Licensing Focus – Microsoft Virtualization Stack


“Secure Desktops, Applications and Data in the Datacenter”

Microsoft have incorporated the emergent Virtualization Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology into Volume Licensing. In this article I will pull together an overview of the Microsoft Virtualization offering and how MS Licensing map to the solutions.


Virtualization Graphic 1

Today, Microsoft provides a virtualization Platform with Windows Server Hyper-V 2008 R2.


Remote Desktop Services functionality in Windows Server 2008 R2 lets you remotely execute applications or an entire desktop on a Windows-based session host server from a wide range of devices over virtually any type of network connection

The Windows Server 2008 R2 licensing model requires a server license for each running instance of the server software. (Remote Desktop Services is included). In addition a Windows Server Client Access License (CAL) is required to access the Windows Server

If you wish to utilize the RDS functionality of the Windows Server software, an incremental Remote Desktop Services Client Access License (RDS CAL) is required as well. They can be licensing on a Device or User CAL model.

App Virtualization

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 authorized 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.

HINT This comes with the Microsoft Desktop Application Pack (MDOP). This can be acquired with Windows 7 or with the Microsoft VDI Suite.

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.

HINT This comes with Windows Server 2008 R2 – Remote Desktop Services.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology enables users to access their personal Windows desktops that are hosted on the organization 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).


This separates the operating system workloads from the underlying hardware. It can deliver secure desktops to unmanaged devices. Provides security in highly regulated industries and desktop personalization for task workers. It also provides business continuity with centralized desktop back up and recovery. User can access the Windows 7 Desktop from both the PC and Thin Client.

Microsoft licenses Windows in a VDI Environment today with a VECD Subscription model. VECD for SA is needed for devices accessing Windows in the Datacenter when already covered with Windows and Software Assurance.

    Microsoft currently looks at VECD for TC  for access to Windows in the Datacenter from Thin Clients. The VECD for TC replaces the base OEM license that won’t be on a Thin Client. All Windows 7 acquired in Volume Licensing are an Upgrade License only. Microsoft expect that the PC you receive ships with an OEM copy of Windows and provides Win7 in Volume Licensing cheaper.

    Changes on July 1st

  • Customers that use PCs already covered with Windows Client SA to access a virtual desktop do not need any additional licensing.
  • For customers intending to use devices that do not qualify for Windows client SA. Microsoft is introducing a new license called Windows Virtual Desktop Access (Windows VDA).
  • Windows VDA is a device based subscription, and will be available through all major Microsoft Volume Licensing programs
  • The primary user of SA/Windows VDA licensed device can access his virtual desktop while roaming, from hotel kiosks, internet cafes, home PC etc.
  • No additional licensing required for Client SA PCs to access virtual desktops (After July 1, 2010)

    Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Standard Suite (VDI Standard Suite)

    Includes the core products and CALs required to enable and manage VDI, including:

  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS)–The RDS component of the VDI Suite is licensed solely for use in a VDI context, it does not provide a license to use session-based RDS resources.
  • Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)–a collection of technologies that enable desktop virtualization and management, including App-V
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) Client Management License –provides centralized management of the Microsoft® Hyper-V™ -based virtualization components of the VDI host
  • System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) Standard Server Management License –provides centralized configuration management of the (physical) VDI hosts of the VDI Suite. Note: Virtualization hosts with mixed VDI and server virtualization workloads cannot be licensed through the VDI Suite.
  • System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) Standard Server Management License –provides centralized monitoring and performance management of the physical VDI host of the VDI Suite. Note: Virtualization hosts with mixed VDI and server virtualization workloads cannot be licensed through the VDI Suite.
  • Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Premium Suite (VDI Premium Suite)

    Includes all the components of the VDI Standard Suite, plus:

  • App-V for RDS–provides application-level virtualization for RDS sessions.
  • RDS–the RDS license is not use restricted to the VDI scenario only, but can also be used for session-based desktop and applications scenarios.

One thought on “Licensing Focus – Microsoft Virtualization Stack

  1. Pingback: The roundup: here’s what you may have missed « Microsoft License Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s