Organisations are increasingly looking at centralising the Desktop. This guide looks at the way Desktop Virtualization can be approached in an organisation to keep the licensing in check for Windows.
Please note there are other articles on this blog on VDI (please see reference links at the bottom of this post
User State Virtualization
User state virtualization increases business flexibility by having a user’s personal profile and data available dynamically on any PC. In terms of data security this is an essential part of an IT managers toolkit to reduce the impact of failure and PC theft by backing up personal profiles and information to the datacentre
Technologies are available straight out of the box with Win7 to support user state Virtualization:
- Roaming User Profiles – Allow access to the user profile and application data from any PC.
- Folder Redirection
- Offline folders – Client technologies that change the target location of the folder(s) that can be found in the user profile.
IT departments will need to reduce application management costs and improve application deployment speed. Secondly, end users want to have their business critical apps available on any authorised PC. To achieve this, Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) decouples applications from the OS and helps to eliminate app-to-app incompatibility, because applications are no longer installed on the local client device. IT departments can also benefit from streaming Apps by speeding up deployments rather than local Installs.
• Remote App programs enable software to be accessed remotely through Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and appear as if running on the end user’s local PC. These are hosted apps, and can be accessed through a web browser.
OS virtualization separates the operating system workloads from the underlying hardware. OS virtualization can be divided into two broad categories:
Client Hosted Desktop Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) allows virtual windows desktops on the physical device to support legacy apps that run only on Windows XP
Server Hosted Desktop
•Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology enables users to access their personal Windows desktops
that are hosted on the organisation servers. VDI is another deployment model for Windows desktops, and is a popular and emergent technology that is suitable and cost-effective for corporations with specific use scenarios, such as organizations that would like to give remote users access to their corporate desktops without investing in expensive laptops can leverage VDI technology.
•Microsoft Windows Server® Remote Desktop Services is a server-based computing architecture that runs user
applications on a single Windows Server OS and supports multiple sessions on one server, enabling each user to
remotely access a full desktop or single application from the user’s local device via a remote protocol such as Microsoft
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
“Anywhere access from connected devices: Personalized desktops, applications and data follow the user across any connected device”
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is an alternative to the traditional desktop deployment model for Windows desktops. Each user can get access to a personal desktop in the datacentre from any connected device. The access device could include a normal desktop environment with Windows or a Thin Client (TC).
Centralized copies of an operating system can be streamed to devices for local execution.
Virtual Desktop Licensing
The licensing on this area can be complex, and has come into criticism. I’m not focusing on what is ‘should be’, but on providing a snapshot of the product licensing model for Windows. As always, please reference the latest source documentation like the Product Use Rights and Product List and your relevant Volume Agreement procurement contracts for your organisation, licensing rules and procurement models will change over time.
Roaming Use Rights
- Microsoft has allocated Roaming Use Rights from 3rd party Devices on the basis of active Software Assurance with Desktop Apps like Office, Project and Visio.
- Microsoft states that this right is extended for only work-related purposes and not to be used for personal use.
- The Roaming Use Rights section of the Product Use Rights are only applicable to access to the HVD and Terminal Server off-premise.
- When the primary user is on your or your affiliates premises, Roaming Use Rights are not applicable.
- The Roaming Use Right does not apply to running the software in a physical OSE on the 3rd party device.
Examples for iPad
- The iPad is the users Primary Device — This would only apply in specific user scenarios. However, this would need a license for Office Professional Plus assigned to the iPad as the end-point device.
- The iPad is a Secondary end-point device — The iPad is owned by the User and he or she is the Primary User of the Primary PC with a license for Office with Active SA. Then they can access Office on their iPad.
This would require a Remote Desktop Services CAL and Windows Server CAL.
- The iPad is a Secondary end-point device — The iPad is owned by the User and he or she is the Primary User of the Primary PC with a license for Office only. Your organization will need to procure Software Assurance for Office. This might need re-purchasing the License with Software Assurance If the Office license was procured > 90 days ago. This would require a Remote Desktop Services CAL and Windows Server CAL.
- If the iPad is owned by the organization then it will need a Office license assigned.
Included below for reference, are the relevant sections of the PUR (2011):
When the primary user is on your or your affiliates’ premises, Roaming Use Rights are not applicable
[Product Use Rights, March 2011, Page 116 of 125]
· Except as provided below, the single primary user of the licensed device may:
o remotely access the software running on your servers (e.g., in your datacenter) from a qualifying third party device1, and
o run the software in a virtual OSE on a qualifying third party device1 .
1A “qualifying third party device” is a device that is not controlled, directly or indirectly, by you or your affiliates (e.g., a third party’s public kiosk).
When the primary user is on your or your affiliates’ premises, Roaming Use Rights are not applicable.
· You may not run the software in the physical OSE on the qualifying third party device under the Roaming Use Rights.
[Product Use Rights, March 2011, Page 122 of 125]
- Applications and OS Licensing: Remote Access and Roaming Use
- The iPad on your Network
- Licensing Focus – Microsoft Virtualization Stack
- Licensing Focus Part 2- Microsoft VDI Stack
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