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Firewalls and Thin-Client Networking

  • ID: 1496
  • January 2001
  • Region: Global
  • 49 pages
  • The Tolly Group
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Organizations using the public Internet as a transport mechanism for server-based applications undoubtedly will implement firewalls on their WAN connections. Such organizations must understand the impact that packet-filtering firewalls will have on the performance of thin-client traffic and application performance. This issue examines how well common thin-client protocols work with enterprise-scale firewalls and personal firewalls.

Using thin-client emulation software to generate benchmark traffic, engineers established baseline metrics on a network with no firewalls. Those benchmarks were then compared with metrics collected when firewalls are present at the server network, the client network and on an individual workstation.

Engineers evaluated the impact of firewalls on response time, packet loss and throughput. They also investigated the effects of the number of simultaneous thin-client sessions and the location of the firewalls.

This issue focused on response time, packet loss, total data required to complete transaction, maximum data rate and average data rate. Primary net production was completed using Microsoft Windows NT, Terminal Server Edition, Version 4.0 with Service Pack 6, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server with Service Pack 1, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, NetScreen-100, SonicWall Soho and Tele and Symantec Corporation, Desktop Firewall Software version 2.0. Key infrastructure elements consisted of standard client/server PC platforms, a standard Ethernet/Fast Ethernet switch and an emulated T1 and modem connection using Shunra Software's "The Cloud" simulation software.

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