L-series Host Scaling

Server Scaling Guide / Sizing Guidelines for vSpace and RDP Implementations


One of the principal advantages of deploying multiple users on a single host, whether a PC, physical server or virtual machine, is that you can readily scale the size of your deployment as your users’ needs grow. Rather than being forced to purchase expensive new computing resources for each new user, you can simply expand the capacity of your host system. Then, this guide will assist you on preparing your Session Host for deployment using vSpace Pro or RDP for your endpoint devices. Here you have a solid reference to estimate resource allocation when building your Session Host server.   

Additional to the specifications mentioned on this article, please note the following information to additionally help your Session Host performance based on the scenarios below: 

Regarding vSpace Pro scenarios:

Our latest platform, vSpace Pro Enterprise, uses our proprietary communication protocol UXP2.0, added with UXP Turbo, as described on our vSpace Pro webpage. This increases performance by adding the ability to tap on the graphics card of the Session Host for better performance and video playback. Added, for our new RX Series thin clients, vCAST is available for the improvement of video streaming on selected websites.  

Regarding RDP scenarios: 

Microsoft's RDP is the protocol of choice for many of our customers and has also improved as of lately with optimizations for performance and multimedia. Our thin end point solutions support versions RDP 8 and 10. NComputing also offers SuperRDP for the improvement of video streaming, which is available for purchase at our Management Portal

"User Workload" Calculation. The vantage point of dimensioning.

Sizing or dimensioning of the Session Host is one of the most popular questions that our customers ask. The traditional perception is to have a base system requirements configuration, ready to follow, however, in virtualization, proper determination of resources is, rather, relative; but has a clear vantage point where to begin.

Such point of perspective is the "user workload". Defined, it is: the number of users, intended application suite and overall performance expectation. These facts will determine how powerful a host system must be in order to deliver the desired end-user experience. 
You should forecast your own user workload scenario for the users you expect to connect to a host considering:  
1. The apps that the users need. What kind if app are these? Are they graphics intensive? This will be very important facts to consider and will determine your user workload scenario.
2. The amount of users you will have connecting to the Session Host. User density will require more resources from your Session Host's hardware. 

Once you determine what your user workload looks like, you will have a scenario to compare to a matching one below that best describes your desired environment. 

The following user workload scenarios are good estimated suggestions of different scenarios of usage. In each, is assumed that the users are involved, are sequentially cycling through, and completing tasks within the listed applications:  

Low Workload Scenario (300 Base Passmark benchmark score)
• Microsoft Office® applications: one instance of Word and Excel® per user.   
• Opening and viewing a PDF file.
• Web browser, with two windows/tabs active.*

Medium Workload Scenario (400 Base Passmark benchmark score)
• Microsoft Office applications. Including PowerPoint® per user. (Workload is related to use of graphics)   
• Opening and viewing a PDF file
• Web browser, with three windows/tabs active*
• Non graphic-intensive applications. 
• Limited scrolling on webpages.

High Workload Scenario (600-800 Base Passmark benchmark score)
• Microsoft Office applications. Including apps that use graphics.  
• Opening and viewing a PDF file
• Web browser, with several tabs active*
• Video streaming or playback **
• General apps that require graphics and constant image changes.

* Google Chrome web browser may use higher resources
**Base numbers for video streaming, higher than 720p in all sessions, can suggest a greater value than the given 800 Base Passmark benchmark score. 

Once your workload is selected, you will be able to determine the Processor based on the supplied Passmark benchmark score. 

Choosing a Processor 

The website http://www.cpubenchmark.net/ has informative data we can use as a measuring tool in order to estimate the right candidate for a processor.  All processors are arranged in order of "PassMark CPU score", based on server orientated benchmark testing.  

Now that there is an idea of what the workload looks like and you have a Base Passmark Benchmark score number, multiply it by the number of sessions that you have planned to have, and will total the PassMark number needed in order to estimate the processor of choice.

Apps + Number of Sessions = User Workload.   

For example, let's say that you are looking to build a medium user workload system, and you want it for 30 users.  So the equation will be as follows:

400 (Medium workload base score) X 30 (User Sessions) = 12000 (CPU Passmark score to go reference at their website to determine your processor)  

The final number is your Passmark score and is the number that will help you estimate your CPU.  As you can see in the PassMark website, an Intel Xeon E5-2640 v4 @ 2.40GHz will correspond to this number and can be the desired candidate for this system.

Estimating RAM 

RAM should be estimated as 0.5 to 1 Gb per user, depending on the estimated workload. Additional to this estimation, we recommend to leave 8 GB just for the Operating System to run properly.    

Selecting a Hard Disk 

We recommend to use SSD or M.2 drives for the OS and for vSpace to run. For very basic sizing, a 128 GB or 256 GB drive can be enough, but in order to have optimal space and room for OS Chores, user space, page file, etc., size should be at least 500 GB. 
For users space, and documents, you could use a separate storage system or additional disk that best fits your needs (HDD, NAS, SAN, SSD, M.2) 
If you need to use a mechanical HDD, choose a high RPM disk. 10,000 RPM or 15,000 at least. 

Video Card  

Please note that vSpace Pro Enterprise now offers the ability to tap on the graphics card for additional performance of the sessions. (Please read the release notes of the latest version supplied at the download page)  
For everything else, adding a video card that supports DirectX 11 or higher has shown to improve performance.


If you have density of users, please use a Gigabit backbone from point to point. NIC card should be at least 1Gb or 10 Gb network speeds. Cabling in your deployment should be no less than CAT 5e or better.   

Final Comments 

This document is provided to you as a starting point for sizing your deployment, however, we stress that your own in-house testing should be conducted for the final determination of your host systems’ configurations.

We hope this information is helpful to you.

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