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CAASBAR: An evaluation of software-based graphics-remoting technologies

posted on 2023-06-08, 18:34 authored by Ronald GrauRonald Grau
This report presents the results of a series of performance and usability experiments in the domain of virtualized applications. The experiments involved different software-based technologies for facilitating remote access to applications within fast WAN environments. Our goal was to evaluate a range of different solutions with respect to their overall capability of transmitting graphics content in a virtualisation context, whilst taking into account the actual usability of different software applications in various remoting scenarios, as well as on different types of client devices. Set in the context of virtualized software, the primary aim was to make comparable the features and performance of technologies that are widely available in the non-enterprise market today (e.g., VNC, RDP, LogMeIn) with the technology stack that constitutes the CAASBAR prototype setup. The latter is broadly based on the display system and various protocols of the X-Window/X11 technology and presents an approach that is different to the server-centric remoting methods for virtualized graphics content that are predominantly used by internet providers today (e.g., the encoding and streaming of compressed video data). The CAASBAR prototype was shown to be an interesting solution for the remoting of 3D-graphics due to the capability of X11 to execute OpenGL graphics commands indirectly and use hardware-acceleration on the remote client (facilitated through AIGLX and the Chromium stream-processing network). This approach allows the execution of 3D modelling or CAD applications, or 3D-enhanced applications such as Adobe Photoshop, without loss of image quality. In addition, other related functionality (e.g., off-screen rendering to textures) is also relevant for the operation of advanced window compositing functions used by modern operating system GUIs, such as those implemented in Linux Compiz or the Macintosh Quartz technology. This particular functionality could be utilised to optimize and increase the performance of running new kinds of applications in SaaS scenarios, and will be crucial in the future for delivering to users a desktop-like experience of virtualized software across WANs.


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