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How to Upgrade Your Space Station to Win7

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Apps and Desktops in the Cloud? How passé!

It’s time for space computing – or in this case desktops as a service in space. The news: NASA has adopted Citrix XenDesktop 4 to deliver virtual desktops as a service to astronauts, whether on the ground or in the International Space Station. It was this deployment that enabled the recent first tweet from space.

I must admit that when I first heard about this I wondered what all the fuss was about, at least from a technology perspective. Then I realized there might be a couple of challenges delivering a virtual desktop to space: bandwidth and end-to-end latency.

Transmission to and from the ISS uses the KuBand (which you may have previously encountered if you own a police radar detector). With KuBand, NASA can drive transmissions at high power, delivering greater fidelity, enabling smaller dish sizes, and transmission over greater distances. It also offers high bandwidth. So, there’s a good link layer. I could anticipate some challenges with TCP window sizes, but assuming the boffins at NASA had those under control, the session and presentation layers were easy: NASA uses Citrix Branch Repeater for WAN Optimization between the ground and space station, and Citrix HDX™ technology to deliver the virtual desktops, both of which do a great job of reducing resource requirements and enhancing the delivery of a remote "high def" desktop experience.

To learn more and to read the entire article at its source, please refer to the following page, How to Upgrade Your Space Station to Win7- The Citrix Blogs

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