The Ace in the Hole – PCoIP Server Offload Card

In the quest to get better than desktop like experience, Teradici maker of PCoIP has added an insurance policy for your VDI deployments. In 4th quarter of this year consumers should be able to buy PCoIP server offload cards. The offload cards will first come out as PCIe and then later in a mezzanine form factor for your blades servers.

The TERA 2800 hundred chip that is on the Server Offload card has been completely resigned from Teradici’s 1.0 version. I was personally able to see Teradici shake “n” bake lab as they put it through its paces. Truly a remarkable setup with lots of people far smarter than me working on perfection. They made sure to account for power and heating when building this product. With a single slot passive heat sink and 2GB of DDR3 SDRAM memory it can power up to 64 displays at 1920X1200.

If this piece of hardware was available today you could easily install it and get it working for you. As of View 4.5, the proper hooks were put into place to get increased densities and to better prepare for the random acts of your users.

VMware View Hardware assit

From the picture above you see how easy it is to get going. The selection you make from, PCoIP hardware acceleration will be the threshold for the hypervisor to switch from software based to hardware based encoding.

PCOIP Hardware assit

The server offload card will help to increase densities by 30% to 50% according to Teradici. It will also help with USB speeds as the USB channel is within the PCoIP protocol. One word of caution before buying these cards would be if you already have CPU contention because of simply having too many VM’s. An example of this would be if you’re running pre Nehalem processors and already have 8 VM’s per core. Chances are the CPU is still going to be the bottle neck.

I think this offload card will help in achieving an more consistent experience and may prevent you from buying another server to add to your farm. With increased densities you will have make sure you have the IO to support such an architecture. Also your architecture will have to take into account of vMotion-ing off 70+ virtual desktops.

Dwayne Lessner

2-min video on the New Server Offload Cards: http://www.teradici.com/pcoip/pcoip-technology/video_server-offload-card.php


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