Improving VNC Performance

Cynthia Taylor and Joe Pasquale
May 20, 2009

Virtual Network Computing, or VNC, is a popular thin client application used to access files and applications on remote computers. It is especially relevant as infrastructure to support ubiquitous computing applications, as it offers a way to run data-and-computation-intensive applications and allow users to access them through lightweight devices. However, VNC can suffer from significant losses in throughput when there is high latency between the client and server. In this work, we present a Message Accelerator proxy for VNC. This Message Accelerator mitigates high latency network effects while maintaining the advantages of a client-pull system. By operating near/on the server, it can send updates to the client at a rate corresponding to proxy-server interactions which are faster than client-server interactions. When testing using video, our Message Accelerator design results in frame rates an order of magnitude higher than plain VNC when running under high latency conditions.

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