RemoteFX User Experience Test

Microsoft RemoteFX™ enables the delivery of a full Windows user experience to a range of client devices including rich clients, thin clients, and ultrathin clients. RemoteFX delivers a rich user experience for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) by providing a 3D virtual adapter, intelligent codecs, and the ability to redirect USB devices in virtual machines. RemoteFX is integrated with the RDP protocol, which enables shared encryption, authentication, management, and device support. RemoteFX also delivers a rich user experience for session-based desktops and RemoteApp programs to a broad range of client devices.

If a remote user’s experience with a RemoteFX-enabled Microsoft RDS server is poor, then administrators should be able to quickly figure out what is causing the quality of the UX to suffer – is it poor frame quality? or severe packet loss? or bad picture output owing to a high compression ratio? or bottleneck in TCP/UDP connectivity? The RemoteFX User Experience test helps answer this question. For each remote user connecting to a RemoteFX-enabled Microsoft RDS server, this test measures user experience and reports abnormalities (if any). This way, users who are experiencing a poor visual experience can be isolated and the reason for the same can be ascertained. In addition, the test points you to RemoteFX features that may have to be tweaked in order to improve overall performance.

Note:

This test works only on Windows 2008 Service Pack 1 (or above).

Target of the test : A Microsoft RDS server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every user logged into the Microsoft RDS server

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameters Description

Test period

This indicates how often should the test be executed.

Host

The host for which the test is to be configured.

Port

The port at which the host listens

Report by Domain Name

By default, this flag is set to Yes. This implies that by default, this test will report metrics for every domainname\username. This way, administrators will know which user logged in from which domain. If you want the test to report metrics for every username only, then set this flag to No.

Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

User sessions

Represents the current number of sessions for a particular user.

Number

A value of 0 indicates that the user is not currently connected to the Microsoft RDS server. 

Average frames encoding time

Indicates the average time taken for encoding the frames of this user.

Secs

Compare the value of this measure across users to know for which user frames encoding took too long.

Encoding is a synchronous process that occurs on the server in the single-session (vGPU) scenario and on the VM in the multi-session scenario. The value of this measure should be under 33 ms. If it is under 33 ms but you still have performance issues, there may be an issue with the app or operating system you are using.

Frame quality

Indicates the quality of the output frame expressed as a percentage of the quality of the source frame for this user.

Percent

High frame rates produce a smooth representation of frames for the particular user, while low frame rates may cause rough or choppy representation of frames for the particular user. A high value is hence desired for this measure.

Compare the value of this measure across users to know which user received the poorest frame quality.

The quality loss may be due to RemoteFX, or it may be inherent to the graphics source. If RemoteFX caused the quality loss, the issue may be a lack of network or server resources to send higher-fidelity content. If server resources are causing the bottleneck, try one of the following approaches to improve performance:

  • Reduce the number of sessions per host.
  • Increase the memory and compute resources on the server.
  • Drop the resolution of the connection.

If network resources are causing the bottleneck, try one of the following approaches to improve network availability per session:

  • Reduce the number of sessions per host.
  • Use a higher-bandwidth network.
  • Drop the resolution of the connection.

If client resources are causing the bottleneck, try one of the following approaches to improve performance:

  • Install the most recent Remote Desktop client.
  • Increase memory and compute resources on the client machine.

Frames skipped due to insufficient client resources

Indicates the rate at which frames were skipped for this user due to insufficient client resources.

Frames/Sec

A low value is desired for this measure. Compare the value of this measure across users to know which user is connecting from a client sized with inadequate resources.

If this measure reports an unusually high value for a user, try one of the following approaches to improve the experience for that user:

  • Install the most recent Remote Desktop client.
  • Increase memory and compute resources on the client machine.

Frames skipped due to insufficient network resources

Indicates the rate at which frames were skipped for this user due to insufficient network resources.

Frames/Sec

A low value is desired for this measure. Compare the value of this measure across users to know which user is connecting via a network that is sized with inadequate resources.

If this measure reports an unusually high value for a user, try one of the following approaches to improve network availability for that user's sessions:

  • Reduce the number of sessions per host.
  • Use a higher-bandwidth network.
  • Drop the resolution of the connection.

Frames skipped due to insufficient server resources

Indicates the rate at which frames were skipped for this user due to insufficient server resources.

Frames/Sec

A low value is desired for this measure. Compare the value of this measure across users to know which user was unable to receive frames due to the lack of enough resources on the Microsoft RDS server.

If this measure reports an unusually high value for a user, try one of the following approaches to improve the experience of that user:

  • Reduce the number of sessions per host.
  • Increase the memory and compute resources on the server.
  • Drop the resolution of the connection.

Graphics compression ratio

Indicates the ratio of the number of bytes encoded to the number of bytes input for this user.

Percent

The compression ratio typically affects the quality of the picture. Generally, the higher the compression ratio, the poorer the quality of the resulting picture. Ideally therefore, the value of this measure should be 0. You can compare the value of this measure across users to identify that user whose picture output was very poor owing to high compression.

Input frames

Indicates the number of source frames provided per second as input to the RemoteFx graphics for this user.

Frames/Sec

 

Output Frames

Indicates the number of source frames sent per second to this user as output of RemoteFx graphics.

Frames/Sec

If this value is less than that of the Input Frames measure, it means that frames are being skipped. To identify the bottleneck, use the 'Frames skipped....' measures.

A high value for any of the 'Frames skipped...' measures implies that the problem is related to the resource the counter tracks. For example, if the client does not decode and present frames at the same rate the server provides the frames, the frames skipped due to insufficient client resources will be high.

On the other hand, if the value of this measure matches that of the Input frames measure, check the value of the Average frames encoding time measure. The value of the Average frames encoding time measure should be under 33 ms. If it is under 33 ms but you still have performance issues, there may be an issue with the app or operating system you are using.

Source frames

Indicates number of frames per second composed at the source for this user.

Frames/Sec

 

Base TCP round trip time

Indicates the time between initiating a network request and receiving a response over TCP for this user.

Secs

A high value for this measure could indicate a bottleneck in TCP connectivity between the user terminal and the server.

Base UDP round trip time

Indicates the time between initiating a network request and receiving a response over UDP for this user.

Secs

A high value for this measure could indicate a bottleneck in UDP connectivity between the user terminal and the server.

Current TCP bandwidth

Indicates the amount of data that is currently carried from one point to another over TCP for this user.

Kbps

A consistent rise in the value of this measure could indicate that TCP traffic to/from the user is consuming bandwidth excessively. Compare the value of this measure across users to identify that user who is performing bandwidth-intensive operations on the Microsoft RDS server.

Current TCP round trip time

Indicates the average time between initiating a network request and receiving a response over TCP for this user.

Secs

A high value could indicate a current problem with TCP connectivity between the user terminal and the server.

Current UDP bandwidth

Indicates the amount of data that is currently carried from one point to another over UDP for this user.

Kbps

A consistent rise in the value of this measure could indicate that UDP traffic to/from the user is consuming bandwidth excessively. Compare the value of this measure across users to identify that user who is performing bandwidth-intensive operations on the Microsoft RDS server.

Current UDP round trip time

Indicates the average time between initiating a network request and receiving a response over UDP for this user.

Secs

A high value could indicate a current problem with UDP connectivity between the user terminal and the server.

Forward error correction rate

Indicates the percentage of forward error corrections performed for this user.

Percent

RemoteFX UDP transport uses Forward Error Correction (FEC) to recover from the lost data packets. In the cases where such packets can be recovered, the transport doesn’t need to wait for the data to be retransmitted, which allows immediate delivery of data and prevents Head of Line Blocking. Preventing this stall results in an overall improved responsiveness.

A high value is hence desired for this measure.

Loss

Indicates the percentage of packets lost when being transmitted to this user.

Percent

A high value indicates that a large number of packets were lost without being retransmitted. By comparing the value of this measure across users, you can find that user who has suffered the maximum data loss. This could be owing to a bad network connection between the remote user terminal and the server.

Retransmission

Indicates the percentage of packets that have been retransmitted to this user.

Percent

Retransmissions should only occur when it is certain that a packet to be retransmitted was actually lost. Redundant retransmissions can also occur because of lost acknowledgments, coarse feedback, and bad retransmissions. Retransmission rates over 5% can indicate degraded network performance on a LAN. The internet may vary between 5 and 15 percent depending upon traffic conditions. Any value above 25 percent indicates an excessive number of retransmissions that will significantly increase the time for the file transfer and annoy the user.

TCP received rate

Indicates the rate at which the data is received over TCP for this user.

Kbps

A high value is desired for these measures as it indicates high TCP throughput.

TCP sent rate

Indicates the rate at which the data is sent over TCP for this user.

Kbps

UDP received rate

Indicates the rate at which the data is received over UDP for this user.

Kbps

A high value is desired for these measures as it indicates high UDP throughput.

UDP sent rate

Indicates the rate at which the data is sent over UDP for this user.

Kbps

Note:

Optionally, you can enable an EventLog test for the Microsoft RDS server to closely monitor the system and application events on the server. This test is disabled by default. To enable the test, go to the enable / disable tests page using the menu sequence : Agents -> Tests -> Enable/Disable, pick the Microsoft RDS as the desired Component type, set Performance as the Test type, choose the test from the disabled tests list, and click on the < button to move the test to the ENABLED TESTS list. Finally, click the Update button. This test is mapped to the Windows Service layer of the Microsoft RDS server component.