Dedicated VNC server for another server

Alex Angelopoulos alex "at" bittnet.com
Thu, 31 Jan 2002 02:30:38 +0000


This looks interesting.  I think the best approach for me if I ever want
to do more than dabble in this thing is to try to undertake a small
modification project for WinVNC on my own.  Every time I see a new page
I am once again amazed at how straightforward it seems to be to get VNC
to do exactly what you want...

<pontification>
I think VNC is a classic example of the strength of an open source
heritage in developing a product.  Even though it didn't start out as a
classic "develop it for everyone else" tool, the initial design
philosophy was thoroughly unixish (which bears a lot of the "genetic
mentality" of Open Source) and the open source availability has produced
an incredible number of children.  In my opinion, VNC historically has
been an absolute dog in terms of overall performance and feature set -
which is very much normal for many Unixish tools initially.

The strength is that there is a fierce genetic competition and
accelerated evolution for tools - and very quickly they are worn down
into comfortable fit for some use. You don't have to pretend that the
original developers are the only people that can try something. In fact,
*everyone* tries hacking up VNC and improving it (Well, actually it's
usually a friend of a friend - as opposed to Windows where it's the
third-cousin once-removed of a distant acquaintance who was promptly
shut down by the SPA).
</pontification>

Thanks again for the info Michael - I love being on a mailing list where
someone has actually gotten their arms bloody to the shoulders in a
tool.. :)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Ossmann" <michael.ossmann "at" alttech.com>
To: <vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com>
Sent: Wednesday/2002 January 30 19:08
Subject: Re: Dedicated VNC server for another server


: On Wed, Jan 30, 2002 at 06:19:15PM -0500, Alex Angelopoulos wrote:
: > Michael - correct me if I'm wrong - it sounds like you're saying
that in
: > neither case was the Tier3 system a Windows box running WinVNC and
: > simply exporting to the Tier 2 system.
:
: True, although you could certainly run vncviewer on tier 2, connecting
: to WinVNC on tier 3, giving you a chained VNC connection.  If you are
: running a VNC server on tier three, however, it would probably be
easier
: and more efficient to simply have the 2nd tier forward ports to tier
3.
:
: >  I am curious about how such a system could improve performance.
The
: > only way I could see it doing it for a Windows Tier 3 system is if
the
: > Tier 2 server had a high-speed connection to Tier 3 and if Tier 1
was on
: > a slow link - then the communication transactions between Tier 2 and
: > Tier 3 would all happen quickly.
:
: That's how I've had it set up: tiers 2 and 3 are on an internal LAN
and
: tier 1 clients are roaming.  RDP (the Windows Terminal Services
: protocol) is pretty heavy on the wire (but getting lighter).  It works
: great on a LAN, but it is best to gateway it into a VNC connection (or
: Tarantella, or Citrix) if you want to provide access over the
Internet.
: Performance is definitely an advantage of using an RDP/RFB gateway
: because WinVNC doesn't perform as well as Terminal Sevices.  A gateway
: also allows you to provide true multi-user access to a Windows server
: via VNC.  I've been using rdesktop inside Xvnc, but it would be more
: efficient on the 2nd tier server to use a direct RDP<->RFB gatewaying
: process like rdp2vnc:
:
: http://libvncserver.sourceforge.net/
:
: If you have a low bandwidth connection between tiers 2 and 3, then
you'd
: have to use RFB (VNC), ICA (Citrix), or AIP (Tarantella) over that
link.
: RDP will probably join this category within the next year, which will
: make it much more attractive, although probably not enough to outweigh
: the licensing issues.  :-)
:
: --
: Mike Ossmann, Tarantella/UNIX Engineer/Instructor
: Alternative Technology, Inc.  http://www.alttech.com/
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