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Network Performance Requirements

This section describes the minimal network infrastructure needed to support a Sun Ray implementation.

Packet Loss

Before version 2.0, Sun Ray Server Software was intolerant of packet losses, so it was recommended that packet loss not exceed 0.1 percent over any extended period. However, because this is often an impractical requirement in local area (LAN) and wide area (WAN) network Sun Ray deployments, the Sun Ray Server Software has been made much more robust in the face of packet loss. The first version of this improved software was released with the first 2.0 patch, with additional improvements in releases supporting low-bandwidth WAN Sun Ray deployments.

In earlier versions, the server tried to avoid packet loss by severely limiting its use of available bandwidth whenever it encountered packet loss. Because random losses are inevitable in a non-dedicated LAN or WAN network environment, this approach put unnecessary limits on performance.

Sun Ray Server Software has always had the capability to detect and recover quickly from such losses, so avoiding them was a matter of policy more than necessity. The new software is less timid and avoids operating at bandwidth levels that create packet losses. Instead, it tries to send data at the highest possible rate that it can without incurring large losses. By design, it sometimes sends data at a rate that is too great for the capacity of the connection between the server and the client, and thus discovers what that capacity is. With very high demand, sustained packet losses of up to 10 percent may sometimes be seen, but the software continues to operate and update the contents of the screen correctly nevertheless.

Latency

Network latency between any Sun Ray client and its server is an important determinant of the quality of the user experience. The lower the latency, the better; latencies under 50 milliseconds for round trip delay are preferred. However, like familiar network protocols such as TCP, the Sun Ray DTU does tolerate higher latencies, but with degraded performance. Latencies up to 150 milliseconds provide usable, if somewhat sluggish, performance.

Out-of-Order Packets

DTUs that contain Sun Ray Server Software 2.0 firmware can tolerate small occurrences of out-of-order packet delivery, such as might be experienced on an Internet or wide-area intranet connection. Sun Ray 2.0 firmware maintains a reordering queue that restores the correct order to packets when they are received out of order. In releases prior to Sun Ray Server Software 2.0, out-of-order packets were simply discarded.

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