Monday, April 6, 2015

Improve Remote Desktop (RDP) Performance with Windows (Client and Server Settings)

These tips will be beneficial for those, who are experiencing

“Poor RDP performance, with windows machines due to less network bandwidths and server loads“

The gain is exponential, by applying these tweaks in more number of machines, that are being RDPed.
These tips were an outcome of a R&D, work conducted by us, on resolving RDP slowness in our environment, where more than 100 machines where RDPed from a remote location. We are using VMWare Horizon View Client to connect to our remote machines. These tips will also work , If you are using Microsoft Terminal Services Client (MSTSC).

We need to make the changes to both,

"Client Machine" (The system you will be using to connect to the Remote machine) , through MSTSC settings

"Remote Machine" (The machine to which you remotely connects to), through GPO settings.

 

Client Machine Settings

Here you need to simply tweak the 'Microsoft Terminal Services Client' (MSTSC) settings as below.

Step1: Take Microsoft Terminal Services Client (i.e Start->Run->MSTSC)

Step2: Select the 'Display' tab, and choose the 'color depth' as the lowest (15bit), as shown in the below figure

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Step3: Take 'Experience' tab, and 'uncheck' all settings as shown in the below figure.

Note: Optionally we can select 'Font smoothing', if you're not comfortable with the Non-Anti Aliased-'Fonts'.

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Step4: This step is optional, where you restricts the resources being shared with your remote computer.

The less the resources being shared, the more will be the performance gain.


For Audio, Choose 'Do not Play' and 'Do not record' options.

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Uncheck all options except 'Clipboard' (which allows copy/paste between our local and remote machines)

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Remote Machine Settings

The above settings can only be made (Client side), if we're allowed to use 'Microsoft Terminal Services Client' as the RDP client. In some cases, the infrastructure does not allow the use of 'MSTSC', to tighten the security, and they prefer the use of other 'RDP' clients like 'VMWare View Client' or 'VMWare Horizon VIew'.

In such cases, you can tweak your remote machine settings using GPO (Group Policy Objects), rather than in the client machine.

Apart from that, more performance optimization settings are available with Remote Machine. So no matter what, we've done with client settings, these remote machine settings, will outweigh them in sheer scale.

The steps are briefed below

Step1: Open'Group Policy MMC Snap in', using Start->Run->gpedit.msc

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Step2: Navigate to 'Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Remote Desktop Services->Remote Desktop Session Host->Remote Session Environment' (see the below figure)

Now enable the settings, rectangled in red in the below figure. Configure the settings as below.

Limit maximum color depth = 15bit
Enforce Removal of Remote Desktop wallpaper = true
Optimize Visual Experience when using RemoteFx = (Screen Capture Rate: Lowest + Image Quality: Lowest)
Set Compression Algorithm for RDP data = optimized to use less network bandwidth
Optimize Visual Experience for Remote Desktop Service Sessions = (Visual Experience = Text)
Configure Image Quality For RemoteFx Adaptive Graphics = Medium
Configure RemoteFx Adaptive Graphics = Optimize for minimum bandwidth usage


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The above settings known to dramatically improve the RDP performance as it reduces the use of network bandwidth and both server/client load on processing the RDP data.

You can get more on these settings in the MSDN by following
this link.

Step3: We can configure the below settings, to restrict the redirection of additional resources between the client/remote machine

If we does not require these resources to be redirected (esp like the Printer attached to the remote machine, we rarely use it for any real purpose. So go and disable the printer redirection)

By setting below options (in red rectangle), we can get more performance. For settings starts with 'Allow...', disable the setting. For settings start with 'Do not allow...', enable the setting.

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The above applies for 'Printer Redirection' section as well. Make the settings (in red rectangle) enabled.

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Step4: Disconnect and then reconnect to the remote machine, for the changes to be applied.

General Settings

Last but not the least, adjust both your client and remote computer for best performance. This setting can improve over all system performance.

For both client and remote machine, follow the below steps.

Step1: Open Computer properties

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Step2: Adjust for best performance

Navigate "Advanced system settings"->"Advanced Tab"->"Settings Button"->"Visual Effect Tab".

Select the radio button name 'Adjust for best performance'. Again if you're a fan of 'Anti-Aliased Font' (Clear Type Text), you can choose 'Custom' radio button with only 'smooth edges of screen fonts', checked.

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Conclusion

These settings have known to improve RDP and system performance in general. Hope someone facing a similar situation may benefit from these tips.

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