Do I Need a VDA License for This?



  • I'm about to create a VM for our Estimating department to use to access a particular software. The company only wanted to get one seat, and as most know, a single seat tied to a specific computer is cheaper than network licensing most of the time. Basically this VM will run Windows 7 / 8.1 and allow one user at a time to login and use the program via RDP. We don't use VDI in any way. Other than the fact that this will be a VM, it is literally no different than having a desktop computer that is always online.

    My CDW rep is telling me I need a license of Windows 8.1 Enterprise rather than Pro so I can leverage the VDA usage rights. I thought I just needed a license of 8.1 Pro (open license, not retail) to cover the requirements here. Can someone straighten this out for me?



  • @NetworkNerd said:

    I'm about to create a VM for our Estimating department to use to access a particular software. The company only wanted to get one seat, and as most know, a single seat tied to a specific computer is cheaper than network licensing most of the time. Basically this VM will run Windows 7 / 8.1 and allow one user at a time to login and use the program via RDP. We don't use VDI in any way. Other than the fact that this will be a VM, it is literally no different than having a desktop computer that is always online.

    My CDW rep is telling me I need a license of Windows 8.1 Enterprise rather than Pro so I can leverage the VDA usage rights. I thought I just needed a license of 8.1 Pro (open license, not retail) to cover the requirements here. Can someone straighten this out for me?

    Correct. You'll either need to pick up a VDA license (recurring annual) for the desktop VM instance or put the computers that will be accessing it under SA (recurring annual), which would also grant them Windows 8 Enterprise. Otherwise, running a Windows desktop OS in a virtual environment would be out of licensing compliance.



  • You do use VDI? Running a Windows desktop in a VM is what VDI is. All that other stuff is later infrastructure that people now associate with VDI. But this is as much VDI as anything else is.



  • @alexntg said:

    put the computers that will be accessing it under SA (recurring annual), which would also grant them Windows 8 Enterprise.

    I don't think this is correct any more. I think you have to have a Windows 8.1 Enterprise Open License added to your base Windows 8 license regardless of SA to get Business edition now (recent change)



  • Consider InTune too.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @alexntg said:

    put the computers that will be accessing it under SA (recurring annual), which would also grant them Windows 8 Enterprise.

    I don't think this is correct any more. I think you have to have a Windows 8.1 Enterprise Open License added to your base Windows 8 license regardless of SA to get Business edition now (recent change)

    I'm pulling info from here: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/briefs/win8-virtual.aspx - If you have something more recent, I'm all ears.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    You do use VDI? Running a Windows desktop in a VM is what VDI is. All that other stuff is later infrastructure that people now associate with VDI. But this is as much VDI as anything else is.

    I feel pretty dumb for this, but I just had a misconception about what was classified as VDI. I thought you had to be using something like View or Cirtrix to be considered using VDI, but a virtual desktop is indeed a virtual desktop. Thanks for slapping me around a bit.



  • @alex,
    Here's the thread I read on that other site.
    http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/452632-windows-8-1-enterprise-now-available-without-sa

    @Chris (MS) said:

    ...The fact of the matter still remains true, Windows Enterprise is no longer an SA benefit, providing businesses the rights to upgrade to Windows 8.1 Enterprise (or downgrade to Windows 7 Enterprise).

    and here's the followup thread about pricing

    community.spiceworks.com/topic/458177-what-the-frac-are-you-thinking-400-for-sa-and-enterprise-licensing-seriously

    Furthermore, after rereading these thread, I am reminded that when you buy Enterprise upgrade VL, it's non transfereable to a new/replacement machine unless you buy SA on top of the Enterprise upgrade VL. Damn if you needed Enterprise Edition, you definitely got screwed!



  • Interesting turn of events.

    All that being said, for a Windows desktop in a virtual environment, the accessing devices need to be covered by SA or you need to get VDA licenses for it. The interesting bit was that one of the new SKUs was for Win8 Pro SA, since Enterprise is no longer a benefit of SA. It's possible to run Windows Pro with SA for VDI. Also mentioned is using 2008 R2 Enterprise instances with RDS licensing for VDI (which is what I'm actually typing this post with).



  • @NetworkNerd said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    You do use VDI? Running a Windows desktop in a VM is what VDI is. All that other stuff is later infrastructure that people now associate with VDI. But this is as much VDI as anything else is.

    I feel pretty dumb for this, but I just had a misconception about what was classified as VDI. I thought you had to be using something like View or Cirtrix to be considered using VDI, but a virtual desktop is indeed a virtual desktop. Thanks for slapping me around a bit.

    VDI's a virtual desktop with an access platform. It's a pretty broad category. A virtual desktop by itself is just a VM. Add access to it (RDS, PCoIP, even LogMeIn), and you have VDI. Something like VMware Horizon View allows you to use non-persistent linked clones effectively and be able to automatically provision/deprovision desktops as needed, which is a must-have if you're looking to scale beyond 10 or so desktops.

    A common misconception folks have is considering Citrix XenApp as VDI. It actually isn't. It's just an RDS session on steroids (different connection protocol, better resource management). It can run on a bare-metal Windows server and has nothing to do with virtualization at all.



  • It's amazing how people think XenApp is VDI. Being that they were all using it a decade before there was VDI.



  • @scottalanmiller could not agree more.

    Seems that everyone is using the term VDI for any desktop (regardless of user or server desktop) which is accessed through the cloud.

    VDI is rather expensive, XenApp/RDS will work for most things as you have well said a million times.



  • @Gabi said:

    @scottalanmiller could not agree more.

    Seems that everyone is using the term VDI for any desktop (regardless of user or server desktop) which is accessed through the cloud.

    VDI is rather expensive, XenApp/RDS will work for most things as you have well said a million times.

    Or you cheat and use Windows server (datacenter license) instead of the desktop license.



  • @Gabi said:

    @scottalanmiller could not agree more.

    Seems that everyone is using the term VDI for any desktop (regardless of user or server desktop) which is accessed through the cloud.

    VDI is rather expensive, XenApp/RDS will work for most things as you have well said a million times.

    There's a big difference between XenApp and VDI. XenApp's a bunch of folks logged into the same computer. If something gets screwy that requires a reboot, it impacts all the logged in users. Changes can't be made to the environment without impacting all the users. With VDI, if something gets screwy, it just impacts that one user. This is a major advantage for things like LOB apps that are often less well-written than we'd like. It also supports applications that don't run well in multi-user environments.

    With a mainstream linked-clone VDI implementation such as VMware Horizon View, if you want to make an environment change, you can do so without impacting the existing environment. You can set up a test pool for users to try out, then phase it in without disrupting existing users. The next time they log in, they'll get the new environment. If you later find that there's an issue with the image, you can roll back just as easily.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @Gabi said:

    @scottalanmiller could not agree more.

    Seems that everyone is using the term VDI for any desktop (regardless of user or server desktop) which is accessed through the cloud.

    VDI is rather expensive, XenApp/RDS will work for most things as you have well said a million times.

    Or you cheat and use Windows server (datacenter license) instead of the desktop license.

    But then it's not a desktop;). VDI is a Windows license situation more than it is a technology. Do it with Windows server and you are doing single user remote servers.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @Gabi said:

    @scottalanmiller could not agree more.

    Seems that everyone is using the term VDI for any desktop (regardless of user or server desktop) which is accessed through the cloud.

    VDI is rather expensive, XenApp/RDS will work for most things as you have well said a million times.

    Or you cheat and use Windows server (datacenter license) instead of the desktop license.

    But then it's not a desktop;). VDI is a Windows license situation more than it is a technology. Do it with Windows server and you are doing single user remote servers.

    Are those 2 things mutually exclusive? That's what we do with Parallels Virtual Automation for our VDI solution.



  • @ITcrackerjack said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @Gabi said:

    @scottalanmiller could not agree more.

    Seems that everyone is using the term VDI for any desktop (regardless of user or server desktop) which is accessed through the cloud.

    VDI is rather expensive, XenApp/RDS will work for most things as you have well said a million times.

    Or you cheat and use Windows server (datacenter license) instead of the desktop license.

    But then it's not a desktop;). VDI is a Windows license situation more than it is a technology. Do it with Windows server and you are doing single user remote servers.

    Are those 2 things mutually exclusive? That's what we do with Parallels Virtual Automation for our VDI solution.

    Traditionally, yes, they were exclusive. The term VDI was original a term for desktop licensing tied with remote access. Using a server is just RDS, even if just one connection. Using a server "like" a desktop is a big of a grey area. Doesn't really belong in either camp.



  • @scottalanmiller It's a desktop to the end user. Who doesn't understand the technical elements of it 😉

    But to the guy writing the cheque (non geek) the cost difference between RDS and VDI could be substantial enough to choose which option the company would understake, knowing the advantages/disadvantages of each option.



  • @alexntg It is a difference, agreed. Never said there wasn't. 🙂

    I'm more than aware of the differences between VDI and RDS, as well as their limitations + advantages. Thanks though as this might help other people if they search for anything involving this topic.

    However, the fact remains, that there is a lot of stuff that RDS will do fine and have no issues with, plus RDS is cheaper and easier to deploy.......

    It's like a car, you can get from A to B with a ford focus without an issue if it's a normal road, or you can do it in a limousine. Sure it's nice to have the comfort of being driven/driving the limousine but sometimes trying to justify the much higher cost isn't worth it.

    Now, saying that. I too, am a real geek. Love all techs and if I had my choice, I think I would rather deploy VDI due to the large advantages you get and so on, also due to the technology advancing a lot more. However, if the client requirements meet an RDS install, I would not bother pushing VDI because I can earn more money or because I want to play with new tech.

    Nevertheless, I digress BADLY here.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @Gabi said:

    @scottalanmiller could not agree more.

    Seems that everyone is using the term VDI for any desktop (regardless of user or server desktop) which is accessed through the cloud.

    VDI is rather expensive, XenApp/RDS will work for most things as you have well said a million times.

    Or you cheat and use Windows server (datacenter license) instead of the desktop license.

    But then it's not a desktop;). VDI is a Windows license situation more than it is a technology. Do it with Windows server and you are doing single user remote servers.

    It's still VDI, just using a server OS. It's the virtual equivalent of a power user using a server OS on their workstation, which would still be their desktop, just running a server OS.



  • @alexntg said:

    @NetworkNerd said:

    I'm about to create a VM for our Estimating department to use to access a particular software. The company only wanted to get one seat, and as most know, a single seat tied to a specific computer is cheaper than network licensing most of the time. Basically this VM will run Windows 7 / 8.1 and allow one user at a time to login and use the program via RDP. We don't use VDI in any way. Other than the fact that this will be a VM, it is literally no different than having a desktop computer that is always online.

    My CDW rep is telling me I need a license of Windows 8.1 Enterprise rather than Pro so I can leverage the VDA usage rights. I thought I just needed a license of 8.1 Pro (open license, not retail) to cover the requirements here. Can someone straighten this out for me?

    Correct. You'll either need to pick up a VDA license (recurring annual) for the desktop VM instance or put the computers that will be accessing it under SA (recurring annual), which would also grant them Windows 8 Enterprise. Otherwise, running a Windows desktop OS in a virtual environment would be out of licensing compliance.

    And if I get a VDA license for the VM, does that then entitle me to a full install of Windows 7 / 8 / 8..1 on that VM even though through open licensing I am being sold an upgrade license? Or must I have a fully-licensed underlying desktop OS from which I am "upgrading"?



  • @NetworkNerd said:

    @alexntg said:

    @NetworkNerd said:

    I'm about to create a VM for our Estimating department to use to access a particular software. The company only wanted to get one seat, and as most know, a single seat tied to a specific computer is cheaper than network licensing most of the time. Basically this VM will run Windows 7 / 8.1 and allow one user at a time to login and use the program via RDP. We don't use VDI in any way. Other than the fact that this will be a VM, it is literally no different than having a desktop computer that is always online.

    My CDW rep is telling me I need a license of Windows 8.1 Enterprise rather than Pro so I can leverage the VDA usage rights. I thought I just needed a license of 8.1 Pro (open license, not retail) to cover the requirements here. Can someone straighten this out for me?

    Correct. You'll either need to pick up a VDA license (recurring annual) for the desktop VM instance or put the computers that will be accessing it under SA (recurring annual), which would also grant them Windows 8 Enterprise. Otherwise, running a Windows desktop OS in a virtual environment would be out of licensing compliance.

    And if I get a VDA license for the VM, does that then entitle me to a full install of Windows 7 / 8 / 8..1 on that VM even though through open licensing I am being sold an upgrade license? Or must I have a fully-licensed underlying desktop OS from which I am "upgrading"?

    The full OS. VDA is designed for use with non-qualified accessing devices such as thin clients.