I received an email from the TechNet event in Detroit last week and I thought it was worth sharing. Here is the email:

I attended the Virtualization event in Southfield the other day.  Thank you very much for the presentation, there was a lot of useful information and got me excited again to mess around with Hyper-V.

I have a question I’m hoping you can help with regarding RemoteFX.  I understand this allows virtualization of workstations to use dedicated video cards rather than CPU to render video.  How well would this technology work for a CAD implementation?  We have a client that uses CAD and is thinking of upgrading their PCs.  I was wondering if we could virtualize the CAD environments and just have them remote into a beefy Hyper-V server rather than individual workstations.  The concern is obviously on resolution displayed over the RDP connection. 

What are your thoughts on such an implementation?  Any ideas or input is appreciated.

Yes, that is exactly what RemoteFX was built for. It is for virtualizing high workload graphic situations. Yes, it works for CAD situations as well as graphics and video. You will want to test your specific use scenarios to determine your exact scalability. Below are several links to whitepapers that discusses the use of RemoteFX configuration and scalability with Virtual Windows desktops.

The whitepapers below should help with sizing a remoteFX box. You can build your server with multiple video cards in it to increase your scale on that server. When using Remote FX the first bottle neck you hit is the amount video memory. This is because each session will reserve a chunk of the available video memory where it will keep it’s desktop infromation. When you run out of video memory you won’t be able to start another RemoteFX enabled VM. There is a helpful chart of memory usage by screen size (resolution) in the first whitepaper.

Microsoft RemoteFX for Remote Desktop Virtualization Host Capacity Planning Guide for Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=111

Microsoft RemoteFX for Session Virtualization: Architectural Overview
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=1934

Hardware Considerations for RemoteFX
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff817602(WS.10).aspx

Remote Desktop Session Host Capacity Planning in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft RemoteFX in Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=17190

***Don’t forget to check out the whole 30 part series of “The Cloud on your Terms”:
http://mythoughtsonit.com/?page_id=763