[Thinlinc-technical] More users / Less servers

Peter Åstrand astrand at cendio.se
Mon Aug 10 14:45:07 CEST 2009

Hi, see comments inline.

> Actually, I´ve made some calculations based on user´s memory usage on a real
> server (at UERJ) running GNOME 2.26, Firefox 3.0 and OpenOffice 2.4, and
> than I  realized that each user consumes from 250 to 350MB of RAM
> (consolidating all processes resident set size, RSS), exactly like you
> I could see that GNOME is the great villain here, since it starts a lot of

Yes, this is quite much. It's a little bit funny, because the other day I 
was talking to a person which claimed that his GNOME desktops only 
consumed 74 MiB per user, considerably less than our estimation of 

If you consider VDI installations, especially with Windows Vista or 7, 
then 1 or 2 GiB per concurrent user is more typical.

It's clear that there is no such thing as a "standard" desktop; your 
mileage may vary...

> 3) Makes ThinLinc server´s "smarter", to avoid high-memory consumption: The
> idea here is simple, I want to avoid creating more sessions than the server
> can handle. I had some ideas that I would like to share with you. For
> example, perhaps if we, based on the user´s pre-defined memory consumption
> (like 250MB per user), define that the server could handle 15 sessions, we
> could create a way to count down how many sessions are already opened and
> deny opening new sessions according to the pre-defined "max-sessions"
> limit...

This is an interesting idea. We can consider this for future versions. It 
should also be possible to create a simple script that simply stops the 
"vsmagent" service if the load is considered too high (and restarts if 
when the load is lighter).

> Please let me know if any of my ideas makes sense for you, or even if you
> are already making efforts on this area acually.

Well, not really, I guess it matters where you live in the world, but here 
in Sweden, I don't consider the memory prices very high. For example, if 
you purchase a Dell R710 server, you can upgrade the RAM from 4 GiB to 12 
GiB for only ~$300. Assuming GNOME sessions of 300 MiB each, this 
corresponds to 40 sessions, or $7.5 per concurrent user. This is much less 
than the costs associated with software licenses. For example, the 
ThinLinc subscription currently costs $75 per concurrent user.

Best regards, 
Peter Åstrand		ThinLinc Chief Developer
Cendio AB		http://www.cendio.com
Wallenbergs gata 4
583 30 Linköping	Phone: +46-13-21 46 00

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