FGA 8

Overview

Frame Guest Agent 8 was released in July of 2021 and supports a robust new feature set and performance improvements over FGA 7. FGA 8 supports both Frame Remoting Protocol (FRP) 7 (based on WebSocket and TCP), and FRP 8 (based on WebRTC and UDP).

This guide serves to provide detailed information regarding the features, benefits, and limitations of Frame Guest Agent 8. Frame Remoting Protocol 8 (FRP8) serves as the basis for a number of new features that are included in this FGA release:

  • Improved audio/video synchronization which better adapts to poor network conditions (packet loss, network jitter).

  • Webcam support in a browser and Frame App.

  • High-quality microphone redirection from the endpoint device to the session.

  • USB redirection support in Frame App for Windows, with USB devices on a user’s endpoint device appearing virtually in the user’s session.

  • Application Mode 2.0 which provides improvements (such as Application Layering) to both the user and administrator experience when delivering virtualized applications.

Use the links below to jump to specific sections of the document:

You can read more about the features of Frame Remoting Protocol 8 (FRP8) in our official documentation. If you are aware of the benefits and are ready to begin using FRP8 or start the upgrade process on existing accounts, continue reading through this guide.

Prerequisites

Administrators wishing to use Frame Guest Agent 8 or above with FRP8 will need to ensure the criteria below are met for each Frame account. Many of these prerequisites will be expanded upon later in the guide.

  1. Sandbox and production workload VMs must be upgraded to FGA 8.1 (or greater). Upgrade instructions for accounts running FGA 7.x can be found here.

  2. Sandbox, Utility server, and Persistent Desktop VMs may require Windows Firewall or third-party firewall configuration changes to support the required UDP ports which will be discussed later in this document.

  3. If Streaming Gateway Appliance (SGA) is used, SGA 2.1 must be replaced with SGA 3.1 or greater. Refer to our SGA 3 documentation for details.

  4. Firewall and networking configurations must be updated to support additional FQDNs, protocols, and ports to support FRP 8.0. More details will be provided in the sections below.

  5. The Frame Account must have FRP 8.0 enabled in Session Settings.

  6. USB redirection (not USB HID redirection) requires Frame App for Windows at this time. Starting with Frame App for Windows 6.6 installer, Nutanix includes Frame USB Filter Driver 1.0.0. The driver requires a reboot after the Frame USB Filter Driver is installed to take effect. Frame Generic USB Driver 2.5.0 also must be installed on the Windows workload VM and available from https://portal.nutanix.com/, if required. Note: USB redirection is only supported on Windows endpoints at this time. Support for MacOS and Linux endpoints is planned.

Attention

YUV444 encoding is not supported by FRP8 at this time.

Upgrade an Account

If you have an established Frame account running FGA 7.x and wish to upgrade to FGA 8.x+, please reference the FGA 8 Upgrade Guide for instructions.

Configuration

The sections below outline the networking, OS, and firewall configurations required to support FGA 8.x and FRP8.

Network Configuration

The required ports/protocols for FGA 8 (with and without FRP8) are documented in the Network Configuration guides based on your Frame account’s deployment model. Tables specific to network configurations with FRP8 will have additional UDP ports.

OS Firewall Configuration

If your configuration relies on an OS-level firewall (Windows Firewall with Advanced Security or a third-party firewall) on a Sandbox, Utility Server, and/or persistent desktops, you will need to update firewall configurations on those workload VMs. For non-persistent Frame accounts, update the Windows Firewall on the Sandbox VM and publish, or use a GPO.

For example, using Windows Firewall with Advanced Security, Frame administrators would enable UDP ports 3478, 4503-4509 (either via GPO or directly within the workload VMs).

  1. Go to Windows Firewall with Advanced Security

  2. Select “Inbound Rules”

  3. Right click > “New Rule…”

  4. Port > UDP > Specific local ports: 3478, 4503-4509 > Allow the connection > Check all, Domain, Private, Public > Enter a name > Finish

Enable Frame Remoting Protocol 8 (FRP8)

Frame Remoting Protocol 8 (FRP8) serves as the basis for a number of new features that are included in FGA 8.1 (and above).

  • Improved audio/video synchronization which better adapts to poor network conditions (packet loss, network jitter)

  • Webcam support in a browser and Frame App

  • High-quality microphone redirection from the endpoint device to the session.

  • USB redirection support in Frame App for Windows, with USB devices on a user’s endpoint device appearing virtually in the user’s session.

  • Application Mode 2.0 which provides improvements (such as Application Layering) to both the user and administrator experience when delivering virtualized applications.

Once the prerequisites have been met for enabling FRP8 (WebRTC), Administrators can enable it in Session Settings (Dashboard > Settings > Session).

../../../_images/frp8_enable.png

Note

FRP8 cannot be enabled until the required ports have been opened, as shown in the image above.

Enabling FRP8 on a Frame account results in the following:

  • For Frame accounts using public cloud infrastructure:

    • Protocols/ports udp/3478 and udp/4503-4509 are enabled on the VPC/VNET through security group updates.

  • FRP 8.0 (WebRTC) protocol is enabled for Frame sessions.

App Mode 2.0

Administrators delivering Frame sessions via application mode can now provide an enhanced experience to end users with App Mode 2.0. App Mode 2.0 allows end users to access their onboarded applications from the Frame start menu within the session.

../../../_images/appmode2.png

In legacy app mode, users are prompted to end their session if they close the application they selected from their Launchpad. With App Mode 2.0, users can now open multiple onboarded applications within the session and leave the session running without apps open (similar to a Desktop session).

../../../_images/appmode2menu.png

Administrators can use App Mode 2.0 simply by enabling the toggle in the application Launchpad’s settings.

../../../_images/appmode2_toggle.png

FGA 8 Troubleshooting

Server-side logs can be found in the C:\ProgramData\Nutanix\Frame directory within the session.

../../../_images/fga_logs.png

After filing a support ticket, you may be asked by Nutanix Frame support personnel to provide these logs, if available.

Identifying a FRP8 Session

Visually, not much has changed in regards to the Frame Terminal. However, it’s easy to find which version being used while in a session: open the Advanced Session Stats from the Gear Menu. The “protocol” detail displays which version of FRP is being used:

../../../_images/frp_stats.png

Additionally, end users may notice a new behavior with Bandwidth Indicator in a FRP8 session:

In FRP7 sessions, users can force a bandwidth test to recalibrate the session’s performance capabilities by clicking on the bandwidth indicator at the bottom left. In FRP8 sessions, clicking the bandwidth indicator does nothing. That’s because FRP8 continuously tests bandwidth throughout a session, making adjustments in real-time via WebRTC.