Extreme slow RDP performance on Windows 2012 R2 server running on VMware ESXi

September 8, 2017 – 7:16 am

I am running a  Windows 2012 R2 servers on a VMware ESXi environment ( 6.5.0 Update 1 (Build 5969303 ) . I experience an extreme poor performance on the Windows 2012R2 server when connection with any RDP-client ( Windows and Mac )

The hardware shouldn’t be an issue.

  • the server does not have a high overall load
  • there is no high CPU load
  • there is enough RAM
  • there is no high I/O

This is what I did to solve the issue and get back to fast RDP-performance.

1. Finetune “Remote Desktop Services” in Group Policy

Open Group Policy Editor ( Start -> Run -> gpedit.msc )

Goto Computer Config > Windows Settings > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Connections > Select RDP transport protocol = Use only TCP

You can also set this on the client side by specifying:

Computer Config > Windows Settings > Admin Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Connection Client > Turn off UDP on Client = Enabled

2. Disable “DisableTaskOffload” in the Registry

I also added below registry setting to improve performance.

A little explanation of TCP Offloading:

“TCP offload engine is a function used in network interface cards (NIC) to offload processing of the entire TCP/IP stack to the network controller. By moving some or all of the processing to dedicated hardware, a TCP offload engine frees the system’s main CPU for other tasks. However, TCP offloading has been known to cause some issues, and disabling it can help avoid these issues.”

  • Open RegEdit on the Windows Server machine.
  • Navigate to this registry key in the tree on the left: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters
  • Right-click on the right side, and add a new DWORD (32-bit) Value
  • Set the value name to DisableTaskOffload and the value data to 1

Now Reconnect to the Server via RDP (to a new session) and your performance should be normal.

  1. 2 Responses to “Extreme slow RDP performance on Windows 2012 R2 server running on VMware ESXi”

  2. Rather than blaming UDP and TCP offload I perhaps would focus on finding the root cause in your network. Usually, UDP should be faster (particularly in higher latency networks).

    By Dietmar Dumke on Sep 8, 2017

  3. Hi,
    Thanks for the information. you shared such a valuable content for us.
    This is one amazing piece of article. Helped a lot in increasing my knowledge on VMware ESxi updates.

    By emma blisa on Oct 3, 2017

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