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RDP and WAAS

Answered Question
Oct 28th, 2010
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Hi,

    My clients at Branch office use RDP connection to connect back to Terminal server at Data Center. They use Outlook 2007, SQL database, Access database and some other applications. They said they haven't seen a significant difference since WAAS has been deployed. I can see CIFS is working great but 3389 traffic is just optimized using TFO only. Is it because of RDP? If I optimize Ms-Teminal services to " Full Optimization " Will it help ? Note: We have got 3.2Mpbs downstream/1Mbps upstream link at branch and 8.3Mbps downstream/0.75Mbps upstream link at Data center.

Correct Answer by ktunugun about 6 years 9 months ago

Hi,

Configuring "Full Optimization" for MS-Terminal Services will not help and may impact the application negatively. This is because the RDP encryption is by default enabled on the servers and RDP compression is enabled on the clients. Just to clarify in order for WAAS to be able to perform full optimization of RDP traffic the following have to be done:

· Lower RDP Encryption on the Terminal Server.

· Disable RDP Compression on the Client Machine

Please see below the steps to achieve the above

Lowering Encryption Settings for RDP on terminal server

·         Set HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\MinEncryptionLevel to 1. When the value is changed to 1 the authentication phase where the password is communicated is encrypted but the data flow is not encrypted which is why WAAS is able to optimize the RDP traffic.

·         Create HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\SecurityLayer as a DWORD value and set it to 0.

·         Restart Terminal Server

Disabling Compression Settings on RDP Client

                Step 1. Open the RDP connection (.rdp) file in Notepad. (Normally this file is found  with the name default.rdp within My Documents) This is a hidden file.

                Step 2. Change the line compression:i:1 to compression:i:0.  (This changes the compression level to 0 which means no compression)

Step 3. Save the file.

Once the RDP encryption on the Terminal server is lowered and compression on RDP clients is disabled then you need to configure the Application Policy for MS-Terminal Services “Full Optimization”.

Thereafter if you initiate the RDP connections you should see the connection as “TDL” on WAAS with reduction ration  > 0%

My experience in the lab and with some customers have shown that the traffic reduction is somewhere between 50 – 80% depending on the traffic pattern.

Let me know if this helps.

Kiran.

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Bhavin Yadav Thu, 10/28/2010 - 22:11
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  • Cisco Employee,

Hi,

RDP is best optimized with TFO only. It is not a good idea to apply DRE, due to rare redundancy and LZ due to chattiness.

If you apply Full optimization, it might break RDP connections. Port 3389 is RDP and is MS-Terminal Services.

Regards.


PS: Please mark this as Answered, if this answers your question.

Correct Answer
ktunugun Fri, 10/29/2010 - 00:34
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  • Cisco Employee,

Hi,

Configuring "Full Optimization" for MS-Terminal Services will not help and may impact the application negatively. This is because the RDP encryption is by default enabled on the servers and RDP compression is enabled on the clients. Just to clarify in order for WAAS to be able to perform full optimization of RDP traffic the following have to be done:

· Lower RDP Encryption on the Terminal Server.

· Disable RDP Compression on the Client Machine

Please see below the steps to achieve the above

Lowering Encryption Settings for RDP on terminal server

·         Set HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\MinEncryptionLevel to 1. When the value is changed to 1 the authentication phase where the password is communicated is encrypted but the data flow is not encrypted which is why WAAS is able to optimize the RDP traffic.

·         Create HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\SecurityLayer as a DWORD value and set it to 0.

·         Restart Terminal Server

Disabling Compression Settings on RDP Client

                Step 1. Open the RDP connection (.rdp) file in Notepad. (Normally this file is found  with the name default.rdp within My Documents) This is a hidden file.

                Step 2. Change the line compression:i:1 to compression:i:0.  (This changes the compression level to 0 which means no compression)

Step 3. Save the file.

Once the RDP encryption on the Terminal server is lowered and compression on RDP clients is disabled then you need to configure the Application Policy for MS-Terminal Services “Full Optimization”.

Thereafter if you initiate the RDP connections you should see the connection as “TDL” on WAAS with reduction ration  > 0%

My experience in the lab and with some customers have shown that the traffic reduction is somewhere between 50 – 80% depending on the traffic pattern.

Let me know if this helps.

Kiran.

Michael Korenbaum Fri, 10/29/2010 - 05:50
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  • Bronze, 100 points or more

RDP traffic can be fully optimized quite effectively if the modifications mentioned by Kiran are performed.  I too have seen 50 -80% gains from disabled compression and encryption and setting the WAAS policy to Full optimization (TFO, DRE, LZ).


Regards,


Mike

adam4it10 Thu, 11/25/2010 - 08:05
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You can further improve performance of graphics apps such as Flash movies and PDFs with Ericom Blaze, a software-based RDP acceleration and compression product that provides improved performance over WAN and congested LANs. Besides delivering higher frame rates and reducing screen freezes and choppiness, Ericom Blaze accelerates RDP performance by up to 10-25 times, while significantly reducing network bandwidth consumption over low-bandwidth/high latency connections.


Ericom Blaze works with any standard RDP host, including VDI, Terminal Servers and remote physical machines.


You can read more about Blaze and download a free evaluation at:
http://www.ericom.com/ericom_blaze.asp


Adam

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