Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Paper presented at the Ninth IT & T Conference, Technological University Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 22nd.- 23rd. October, 2009.


With recent advances in virtualization and a growing concern regarding the administration and cooling costs associated with managing legacy servers, organisations are moving towards server and desktop virtualisation. Virtualisation provides the ability to provision a servers resources efficiently thus increasing hardware utilisation and reducing costs. While server virtualization provides clear advantages with regard to system management, higher system availability and lower recovery times, desktop virtualization is often complicated by the issue of determining the number of concurrent virtual desktops capable of running on a single server while providing acceptable performance to each desktop user. Determining the number of virtualised desktops capable of running on a virtual server is a non-trivial issue, and within most environments this is determined by trial and error. The objective of our experiments was to identify the maximum number of virtual desktop instances within our experimental environment. Each virtual desktop (guest operating system) was configured to automatically perform a specific tasks designed to strain the host servers resources to determine the breaking point of VirtualBox and to identify the maximum number of concurrent virtual desktops possible under 4 specific workloads.