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Accessing a virtual desktop via an HTML5 client works, but it's not necessarily a technique all employees should use.
The user experience of an HTML5 client is acceptable in many cases, but it isn't a replacement for a client. And despite improvements to the way HTML5 can remote desktops, even newer protocols, such as VMware's Blast, for example, aren't better than PC over IP.
Although most users won't notice a big difference in performance between HTML5 access and a regular client connection, any worker with graphics or video requirements will. The ability to deliver high-quality graphics via HTML5 exists in GPU-accelerated browsers, but not all browsers have that capability.
Port, plug-in and app problems
Actually accessing an HTML5 client isn't always easy, either. For example, setting up VMware Blast is straightforward for an administrator, but port connections can gum up the works. The initial connection comes through port 443. If that port is blocked, HTML access won't work. Users will be able to log in, but the connection to the desktop won't establish and it will eventually time out. That means you have to do some configuration on the back end ahead of time. If you're using VMware View and Blast, you'll also have to make sure that the HTML Access component is set up on the View Security Server.
When you add browser applications and plug-ins to the equation, things can get even more hairy. True HTML5 clients don't use or need browser plug-ins, but all browsers have them, and they vary from one device to another.
GPU acceleration to come
VMware, Nvidia and Google have teamed up and created a Chromebook that runs Nvidia's Tegra K1 chip as well as an upgraded version of the Blast protocol that makes delivering high-quality graphics on a low-cost device possible.
For example, a Google Chrome application that uses Chrome Remote Desktop needs access to local resources. That access comes from Native Client (NaCL), an isolated application environment. Developers like to use NaCL to build applications because it gives the app access to local features. Therefore, it behaves like a native app, which users also tend to prefer.
But remote desktop clients accessed from a browser and running in NaCL have so much access that they can use whichever protocol they want to connect. Each protocol provides a different user experience, some of which are better than others. This creates a challenge for plug-ins too because NaCL applications work differently on different devices. Overall, it makes for an unpredictable connection and user experience, both of which can affect workers' ability to get work done, and their willingness to use virtualized desktops.
Advantages of HTML5 clients