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Are there any good solutions out there for remote workers that require remote desktop access? My challenge is that it must support at least decent flash acceleration. The workers rely on an application that does a lot of SQL querying as well as an integrated web browser where they frequently go to sites that require flash.

I was always under the impression that flash and video over RDP was generally not something one could expect to work well. Up until recently I had only attempted to view flash and video over RDP on a WAN. I found that both flash content and video will work acceptably over a LAN however. So, if bandwidth were not a factor, we would be fine but that is not the case.

My goal is to give remote workers as close to a desktop-like experience as possible over a WAN without adding hardware or extra software licensing if I can get away with it.

So far I have tried a few different RDP clients like Ericom Blaze. They seem OK but still fall short of an acceptable experience when flash sites are taken into consideration.

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how many remote users are we talking about? –  Malnizzle Aug 18 '11 at 14:01
    
right now only about 4-5 people but this may eventually need to scale to 10-20 users –  Cliff Racer Aug 18 '11 at 14:56

3 Answers 3

If you are using, or can use, Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows 7 SP1 Clients then you have the capability to use RemoteFX with RDP which adds enhancements to RDP's graphics functions. I've not tried it from remote location but may be worth looking at.

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Thanks for mentioning this! I failed to say that is one thing I have already looked at. The server that hosts remote desktop services right now has RemoteFX installed but I have not seen any real improvement so far. After researching it a little more there are some very specific hardware requirements for it to work as it should. What it seems to require to work to its fullest is an actual hyper-v hosted virtual machine, which unfortunately this particular server cannot handle due to hardware restrictions. –  Cliff Racer Aug 18 '11 at 14:28

Why not just have the users VPN into the netwok? If the users' host is a security risk, why not deploy Live CD's or USB' that would provide for a clean environment & allow for a VPN. You can also use RDP on many linux systems, so they could use RDP to access other portions of the desktop, just not the flash sites

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We are using RDP right now over a VPN but the problem we run into is when the software's internal web browser attempts to load Flash sites. It makes the entire RDP session run at a snail's pace. –  Cliff Racer Aug 18 '11 at 15:04
    
I should also say that we have attempted to simply run the software from the user's local desktop. While that takes care of the Flash problem, we then run into slowdowns as the software attempts to query the SQL DB. In short, running the app locally fixes one problem but creates another. –  Cliff Racer Aug 18 '11 at 15:06
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It sounds kina like you're stuck in a no win situation, or at least one that expensive to fix. Do you have users who do not have as many problems with their RDP sessions as others? If so try to find out why and then attempt to replicate their situation. It's likely they have more bandwidth. –  tkrabec Aug 18 '11 at 15:16
    
LOL, that was one of my first comments when presented with this challenge. "How much money are we willing to throw at this one?" was my question. I attempted to run an RDP session from my home over the same VPN using the application and while the user experience was better (my home internet bandwidth is 3Mb+) I am willing to bed that it still is not quite good enough for the users to consider RDP 'usable' –  Cliff Racer Aug 18 '11 at 15:25
    
You also have to worry about the "up" speed not jsut the 3 megs down. with 3 megs down I'm willing to say you've got between 128 & 384k up –  tkrabec Aug 18 '11 at 15:30

You could try to use teamviewer for light use, i.e. its great for support or something like vnc for multiple clients

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Teamviewer is no better at displaying moving graphics than RDP –  Sam Aug 19 '11 at 14:36
    
I tried it out myself and concur –  Cliff Racer Aug 23 '11 at 13:12

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