Frequently Asked Questions About vCloudPoint’s VDI Solution

How to set up the VDI system?

Either installing or managing a VDI system requires the IT pro to be knowledgeable of or experienced in the virtualization platform.

“1 Virtual Machine: 1 User” Deployment

1) Virtualize the server and create virtual machines based on the number of users.

2) Install vMatrix Server Manager on each virtual machine.

3) Connect the zero clients and users are ready to work.

“1 Virtual Machine: Multiple Users” Deployment

1) Virtualize the server and create virtual machines based on the types of users.

2) Install vMatrix Server Manager on each virtual machine.

3) Create user accounts with vMatrix Server Manager.

4) Install RDP Wrapper or Windows Remote Desktop Licensing Role in the virtual machines.

3) Connect the zero clients and users are ready to work.

Can vCloudPoint zero clients work with virtualization products from other vendors, like VMware or Citrix?

vCloudPoint zero clients combined with vMatrix Server Manager provides endpoint access to virtual desktops. vMatrix Server Manager works in any Windows mounted machines, providing connection service, enhanced performance for vCloudPoint zero client users, and unified endpoint management for the IT admin. vMatrix Server Manager can integrate with server virtualization infrastructure solutions from VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft. End Users connect through vMatrix Server Manager within the virtual machines to easily access virtual desktops created by Exsi, Citrix hypervisor (XenServer), Hyper-V, KVM or VirtualBox and managed by their virtualization platforms. vMatrix Server Manager also extends the virtualization value by changing the typical virtual desktop structure from one user per virtual machine to up to 99 users per virtual machine. When paired with server virtualization infrastructure solutions you can support hundreds of users on a server with a minimal number of operating systems.  Since vMatrix Server Manager takes the role of the desktop agent, it cannot work desktop connection software from other vendors, like VMware Horizon View and Citrix Desktops (XenDesktop, VDI-in-a-box).


How is the performance of the remote desktop on a zero client?

Zero clients offer nothing locally but just enable users to connect to a remote desktop. In other words, the residing hardware of a zero client do not act on jobs of processing locally, but only to initialize a conversation with the network, begin network protocol processes, and display desktop output. Therefore, the configuration of a zero client itself does not contribute to the remote desktop performance.  There are a few aspects help with good performance of the remote desktop: well-configured host, low latency & high-bandwidth network, and high efficient remote display protocol. Of the above 3 aspects, only the display protocol is determined by the zero clients. vCloudPoint zero clients utilized our innovative DDP (Dynamic Desktop Protocol) for remote desktop display. This protocol is purpose-built for zero clients and is designed to make efficient use of the network bandwidth and host resources, delivering a user experience that is indistinguishable from running on a PC. With DDP, vCloudPoint zero client users can edit documents, chat on IM, write emails, browse websites, enjoy songs& movies, handle graphic designs and use USB devices as they do on a regular PC.

How to use USB devices on the zero clients?

USB devices that are tested to work on the vCloudPoint zero clients:

Storage Devices, USB Hubs, Single, Multi-functional & Dot Matrix Printers,Smart Card Reader, Office &
POS Scanners, Single Touch Screens, U keys, Parallel to USB Converters, etc; An external power supply
may be required for devices working on large voltage.

Click to download the list of  tested USB devices ; other USB devices that are not listed but functions in the same way are supposed to be supported as well.

Using USB devices with vCloudPoint zero clients:

To use USB devices with vCloudPoint zero clients, you simply installed the native device driver on the host system as you normally do when using PCs. NO extra drivers are required for the zero clients. vCloudPoint USB redirection technology allows USB devices to work on the zero clients as well as on the host.

Printing devices and storage connected to shared host can be accessed by all client users. Printing devices connected to the zero client can be accessed by all other users but storage devices connected to the zero client can be accessed to the current user only due to vCloudPoint’s vCell User Isolation technology.

If the vCloudPoint zero client supports connection through wireless LAN.

You can connect the zero clients through wireless network by attaching a compatible external USB antenna to it. There are two ways for you to get the external USB antenna.

1, You can purchase the external USB antenna from your local vCloudPoint dealer.

2, Any antenna that is built with RTL8188EUS chip and connects with USB 2.0 standard is supported by vCloudPoint zero clients.

Given blow is the specification of the external USB antenna:

Connection USB2.0
Chip RTL8188EUS
Antenna External 5dBi antenna
Antenna standard IEEE 802.11g
IEEE 802.11b
IEEE 802.11n
Speed 11b:1/2/5.5/11 Mbps
11g:6/9/12/18/24/36/48/54 Mbps
11n: up to 150 Mbps
Distance up to 200 meters indoor
Frequency range 2.4~2.4835GHZ
Working channel 1~14
Security features WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK
64/128/152bit WEP encryption
Power 2.5W

Steps to configure external WIFI:

1, attach the USB antenna to the zero client;

2, reboot the zero client;

3, go to the “Network” page and you will see the WIFI option coming. See pictures below.

(the WIFI option will automatically display on Network page once the WIFI module is detected on device boot.)

Note: although vCloudPoint offers a wireless option, customers are strongly recommended to use vCloudPoint zero clients with wired connection, as user experience may significantly compromised due to the unreliable and high latency of most wireless network.

How does Microsoft license the Windows desktop for virtual environments?

What kind of Microsoft license should I purchase for using the Windows desktop for virtual environments?

The license you should purchase for virtual environment depends on the type of Windows OS you use within a VM.

  • Running a Windows Server OS within a VM: (1 VM for multiple users)

Besides the standard server OS licenses based on the actual number used, each vCloudPoint zero clients will need a Remote Desktop Services Client Access License (RDS CAL) along with a Windows Server Client Access License (WS CAL).

  • Running a Windows Client OS within a VM: (1 VM for 1 user)

Besides the standard Client OS licenses based on the actual number used, each vCloudPoint zero clients will need a Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) in order to access a Windows VDI desktop.

 What is Windows Server Client Access Licenses (WS CALs)
A Windows Server CAL is a license that allows customers to access Windows Server. CALs are used in conjunction with Microsoft Windows Server OS licenses to allow Users and/or Devices to access and utilize the services of that server OS.

 What is Remote Desktop Service Client Access Licenses (RDS CALs)

RDS CALS are required for users or devices that want to utilize Remote Desktop Service functionality on Windows Server.

About the version of CALs

Windows Server CALs must be the same version as—or higher than—the server software they are accessing. In other words, users or devices accessing a server running Windows Server 2016 must have Windows Server 2016 CALs. Additionally, Windows Server 2016 CALs may be used to access Windows Server 2012 (but Windows Server 2012 CALs cannot be used to access Windows Server 2016).

 What is Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA)?

Windows VDA is a device based subscription designed to help organizations license devices that do not qualify for Windows Client SA, such as thin clients and contractor-owned PCs, so these devices can access a virtual desktop. Windows VDA is available for $100 / year/ device through all major Microsoft Volume Licensing (VL) programs.
Pricing is retail pricing in USD, and prices may vary depending on your location and agreement with Microsoft. Microsoft reserves the right to change prices at any time.

The result of the licensing model differences by a 30-user deployment using 1 VM with server OS for 30 users, 30 VMs with client OS for 30 users, and 5 VMs with client OS for 5 users + 1 VM with server OS for 25 users, over 3 years can be seen in the following example:

1 VM with server OS for 30 users: 1 server OS license for each VM ($883) + For each client device: ( 1 Server device CAL ($30) and 1 RDS device CAL ($102) x 30 = $883x 1 + $132 x 30 = $4,843

30 VMs with client OS for 30 users: 30 target desktop OS licenses ($187 each) x 30 + For each client device: VDA rights subscription ($100 / device / year) x 30 devices x 3 years = $14,610

5 VMs with client OS for 5 users + 1 VM with server OS for 25 users: 5 target desktop OS licenses ($187 each) x 5 + For each client device: VDA rights subscription ($100 / device / year) x 5 devices x 3 years + 1 server OS license ($883) + For each client device: ( 1 Server device CAL ($30) and 1 RDS device CAL ($102) x 25 = $187x 5 + $100x 5x 3+ $883x 1 + $132 x 25 = $6618

* Cost based on 30 zero clients (not eligible for SA) over 3 years, Windows Server 2012 R2 standard, Windows 8.1 Pro, US VOL pricing, corporate customers.

Note: you cannot purchase Windows VDA outright. It is only available as a subscription.

While deploying zero clients from vCloudPoint, the required licenses mentioned above must be purchased from Microsoft. It is significant to note that Microsoft’s license policy varies between countries and vCloudPoint users are requested to refer to their local Microsoft’s partners before purchase.

For further details on Microsoft’s licensing for virtual environments please refer to Microsoft’s website or licensing documents: “VDA_Brochure” and “Microsoft VDI and VDA FAQ v3 0“.

What languages does the software support?

The languages that the vMatrix Server Manager software and the zero client support include Simplified Chinese, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Russian, Polish, Slovak, Korean and Persian. More languages will be added in future updates. The default language for the vMatrix Server Manager is the system language. The default language for the zero client is English. Customers may change the language at the display menu of the login interface.

What are the limitations of the VDI solution?

1, VDI is a highly flexible and manageable desktop computing solution but at the time it is much more costly and complex when compared to traditional PC solution. Before making the purchase decision, customers shall have a thorough estimation of the overall costs and make sure you have skillful IT staff to manage the virtual desktop infrastructure.

2, For multiple users connecting to a shared virtual machine, they will also have the same application and resources contention issue as they experience in shared computing (RDS). But for users each connecting to an independent virtual machine, they won’t have these issues.

3, vCloudPoint zero clients support conventional USB devices such as printers, scanners, storage devices, etc. If you need to use a typical USB device on the zero clients, please consult us before purchase.

4, The vCloudPoint solution requires reliable and low latency local network. Wireless LAN or WAN connection is recommended for individual and occasional use only. As a poor network connection will cause unexpected disconnection and compromised experience.

5,  Centralized computing may cause a one-down-all-down issue. If your use case is sensitive about immediate access. make sure you have a fail-over configuration during deployment. VM migration and failover are features available in most virtualization solutions.