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  • We have a small lab space that seats 10 people and has 20 machines.
  • Each machine is set to 1920x1200 resolution because the user apps are best used at that resolution.
  • Currently the machines are all located close enough to montors that a DisplayPort cable will reach, but the pending lab remodel positions them around 80 feet or more away in racks.
  • Our proposed solution is to use PCoIP.
  • We purchased 10 PCoIP portals and 20 PCoIP host cards.
  • We plan to set up a dedicated network to handle just the PCoIP traffic.

After testing just one portal and one host card with a cheap 1G switch from a local office supply store, we were left with less than good impressions about the usefulness in our lab. The framerates were not spectacular and the mouse seemed jerky. Our concern is that we can't get away with the cheap 1G stuff from the store because adding more machines to the switch will just make the user experience worse.

What switch would be recommended to best support our PCoIP situation? We will need to plug in at least 30 cables based on just those machines. Is there a particular feature to search for that makes a difference? Is there a switch that works best with PCoIP?

Added Info: The reporting webapp for the host card shows maximum bandwidth usage to be 220000 kbps. The average appears to be around 180000 kbps. The reverse direction is much lower, like 15000 kbps.

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3 Answers 3

What's the approximate bandwidth consumed? Both "in total" (with all "displayed" displays active, I take it that's roughly 10) and "for a single machine/display"?

I suspect the crucial point would be the backplane capacity of the switch, as that'll limit the total amount of traffic you're pushing through.

EDIT So, 220 Mbps, roughly. From your description, that looks to be a per-display value. I would expect that to work fine in any Gig-capable switch, once you're out of the "intended for consumer usage" tranche. You'll probably still be limited by the backplane of the switch, as you go to more displays. I can't really recommend any specific model, but any switch that provides a console port, telnet/ssh interface and SNMP, with 20-odd Gbps ports should work fine.

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First update the firmware on the Portals and the card to version 3.3 Then start testing again...

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Most switches (even the somewhat cheaper ones) have full switching fabric (meaning they can send and receive on all ports simultaneously, or close thereto). Just look at the switching fabric (sometimes also called throughput) of the device, it should be 2Gbps per port.

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