The Esri Performance Engineering team has been benchmarking ArcGIS Pro in the virtualized environments using shareable GPU’s for a number of years. We have published a series of articles in order to assist our users in understanding the technology as … Continue reading
Next week at the 2017 Esri User Conference there will be an area dedicated to ArcGIS Pro virtualization. The Virtualization Island will be adjacent to the ArcGIS Pro Island and is focused exclusively on how to virtualize ArcGIS Pro both … Continue reading
Here at ESRI’s Performance Engineering Department in Redlands California, we have received multiple requests to virtualize ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Desktop. While ArcGIS Pro can be easily virtualized with leading virtualization vendors, we noticed our customers looking deeper into virtualization … Continue reading
When connecting to a virtual machine either on-premises, or in the cloud, users can now choose from several different protocols to make the vital connection between the backend server and the client. Where once limited to a simple text-based console or Remote Desktop (using RDP), we can now choose from other contemporary protocols. This blog discusses the performance of PCoIP and Blast, two common protocols that provide the necessary rich 3-D experience for ArcGIS Pro, while maximizing what can often be a constrained network connection on Desktop machines, Thin/Zero-Clients, and mobile devices. Before diving in, let’s take a moment to understand the difference between PCoIP and Blast. PCoIP uses the UDP protocol which is suited for media streaming. To use PCoIP, you need to use a client such as the horizon View client from VMware. VMware Blast Extreme can also use the same client yet uses the H.264 protocol for encoding video, and shares similar advantages of PCoIP. Blast, on the other hand, can use a modern browser’s ability to link to the Virtual Machine, without a plugin. While a user can use a client like the Horizon View client, they can also use a browser such as Chrome or Firefox to access and interact with a VM. Below is a demonstration of ArcGIS Pro running in both a PCoIP client and using a browser with Blast.
Quality of the network connection has a huge impact in performance and a superior visual experience. Under ideal circumstances, you may be connecting using a highly optimized LAN with ample bandwidth. Ultimately though, you may be connecting using a more constrained WAN/Internet, with wireless networks adding yet more instability to the connection. As you can see in the video, the quality for both systems running is comparable, and both perform well. ArcGIS Pro was both responsive and snappy to commands. Beyond testing with just a virtual machine connecting to a laptop, an iPhone was used to connect to the VM. To connect to the PCoIP instance, like the laptop experience, the iPhone needed to download a client, whereas a blast connection can be made with the browser. This kind of functionality means that with a virtualized environment ArcGIS Pro and the data can be housed with either a hosted or on premises solution, yet accessed from anywhere, allowing ArcGIS Pro to be taken anywhere and accessed as needed.
For additional information on virtualization please visit https://blogs.esri.com/esri/ and search for “virtualization” for additional information.
Current testing has been performed using a Dell r730 Virtualization Appliance, with information on that hardware able to be found here.
For additional information on VMware Blast please visit
For additional information on PCoIP please visit
At Esri we are focused on, and work on solutions that matter, as well give benefit our user community’s needs and requests. The Performance Engineering team has fielded several requests to run ArcGIS Pro with VMWare App Volumes. App Volumes … Continue reading
ArcGIS Pro Interactive Map Wall New at this year’s User Conference Map Gallery will be the ArcGIS Pro Interactive Map Wall. The Map Gallery has been a long time feature of the User Conference that is dedicated to showcasing user maps. … Continue reading
ArcGIS for Desktop has been developed for Windows Operating systems, but there are many users out there running ArcGIS Desktop on Macs. Two options are available. The user can install Windows in Boot Camp, a native feature of the Apple … Continue reading
As you could tell from previous blogs ArcGIS Pro can be easily virtualized. But the hardware that is needed is different than what has been used in the past. To help provide a clear description of the hardware needed to … Continue reading
We will be talking a lot about virtualization at the UC next week! A couple of announcements: Stop by the ArcGIS Desktop Island to talk about virtualization, see and use ArcGIS Pro in a VMWare Horizon View virtual machine served … Continue reading
During the development of ArcGIS Pro, the Performance Engineering Team at Esri has been testing ArcGIS Pro in virtualized environments with shareable GPU’s extensively within our lab. ArcGIS Pro needs to virtualize well and since GPU acceleration can be shared … Continue reading