Licensing Focus Part 2: Microsoft VDI Stack

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a desktop delivery model that allows users to access desktops running in the datacenter.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is an emerging model where a Windows client operating system runs in server-based virtual machines (VMs) in the data center and interacts with the user’s client device such as a PC or a Thin Client (TC). VDI provides IT with the ability to centralize a user’s desktop; (Instead of a  server session like the Terminal Services) with a full client environment is virtualized within a server-based hypervisor. With VDI, the user can get a rich and individualized desktop experience with full administrative control over desktop and applications.

The Microsoft VDI Suite can be used for Desktop Delivery, App Delivery, Virtualization Platform and the Management of Apps to Physical, Virtual and Session based desktops. VDI Suite will support popular flexible work scenarios for Work From Home (WFH) scenarios and HotDesking.

Microsoft VDI Platform

Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V : A scalable, stable, and high-performance hypervisor that hosts the virtual desktops. This is the Virtualization platform for the Operating System (OS).


System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 -Management suite that allows IT to manage physical, virtual, and session-based desktops from a single console.

App Virtualization

Depending on whether the application is executed locally or remotely, customers can deploy either:

Microsoft App-V

(Inside MDOP) Application Virtualization technology enables dynamic delivery of apps to the user’s virtual desktop.

  1. Decouples Apps from the OS
  2. Runs Apps as network services
  3. Remove App footprint from the OS
  4. All Patches and Upgrades can be centralized.
Remote Desktop Services (Remote App)

(Inside WIndows Server 2008 R2) Remotely run an application in one location but have it be controlled and managed in another

  1. Suppresses the Desktop
  2. Gives only the App environment

Delivery Mechanism

Citrix – XenDesktop

Manages the connections between a device and the remote desktops on the server. Dynamic provision remote desktops by combining a brand new desktop image with both the user profile and personal settings at runtime, and delivering a personalized desktop to the end user.

Microsoft Licensing – VDI Suite

Customers can now buy different components of the server and management infrastructure required to run VDI through a single licensing vehicle.

The VDI Standard Suite and VDI Premium Suite are licensed per client device that accesses the VDI environment. This is also on a subscription model like Windows VECD.

As above, Management of your virtual infrastructure is taken care of the various System Center components, including System Center Virtual Machine Manager, System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2

The following CALs are included to provide access rights to the Microsoft Infrastructure and Management products.

  • Remote Desktop Services Client Access License (RDS CAL)
  • Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) including App-V
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) Client Management License
  • System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) Standard Server Management License
  • System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) Standard Server Management License

The Microsoft VDI Standard Suite will include licenses to the following technologies:

  1. Hypervisor platform (Hyper-V Server 2008 R2)
  2. An integrated management suite for VDI (System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2)
  3. Microsoft Application Virtualization through the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)
  4. Connection Brokering capability through Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services.

    Microsoft does not allow access to Windows Server software to host a full GUI (using RDS or other technology):

    • directly from your VDI licensed device or
    • indirectly through a virtual OSE on your VDI host.

The Microsoft VDI Premium Suite includes all the features of the Microsoft VDI Standard Suite, and also includes:

  1. Complete Remote Desktop Services capability, including the option to deploy session based desktops in addition to VDI desktops.
  2. Access Windows Server for purposes of hosting a graphical user interface (GUI)
  3. Microsoft Application Virtualization for Remote Desktop Services

*VDI Suite is a subscription model and does not confer perpetual rights.


One thought on “Licensing Focus Part 2: Microsoft VDI Stack

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

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