'll use more power if you're using it, but seems to power down pretty well when you're not.
 

MikeTrike

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You might not be able to do Crysis on ultra in a RFX VM but you may be able to get away with 3 or 4 VMs playing it on medium on the same host. Or one game of Crysis at medium on a netbook with better performance than otherwise possible and less heat and battery drain.

Definitely not on Ultra, but this video from two years ago pretty much sums it up.

Student Partners: Crysis on RemoteFX

With even more optimizations + Server 2012, this is getting better and better. It's getting to the point where you don't need a HTPC in your living room, when you can just stream it across a thin client in real time. Lots of end users have already been doing these types of things, so it's pretty cool tech. :)
 

-Dragon-

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The hardware encoder probably helps smooth things out a lot which is why that old video makes it sound better than what most of us have experienced. Those hardware encoders aren't exactly cheap though.
 

bAMtan2

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That's not quite the same, regular video cards work fine under 2012 and 2008 R2, the question is does it work for remote fx. But yes, regular video cards work fine for gaming under both OS's when Hyper-V is enabled, my main workstation runs 2012 Datacenter and as long as you install a few missing directx dlls, gaming on it is just like gaming on Windows 8.

I'm guessing you haven't used it in a RemoteFX (i.e. RDP/Remote Desktop style setup). Think terminal services except with Virtual Desktops.

9aOsM.png

Windows views hyperv vms through rdp...

Another thing to keep in mind is RFX isn't passthrough video of other hypervisors, it's just specialized videocard virtualization. It's not so you can add a video card to your host and get near native speeds in a VM it's so you can put a beefy (ideally professional) video card in a large host and let lots of VMs share the resources of that card to get much better than non RFX video performance even if it's nowhere near what the host card is capable when used natively.

You might not be able to do Crysis on ultra in a RFX VM but you may be able to get away with 3 or 4 VMs playing it on medium on the same host. Or one game of Crysis at medium on a netbook with better performance than otherwise possible and less heat and battery drain.

Power wise (for those who care) it seems when RFX isn't actively being used any cards not being used to power the desktop seem for the most part powered down. I added a GTX580 to my big VM host and there's 0W power difference from before and after if I'm not using a RFX VM, if I do fire one up power jumps up ~20W. So those of you with a spare last gen or two video card and Hyper-V hosts who may want to try out RFX but were thinking you didn't want to add another 100W worth of power/heat to your server area can do so without worrying about that, yeah it'll use more power if you're using it, but seems to power down pretty well when you're not.

This doesn't make sense. Sorry
 

MikeTrike

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Windows views hyperv vms through rdp...



This doesn't make sense. Sorry

No this doesn't... You're not providing any details as to what exactly you're doing...

What we're talking about is a thin client, connected via Ethernet directly to the virtual machine. We're not talking about sitting on a Hyper-V console watching a VM on it.

Elaborate a bit more, as I have no idea what you're getting at... I'm genuinely curious.

Are you running it the same way? This is a grossly oversimplified diagram.
qLpDx.jpg
 
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heuristik

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Yes, Hyper-V VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is delivered via RDP.

Users log in via either the RDWEB portal or through RemoteApp and Desktop Connections (start screen icon or start menu shortcut). The login hits the Remote Desktop Connection Broker, a server role dedicated to managing resource assignments between virtuals, apps, and servers. Upon successful authentication, the user is redirected to a virtual desktop (either one of many [pooled] or dedicated) and an RDP session is iniitiated. These can range up to 8 screens @ 1280x1024, though I've only used 4 screens @ 1920x1280 to date.

RemoteFX refers to the specialized video compression algorithms and optimized graphics processing routines Microsoft has developed to present users with a "real desktop" experience even when connecting over the WAN. With 2012 Server and Win 8 VDI's, I can attest to the experience living up to the claims. Whereas in prior versions, WAN connectivity proved to be a deal breaker, I've been pleasantly surprised by how much they improved the delivery in the most recent version: for example, I can connect over a PDAnet tether from my Iphone4 (i.e. 3G, not 4G) and the VDI experience is almost the same as if I were locally connected. There is some noticeable compression when streaming 1080P video fullscreen, but its not so much that you won't want to watch the video.....

USB Redirection is no longer tied to the presence of a discrete GPU as it was in Server 2008 R2. Devices like IP Phones, Web Cams, USB Receipt Printers, etc. all pass through without user intervention. Your iphone will also redirect, as will a pretty significant assortment of other usb devices.

Where the Discrete GPU comes into play in 2012 has to do with how the Virtual Machines' graphics load is handled by the host. When a qualifying GPU is present on the host (over 1 GB dedicated RAM, Direct X 11, I'm sure there are other requirements but these two = a good bet the card will work), the Graphic processing is offloaded to the GPU. Without a GPU the Host CPU(s) handle the work.

You may have noticed how "flat" graphics appear now in the RTM version of Windows 8? That's not a fashion statement. Aero is a bandwidth and processing hog to put it ligthtly. By shifting to a non-aero UX, Microsoft can now deliver the RDP session at full quality over even low bandwidth connections.

WIth the addition of a GPU to help balance the load, the experience for the end user is, when done right, virtually indistinguishable from the real deal. My favorite test to prove this is to take an old Panasonic Toughbook with 2 GB of RAM and an early Intel GMA chipset (either 910 or 950, can't remember), connect to a VDI session and stream an HD MKV through VLC while working on a spreadsheet and surfing the web.

The Client needs to be running Windows 7, Win 7 embedded, or Windows 8 to fully utilize the RemoteFX features. Win XP / SP3 will not have as rich of an experience. There is an RDP update (RDP 8.0) that is releasing very soon (maybe already out? if not, sometime this week) that will further enhance the RemoteFX functionality. Of particular note is the Lync VDI plugin; I've tested this and been really impressed with how good the voice/video quality is.
 

mayhem87

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Sorry for the n00b questions but I'm trying to figure this out and not having much success finding stuff online. I have been really giving thought to this as I would like to install a thin client at my desk and keep a server in the closet.

So what I gather from the info in this thread is that I can do the VDI with just Hyper-V server 2012? I do not need to run full blown server 2012? I am assuming when setting up the VM we are telling it how much graphics power to give it rather then just passing through the card correct?
 

heuristik

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I am uncertain as to whether RemoteFX is included in Hyper-V Server 2012, but regarding your other question, you assign each VM a cap as to how many monitors X highest resolution allowed. Your options are 1 to 8 monitors, 1-2 @ 2560x1600, 3-4@1920x1200, 5-8@1280x1024, where each preceding group can also run the lower resolutions (e.g. 1-2 monitors can also run 1920x1200 as their artificial cap).

X86 VM's require a minimum of 1 GB RAM, X64 require 2 GB RAM. This is startup ram, not static.
 

McTurkey

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Yes, Hyper-V VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is delivered via RDP.

Users log in via either the RDWEB portal or through RemoteApp and Desktop Connections (start screen icon or start menu shortcut). The login hits the Remote Desktop Connection Broker, a server role dedicated to managing resource assignments between virtuals, apps, and servers. Upon successful authentication, the user is redirected to a virtual desktop (either one of many [pooled] or dedicated) and an RDP session is iniitiated. These can range up to 8 screens @ 1280x1024, though I've only used 4 screens @ 1920x1280 to date.

RemoteFX refers to the specialized video compression algorithms and optimized graphics processing routines Microsoft has developed to present users with a "real desktop" experience even when connecting over the WAN. With 2012 Server and Win 8 VDI's, I can attest to the experience living up to the claims. Whereas in prior versions, WAN connectivity proved to be a deal breaker, I've been pleasantly surprised by how much they improved the delivery in the most recent version: for example, I can connect over a PDAnet tether from my Iphone4 (i.e. 3G, not 4G) and the VDI experience is almost the same as if I were locally connected. There is some noticeable compression when streaming 1080P video fullscreen, but its not so much that you won't want to watch the video.....

USB Redirection is no longer tied to the presence of a discrete GPU as it was in Server 2008 R2. Devices like IP Phones, Web Cams, USB Receipt Printers, etc. all pass through without user intervention. Your iphone will also redirect, as will a pretty significant assortment of other usb devices.

Where the Discrete GPU comes into play in 2012 has to do with how the Virtual Machines' graphics load is handled by the host. When a qualifying GPU is present on the host (over 1 GB dedicated RAM, Direct X 11, I'm sure there are other requirements but these two = a good bet the card will work), the Graphic processing is offloaded to the GPU. Without a GPU the Host CPU(s) handle the work.

You may have noticed how "flat" graphics appear now in the RTM version of Windows 8? That's not a fashion statement. Aero is a bandwidth and processing hog to put it ligthtly. By shifting to a non-aero UX, Microsoft can now deliver the RDP session at full quality over even low bandwidth connections.

WIth the addition of a GPU to help balance the load, the experience for the end user is, when done right, virtually indistinguishable from the real deal. My favorite test to prove this is to take an old Panasonic Toughbook with 2 GB of RAM and an early Intel GMA chipset (either 910 or 950, can't remember), connect to a VDI session and stream an HD MKV through VLC while working on a spreadsheet and surfing the web.

The Client needs to be running Windows 7, Win 7 embedded, or Windows 8 to fully utilize the RemoteFX features. Win XP / SP3 will not have as rich of an experience. There is an RDP update (RDP 8.0) that is releasing very soon (maybe already out? if not, sometime this week) that will further enhance the RemoteFX functionality. Of particular note is the Lync VDI plugin; I've tested this and been really impressed with how good the voice/video quality is.

I read about that Lync VDI plugin earlier today, and now I'm itching to setup some thin clients and give that a try.
 

Grentz

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Any of you guys experienced in Citrix, in particular XenDesktop, that can comment on the performance differences?

I have a full XenDesktop setup that I use with a few VMs and the experience works really well even over the WAN on a limited connection (less than 768kbps upload). RDP works, but is extremely choppy. I would be very curious if this new compression and RemoteFX suite helps with the performance and to what extent.
 

Orddie

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citrix is king when it comes to WAN. In the new version of RPD (windows 8, server 2011) they made changes too allow for drops which makes RDP over wan much better.

I wish i could get my hands on a HDX key to experience what my xenith client can really do.. but sadly citrix keeps them really locked up with there enterprise solutions.
 

codegrinder

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citrix is king when it comes to WAN. In the new version of RPD (windows 8, server 2011) they made changes too allow for drops which makes RDP over wan much better.

I wish i could get my hands on a HDX key to experience what my xenith client can really do.. but sadly citrix keeps them really locked up with there enterprise solutions.

yep same here. I want to stream xbmc.
 

bAMtan2

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Microsoft has been working for a long time to stab citrix in the back and server 2012 is the result. Im skeptical, very skeptical, that citrix would be any better for anyone at home
 

dashpuppy

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Hey mike,

HP ml110 G6 8 gigs ram quad core xeon FREE!! Ordering vid card soon, and a thin client..

RMT FX

IMG_6775.jpg

IMG_6782.jpg
 
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