Accessing a RemoteApp or Cloud Server is Slow

If you are experiencing "slowness" the first step is identifying the symptoms:

  • Is typing lagging?
    • This is typically a slow connection to the server (see below).
  • Are you seeing "grey" or "white" screens?
    • This is typically a slow connection to the server (see below).
  • Are you seeing frequent disconnection errors like the one below?
    • These error messages come in some different variations. The error message text is important. See the error message descriptions below.


Diagnosing a Slow Connection:

The first step in diagnosing a slow connection is to check for latency. Latency is the time it takes for data to reach our data centers. Many factors can contribute to high latency. Likewise, latency can cause differing symptoms.

Latency is not bandwidth. You can have a lot of bandwidth and still have high latency. Think of bandwidth as the size of a water pipe and latency as the time it takes the water to travel from point A to point B.

If you have a 20Mbps Internet connection, 20Mb is the amount of data every second that can enter the pipe. How long it takes that 20Mb to reach its destination is latency.

It is also worth noting that Mbps stands for Megabits per second. A byte has 8 bits. So if you have a 1GB (GB= Gigabytes) file that is 1024MB (MB=Megabytes) or 1,024,000,000 Bytes or 8,192,000,000 bits.

AND then there is overhead. Networks need to add data to know where the data came from, where it is going and error correction data to make sure what is received is the same as what was sent. This can increase the data size by 10% or more.

This is why many people are confused when they have a 20Mbps Internet connection but are not able to send a 20MB (Megabyte) file in one second. At best it would take 8 seconds and in reality it will take longer than that.

In order to check for latency, see these articles:

If you have trouble getting results you may need to talk to an IT professional who can ensure your router and/or firewall are allowing the tests to take place.

You may notice that browsing the web and/or watching a video online work fine while connecting to your cloud server is "slow". Browsing is generally static. Meaning the web page loads and you read it, click and it loads more data. It is not continuously loading data.

Streaming a video or music generally works even with higher latency because they use buffering. Buffering is a process where the video or audio is downloaded to your computer ahead of time - sometimes just a few seconds worth. This way if there is a delay the PC is playing from the buffer and the PC has time to wait for more data without interrupting the stream.

Remote Desktop and related technologies are more like a video however the data is not predetermined. This makes buffering impossible and therefore it is more sensitive to latency.

Reconnecting Error Messages:

If you have not already, you should review the section above Diagnosing a Slow Connection because it is mostly about latency and this can cause "Reconnecting" error message if the latency is high enough.

Microsoft has provided information on most of the message you will see:

General Error Messages

This post has the same list plus more information on error messages and troubleshooting:

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