Video Conferencing on VDI could bring down your Network


With XenDesktop USB Passthrough, when a webcamera (ordinary/HD) is used, a huge load is put on the network as raw image data is transferred between thinclient and the VM.
for example idle traffic on a VDI machine can be viewed in the following screenshot.(Agent registration, edgesight monitoring etc..)
Idle VDI Traffic
When a web camera is turned on, network utilization spikes up from 100kbps to 90 Mbps.
WebCam Session
VDI Traffic with webcam
This is for one VDI machine, just imagine this on 100/1000 VM’s.


Logitech HD Webcam B990 which provides onboard H.264 encoding.


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  1. I’m seeing similar numbers in my XenDesktop 4 environment. Interestingly enough, after a few minutes, or when I maximize my videocamera screens, my HP 7720 thin client (700MB video memory) that is acting as the client to my XenDesktop bluescreens. I suspect this is due to insufficient bandwidth which causes the USB commands to become inconsistent. But I have no proof of this. Have you seen any bluescreens on your client device? What are you using as a client device?

  2. Hi Bill,
    I havent seen the BlueScreen on a thinclient due to webcam. The ones i worked on are
    Wyse (C90LEW, X90, Xenith), HP T5740, 10Zig Xpe, and VXL Eseries; of these Wyse Xenith is choosen because of easy administration and boot time.

  3. Hi Siva,
    Do you know of any XenDesktop Alternative Open Source that support USB Passthrough? I want to implement a VDI environment of 10-15 users with webcams for Skype.
    Thank you,

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