With VMware View and a zero client, is RTAV or USB redirection better?

We have installed the Remote Experience Agent on the target virtual machines and would like to use softphones and USB headsets with the View 5.4 client. During initial testing, we tried both USB redirection and Real-Time Audio-Video (RTAV); the performance using RTAV was better in both call quality and call latency.

Since we are using the installed View client, we are wondering if zero clients would work. How good are zero clients for RTAV?

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The short answer? Not good.

With USB redirection, the entire audio-video stream is sent from the client -- which could be a zero client -- to the virtual desktop running in the data center.

For most RTAV applications, this data stream requires more bandwidth than is available to your View client. Also, RTAV uses local Windows-device drivers to connect devices such as headsets and webcams. RTAV codes the audio and video data and sends this data stream to the virtual machine where it is processed by the driver.
Because zero clients don't have a local operating system, they have no local device drivers, so RTAV won't work with zero clients.

This is the current situation, which could change if zero client manufacturers find a way to circumvent the driver issue.


This was first published in November 2013

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