Friday, October 16, 2009

Remote Desktop Simulation Tools

Microsoft has recently released a very interesting tool, that can be useful in scoping the performance and capacity of a Remote Desktop deployment.

It is all Server 2008 and above based – Hyper-V of course and I am sure it is RDS centric, however I wonder how creative I can be in applying its capabilities to other scenarios or hosting systems.  As I can see this being very useful in making comparisons between supporting layers.

The Remote Desktop Simulation Tools


A quote from the download page:

The Remote Desktop Load Simulation toolset is used for server capacity planning and performance/scalability analysis.
In a server-based computing environment, all application execution and data processing occur on the server. Therefore it is extremely interesting to test the scalability and capacity of servers to determine how many client sessions a server can typically support under a variety of different scenarios. One of the most reliable ways to find out the number or users a server can support for a particular scenario is to log on a large number of users on the server simultaneously. The Remote Desktop Load Simulation tools provide the functionality which makes it possible to generate the required user load on the server.

A minimal test environment requires:

  1. Target Remote Desktop Server
  2. Client Workstations
  3. Test Controller Host


Mike said...

This does have some merit, as I run remote desktop software with many people on a session at any given time, and I am always curious of what the breaking point is. With that said, I still feel that a live test in an actual real life setting would be more valuable than any tool ever could be.

BrianEh said...

Simulation tools have their place, and the invenstment in building the real thing also has its place.
This is no different than testing with real users has its place (and getting feedback) vs. testing with simulated user actions has its place.
When it comes to testing the appropriate-ness of a test for a situation is as important as what the test itself is actually testing for (and how it is going about it).
With any tool there are hundreds of variables that must be considered, as well as the scenarios that you are considering (how you plan on using it).
Some products scale, others don't. It all depends.