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Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDIs) are gaining popularity in cloud computing by allowing companies to deploy their office environments in a virtualized setting instead of relying on physical desktop machines. Consolidating many users into a VDI environment can significantly lower IT management expenses and enables new features such as “available-anywhere” desktops. However, barriers to broad adoption include the slow performance of virtualized I/O, CPU scheduling interference problems, and shared-cache contention. In this paper, we propose a new soft real-time scheduling algorithm that employs flexible priority designations (via utility functions) and automated scheduler class detection (via hypervisor monitoring of user behavior) to provide a higher quality user experience. We have implemented our scheduler within the Xen virtualization platform, and demonstrate that the overheads incurred from co-locating large numbers of virtual machines can be reduced from 66% with existing schedulers to under 2% in our system. We evaluate the benefits and overheads of using a smaller scheduling time quantum in a VDI setting, and show that the average overhead time per scheduler call is on the same order as the existing SEDF and Credit schedulers.
Date of Conference: 4-5 June 2012