Product: NComputing vSpace for X350/X550 desktop virtualization kits
Version: X-188.8.131.52 for 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows Server® 2008 R2, 2008 R2 SP1, Windows MultiPoint Server® 2010 (WMS), WMS 2010 SP1, WMS 2011 and single user instances of Windows 7 (64-bit) and Windows 7 SP1 (32-bit and 64-bit). Note that this release does NOT support any other earlier 64-bit Windows operating systems (e.g. it does NOT support Server 2008 64-bit).
This vSpace software can be configured to deliver a Windows 7 end-user experience through vSpace virtual desktops running on Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Multipoint Server 2011/2010, and single-user instances of 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 SP1. (For licensing details, see www.ncomputing.com/WindowsMultiUserLicensing, www.ncomputing.com/WindowsLicensingVDI, and www.ncomputing.com/WindowsDesktopandLaptopEnhancements)
These release notes contain important information regarding this vSpace software release for X-series products and should be read in their entirety. Also, please review the X-series User Manual available for download at http://www.ncomputing.com/documentation
What’s New – Summary:
This is a maintenance release that replaces the previous released version X-184.108.40.206 of vSpace for 64-bit operating systems and replaces the previous released version vSpace X-5.2.4 for Windows 7 32-bit (adding SP1 support). The following is a summary of the key changes:
- Added NComputing tab and link to NComputing Management Console from within the Windows MultiPoint Manager (on WMS 2011 only).
- Support for Windows 7 SP1 32-bit is included with this vSpace 6 release as an upgrade for customers running vSpace 5 (X-5.2.4.).
- For customers upgrading from vSpace 5, the key changes include:
- Use of new and improved NComputing Management Console (NC Console) that simplifies management and delivers more capabilities to administrators (see description of vSpace 6 console in user manual)
- Ability to more seamlessly transition to 64-bit operating systems, since the same vSpace 6 software can be used for current and new deployments.
- Overall performance, efficiency and compatibility improvements that come from running with the latest vSpace 6 architecture
- Single .exe installer applies to all supported operating systems (separate .MSI installer files are also included for 64-bit and 32-bit installation convenience)
Important notes on this release:
- Upgrades from vSpace 5 require an uninstallation of the vSpace 5 software prior to installing vSpace 6. Also, you will need to register the new vSpace 6 software.
- Registration Required: This vSpace release includes a trial license and must be registered together with the X-series PCI cards using the NComputing Registration Wizard to allow operation beyond 1 hour of session time. If vSpace on the host computer is not registered, trial mode host behavior will last for 30 days, and thereafter, NO X-series connections can be made. However, the vSpace registration wizard can still be run from the host system after the trial period expires. Registration reminder popups will periodically be displayed on the host console session and inside user sessions to encourage registration before the trial period expires.DO NOT try to register the system without X-series cards installed.
- No reset of trial period: The trial license period begins when any version of vSpace is first installed on a host. Note that uninstalling and then reinstalling vSpace does not reset the 30-day trial period. If you are installing this software on a system which previously had ANY version of vSpace installed (for example, when upgrading Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2), then this vSpace code will normally need registration before any X-series devices can connect.
- Online and Offline registration options: Online registration can be done if TCP ports 80 or 3630 are open to the internet. Offline registration can be done by emailing the file created by the registration wizard to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- A second reboot after the installation of vSpace may be required. After the first reboot, sessions may not connect, in this case a second reboot will be required.
- Do not install on a U-series or L-series host or on top of any beta software: Do not install this on an OS where vSpace for the U- or L-series (or any beta version) was previously installed. If your system has vSpace for U- or L-series installed, you will need to start from a clean OS installation. However, this version can be installed to update the previous X-series version X-6.2.1
- Do not install in a virtual machine: the X-series is not supported with virtual machines. The operating system and vSpace must be installed directly on the physical hardware.
- Licensing server required: Microsoft RDS CALs (for Server 2008 R2) or WMS CALs (for WMS) are required to use the system in a multi-user configuration. You must also implement a Microsoft licensing server to enable connections. For more information on license requirements, see www.ncomputing.com/mslicensing and refer to the NComputing Knowledge Base for information on setting up a license server (search on “licensing” or go to: http://www.ncomputing.com/kb/How-to-Configure-a-Remote-Desktop-Licensing-Server-for-vSpace-6_281.html).
Tips and Performance Recommendations
- Installation on Windows MultiPoint Server 2011: device logons will not be reflected in the MultiPoint Manager console without applying the Microsoft hot fix KB 2542222. Please see: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2542222
- Memory Requirements: 64-bit operating systems in general require double the memory of Server 2003; therefore, if you are upgrading an existing host, please make sure the host has 64-bit processing support and has sufficient memory to accommodate the new operating system and vSpace. See the user manual for specific memory recommendations.
- Add Users to Remote Desktop Users: The supported Microsoft operating systems require User Group assignments; so administrators will need to adjust user account settings to add them into the "Remote Desktop Users" group(s).
- OS Performance Settings: The operating system Power Options setting should be configured to “High Performance” (under Control Panel > Hardware > Power options). Microsoft’s default power setting gives a false impression that vSpace CPU utilization is much higher than on previous 32-bit operating systems. Also, for best user performance, make the following two modifications under the performance section of the operating system’s “Computer System Properties” Advanced tab:
- Increase virtual memory settings to prevent users from experiencing sluggish performance and/or running low on available memory.
- Select the “Adjust for Best Performance” option or deselect unneeded options under Visual effects to remove superfluous desktop visual effects that can negatively impact performance.
- Do not Hot-swap/Hot-plug access devices: if you need to reconfigure the cabling to your access devices, power the system down, make the changes, and then power-up again. Hot swapping/hot-plugging of the access devices is not supported and could cause a problem with the host system.
- Windows 7 Desktop Theme: If you install the Windows Server 2008 R2 “Desktop Experience” feature, start the “Themes” system service and set it to autostart, then each individual can “personalize” their virtual desktop to use a Windows 7- themed interface. However, remote sessions do not support the “Aero glass” window transparency feature.
- Restart for Resolution Change: The X-series cards have global resolution settings (all sessions on one card must have the same resolution). After changing the resolution, the host has to be restarted to get the new resolution. Resolutions can be changed only from the host, not from the sessions (this is the opposite of the previous version 6.2.1).
- Host session requires USB hub on WMS: For WMS, Microsoft requires that a USB hub is connected in between the keyboard and mouse used for the host.
- Browsers: Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have been found to use less system resources than Internet Explorer (IE) and are therefore recommended for virtual desktop environments when many instances of the browser are launched. Administrators may wish to configure the OS to replace IE as the default browser application for internet access. If you do use Internet Explorer for browsing:
- We STRONGLY recommend turning ON Internet Explorer’s option to "Force offscreen compositing even under Terminal Services". This will prevent screen flickering that can occur with some web applications when using Internet Explorer in a vSpace virtual desktop.
- The IE Enhanced Security feature can slow down internet traffic, prevent the browser from working efficiently, and may degrade the performance of videos played through the browser. We recommend either uninstalling the feature or using a different web browser.
- Refer to User Manual for Details: For more information please see the X-series User’s Guide in the Support section on our website: http://www.ncomputing.com/documentation
The following are known issues that have been observed with this release:
- Logon to host and stations with same user ID can cause BSOD: on some systems if a user logs into the host session (directly connected to the host computer) with the same user ID as a user that has already logged into a X-series station, then the host system may lock up with a blue screen. Several workarounds are available including:
- Primary recommendation: use unique user login IDs for each station and the host
- Ensure that the host user logs in before any stations using the same user ID log in.
- Change the DirectX configuration by changing the following registry setting to 0: [HKEY Local Machine > System > CurrentControlSet >Control > Multiuser > Disable DirectX]
- DirectX applications: For certain gaming applications (not generally recommended for use with vSpace) and some video formats played in Windows Media Player, you may experience a high degree of CPU utilization with these applications. You can adjust vSpace’s handling of DirectX by changing the following registry setting to 0: [HKEY Local Machine > System > CurrentControlSet >Control > Multiuser > Disable DirectX]
- However, when doing so, you may encounter problems with Windows Media Player. If you do, you should either: 1) not have a user logged into the host session, 2) turn off the Aero interface on the host session, or 3) uninstall the native video card driver on the host and install the default Windows VGA driver.
- Windows Media Player Video performance: Under certain conditions where CPU utilization is high, and certain types of streaming media are being played in Windows Media Player for a long time (e.g. looping a high resolution HD video), you may encounter that the update rate of video frames will not keep up with the audio being played and slow down substantially and/or stop. In these circumstances, you can either restart the video file, increase the available host performance or simply use another type of free media player such as VLC or Media Player Classic (in non-EVR mode).
- On the X350, 1360x768 resolution is NOT supported with this release on 64-bit systems. The X550 DOES support this resolution on 64-bit systems.
- Silent mode installation: does not currently support all parameters (may result in pop-ups that must be clicked through on server operating systems)
- Screen saver: the Windows screen saver function is not supported. Instead use the monitor power saving feature built into the vSpace Management Console (can set the timing in the station settings).
- Auto-login: when setting up autologin for the stations from the management console, the username may become truncated. If this is encountered, enter the username in the Auto-login settings in the NCTray utility within each user session.
- Kiosk mode: not supported in this release (access denied error may appear if configured). Note, in case this mode is accidentally entered from within the NCTray utility in a session, the parameter can be changed from the central management console.
- Microphone connection on host: if a microphone is used on the host together with a sound recording application, the recording application may stop functioning (e.g. Windows Sound Recorder)
- Installation may require a second reboot after the installation of vSpace. After the first reboot, sessions may not connect, in this case a second reboot is required.