JSI Tip 6075. Remote Desktop Protocol (<B>RDP</B>) features and performance white paper.

The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) features and performance white paper contains:


This white paper discusses the additional features and improved performance of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol ( RDP) in Windows® 2000 Terminal Services.

The performance of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) has been a much-discussed topic since the release of Windows NT® Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition (TS 4.0). The protocol is designed to provide remote display and input capabilities over network connections for Windows®-based applications running on a server.

When TS 4.0 was released, RDP was a new protocol based on an existing ITU T.120 family of protocols. The performance of the protocol (RDP 4.0), while considered effective by most people for LAN connections, lacked efficiency over low-bandwidth connections. RDP included essential components such as encryption and disconnect support, but lacked other commonly used features, requiring the purchase of third party add-ons.

In response to customer demand, Windows 2000 Terminal Services and the RDP 5.0 protocol includes several critical new features together with some significant performance improvements over all types of network connections, including LAN, WAN, and dial-up.

To test the relative performance improvements of RDP 5.0 over RDP 4.0, the Business Graphics WinMarkTM 99 test from ZD's WinBench 99® v1.0 was used. Video graphics adaptor performance test tools are useful for determining how efficient a remote display protocol performs when sending data to the client for display. The test results, and more importantly, the actual user experience, demonstrate that the performance of RDP 5.0 in Windows 2000 is substantially better than RDP 4.0 on TS 4.0, resulting in an improved user experience, less network bandwidth usage, and greater scalability on the server than before.

Microsoft intends to further this trend, by continuing to add features that customers demand and improving the performance of the protocol with subsequent releases of the Windows operating system.

Terminal Services Advanced Client

The Terminal Services Advanced Client (TSAC) has recently superceded the RDP client that ships with Windows 2000. The TSAC is based on the RDP 5.0 feature set, but comes in the form of an ActiveX® control. The performance of the TSAC is comparable to the previous client, but offers far more flexibility in its deployment. It can be downloaded and executed within Microsoft® Internet Explorer, or any application that can make use of ActiveX controls, such as those written in the Visual Basic® or Visual C++® development systems. In addition to the downloadable ActiveX control, it is also available in the form of an MSI (Windows Installer) package, which looks and feels to the end user like the traditional RDP 5.0 client.

Finally, the client is also available as an MMC snap-in, for administrators to use to assist with server administration.

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