SPICE: Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments

Providing a true PC-like experience with your virtualized desktops

What is SPICE?

SPICE is an open source, adaptive remote rendering protocol used by Red Hat® Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops to connect users to their virtual desktops. Unlike first-generation remote rendering protocols, such as Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Independent Computing Architecture (ICA), SPICE features a multitiered architecture designed to support today's multimedia desktop experience.

3-tier architecture

SPICE functions on a 3-tier architecture, leveraging a unique component in each tier:

  • SPICE Driver: A software component that resides within each virtual desktop
  • SPICE Device: A software component that resides within the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor
  • SPICE Client: A software component that resides on the end-point device—either a thin client or a repurposed PC—used to access each virtual desktop

Efficient graphics processing

These three components work in tandem, determining the most efficient place to process graphics, in order to provide the best possible user experience, while reducing the system load.

If the client is powerful enough, SPICE sends the graphics commands to the client and processes them at the client level, significantly decreasing the load on the server. On the other hand, if the client is not powerful enough, SPICE processes the graphics at the host level, where graphics processing is a lot less expensive from a CPU perspective.

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