MS Licensing - 3rd



  • If I have a physical Windows 2016 Standard server that has only Hyper-V role installed on it. Per M$ licensing I know you can run 2 VM's with Windows Server Standard on it.

    If I need to add a 3rd VM Running Windows 10 Pro, is there a license I need in addition to the Windows 10 Pro license?


  • Service Provider

    Yes, you need full VDI licensing. It is very complex and rather expensive. The most common way to do this is by moving to full Windows 10 Enterprise with Software Assurance through Volume Licensing and getting access to VDI in that way.


  • Service Provider

    It is not nearly as expensive as it was just two years ago, though. It used to be insane.



  • That's what I was thinking. Thanks Scott.


  • Service Provider

    There is VDA device licensing, too, as a path to VDI. But it is rarely a good choice.



  • Is that required for any 3rd OS or just if you add Microsoft desktop products. In other words, could a Linux VM be a 3rd w/o VDI/VDA?


  • Service Provider

    @ccwtech said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    Is that required for any 3rd OS or just if you add Microsoft desktop products. In other words, could a Linux VM be a 3rd w/o VDI/VDA?

    You have to license whatever you install. Hyper-V (and all hypervisors) have no licensing of workloads on top.

    VDI is a Windows desktop license. It only exists in the context of a Windows desktop operating system.

    If you install CentOS Linux, for example, that has no license, there is no license to get.



  • To clarify, that's required even if you aren't deploying Virtual Desktops to users? (In this case it's just to Teamviewer into to run a program vs. having a user Teamviewer into the server itself.)


  • Service Provider

    @ccwtech said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    To clarify, that's required even if you aren't deploying Virtual Desktops to users? (In this case it's just to Teamviewer into to run a program vs. having a user Teamviewer into the server itself.)

    How will you use TeamViewer if not with a user?

    VDI is the sole licensing option for Windows desktops on a server. Without it, there is no means of installing.



  • Would it not be cheaper to just buy another copy of Server 2016 Standard?


  • Service Provider

    @ccwtech said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    Would it not be cheaper to just buy another copy of Server 2016 Standard?

    Very easily, yes. VDI is very expensive, you never do it lightly. Traditionally full server licensing was cheaper, but with the recent changes to the licensing, VDI can be cheaper if you are already doing Volume Licensing or whatnot, but even then it depends.


  • Service Provider

    Remember that the concept of VDI is a fallback. It means that good choices aren't available to you and you are trapped. So MS can charge anything that they want because it's a brute force attempt to work around other things having failed.



  • Thanks Scott. This is very helpful.



  • If you install a Win10 VM on there and nobody will be accessing the desktop... for example it's acting as a server for some type of client software, and will only be accesses via HyperV console for management purposes, I don't think you need VDI licensing. You only need a regular Win10 license to cover the OS. (but do correct me if I'm wrong)

    But if you are running a software on the VM and someone will be accessing it by either Remote Desktop, Team viewer, or similar means, then I believe you do need VDI licensing.


  • Service Provider

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    If you install a Win10 VM on there and nobody will be accessing the desktop... for example it's acting as a server for some type of client software, and will only be accesses via HyperV console for management purposes, I don't think you need VDI licensing. You only need a regular Win10 license to cover the OS. (but do correct me if I'm wrong)

    But if you are running a software on the VM and someone will be accessing it by either Remote Desktop, Team viewer, or similar means, then I believe you do need VDI licensing.

    You need VDI licensing no matter how the system is accessed. All systems are used by users eventually, so you need VDI. Windows 10 cannot be licensed for server use at all, so that would violate use in some other way.


  • Service Provider

    In theory, you might be able to install Windows 10 that is never accessed and never used under a normal Windows full retain box license. But the moment it is used in any way, you'll need VDI licensing. It would be a theoretically useless scenario where licensing would not be required. And even then, if you use it for capacity testing, you have a user involved again, even if the user is not accessing it directly and only using it to produce artefacts.



  • @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    If you install a Win10 VM on there and nobody will be accessing the desktop... for example it's acting as a server for some type of client software, and will only be accesses via HyperV console for management purposes, I don't think you need VDI licensing. You only need a regular Win10 license to cover the OS. (but do correct me if I'm wrong)

    But if you are running a software on the VM and someone will be accessing it by either Remote Desktop, Team viewer, or similar means, then I believe you do need VDI licensing.

    You need VDI licensing no matter how the system is accessed. All systems are used by users eventually, so you need VDI. Windows 10 cannot be licensed for server use at all, so that would violate use in some other way.

    That makes sense.

    So in other words, you can't virtualise Windows Desktop in HyperV for any type of production use without VID licensing?


  • Service Provider

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    If you install a Win10 VM on there and nobody will be accessing the desktop... for example it's acting as a server for some type of client software, and will only be accesses via HyperV console for management purposes, I don't think you need VDI licensing. You only need a regular Win10 license to cover the OS. (but do correct me if I'm wrong)

    But if you are running a software on the VM and someone will be accessing it by either Remote Desktop, Team viewer, or similar means, then I believe you do need VDI licensing.

    You need VDI licensing no matter how the system is accessed. All systems are used by users eventually, so you need VDI. Windows 10 cannot be licensed for server use at all, so that would violate use in some other way.

    That makes sense.

    So in other words, you can't virtualise Windows Desktop in HyperV for any type of production use without VID licensing?

    Correct. VDI is the term for "virtualizing a Windows desktop". There's no way around it. And it doesn't relate to Hyper-V, it's all about Windows. So we can simplify the statement to...

    "You can't virtualize Windows desktops with Windows desktop virtualization licensing."


  • Service Provider

    There were some changes to Windows Desktop licensing within the last month or so related to virtualization, but I never read the details.



  • @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    If you install a Win10 VM on there and nobody will be accessing the desktop... for example it's acting as a server for some type of client software, and will only be accesses via HyperV console for management purposes, I don't think you need VDI licensing. You only need a regular Win10 license to cover the OS. (but do correct me if I'm wrong)

    But if you are running a software on the VM and someone will be accessing it by either Remote Desktop, Team viewer, or similar means, then I believe you do need VDI licensing.

    You need VDI licensing no matter how the system is accessed. All systems are used by users eventually, so you need VDI. Windows 10 cannot be licensed for server use at all, so that would violate use in some other way.

    That makes sense.

    So in other words, you can't virtualise Windows Desktop in HyperV for any type of production use without VID licensing?

    Correct. VDI is the term for "virtualizing a Windows desktop". There's no way around it. And it doesn't relate to Hyper-V, it's all about Windows. So we can simplify the statement to...

    "You can't virtualize Windows desktops with Windows desktop virtualization licensing."

    Is there some kind of an official link somewhere that basically says this?


  • Service Provider

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    If you install a Win10 VM on there and nobody will be accessing the desktop... for example it's acting as a server for some type of client software, and will only be accesses via HyperV console for management purposes, I don't think you need VDI licensing. You only need a regular Win10 license to cover the OS. (but do correct me if I'm wrong)

    But if you are running a software on the VM and someone will be accessing it by either Remote Desktop, Team viewer, or similar means, then I believe you do need VDI licensing.

    You need VDI licensing no matter how the system is accessed. All systems are used by users eventually, so you need VDI. Windows 10 cannot be licensed for server use at all, so that would violate use in some other way.

    That makes sense.

    So in other words, you can't virtualise Windows Desktop in HyperV for any type of production use without VID licensing?

    Correct. VDI is the term for "virtualizing a Windows desktop". There's no way around it. And it doesn't relate to Hyper-V, it's all about Windows. So we can simplify the statement to...

    "You can't virtualize Windows desktops with Windows desktop virtualization licensing."

    Is there some kind of an official link somewhere that basically says this?

    It's not the kind of thing to have a link. It's the "proving the negative" issue. Hyper-V is free and has no licensing. Windows needs licensing. That's all that there is.



  • @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    If you install a Win10 VM on there and nobody will be accessing the desktop... for example it's acting as a server for some type of client software, and will only be accesses via HyperV console for management purposes, I don't think you need VDI licensing. You only need a regular Win10 license to cover the OS. (but do correct me if I'm wrong)

    But if you are running a software on the VM and someone will be accessing it by either Remote Desktop, Team viewer, or similar means, then I believe you do need VDI licensing.

    You need VDI licensing no matter how the system is accessed. All systems are used by users eventually, so you need VDI. Windows 10 cannot be licensed for server use at all, so that would violate use in some other way.

    That makes sense.

    So in other words, you can't virtualise Windows Desktop in HyperV for any type of production use without VID licensing?

    Correct. VDI is the term for "virtualizing a Windows desktop". There's no way around it. And it doesn't relate to Hyper-V, it's all about Windows. So we can simplify the statement to...

    "You can't virtualize Windows desktops with Windows desktop virtualization licensing."

    Is there some kind of an official link somewhere that basically says this?

    It's not the kind of thing to have a link. It's the "proving the negative" issue. Hyper-V is free and has no licensing. Windows needs licensing. That's all that there is.

    Yes, but I'm not asking if Hyper-V is free or not.

    I'm asking where it says that one cannot purchase a copy of Win7 or Win10, and apply that license to a VM (running on any hypervisor), without VDI licensing.


  • Service Provider

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    If you install a Win10 VM on there and nobody will be accessing the desktop... for example it's acting as a server for some type of client software, and will only be accesses via HyperV console for management purposes, I don't think you need VDI licensing. You only need a regular Win10 license to cover the OS. (but do correct me if I'm wrong)

    But if you are running a software on the VM and someone will be accessing it by either Remote Desktop, Team viewer, or similar means, then I believe you do need VDI licensing.

    You need VDI licensing no matter how the system is accessed. All systems are used by users eventually, so you need VDI. Windows 10 cannot be licensed for server use at all, so that would violate use in some other way.

    That makes sense.

    So in other words, you can't virtualise Windows Desktop in HyperV for any type of production use without VID licensing?

    Correct. VDI is the term for "virtualizing a Windows desktop". There's no way around it. And it doesn't relate to Hyper-V, it's all about Windows. So we can simplify the statement to...

    "You can't virtualize Windows desktops with Windows desktop virtualization licensing."

    Is there some kind of an official link somewhere that basically says this?

    It's not the kind of thing to have a link. It's the "proving the negative" issue. Hyper-V is free and has no licensing. Windows needs licensing. That's all that there is.

    Yes, but I'm not asking if Hyper-V is free or not.

    I'm asking where it says that one cannot purchase a copy of Win7 or Win10, and apply that license to a VM (running on any hypervisor), without VDI licensing.

    Oh, you can see that right in the EULA.



  • @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    If you install a Win10 VM on there and nobody will be accessing the desktop... for example it's acting as a server for some type of client software, and will only be accesses via HyperV console for management purposes, I don't think you need VDI licensing. You only need a regular Win10 license to cover the OS. (but do correct me if I'm wrong)

    But if you are running a software on the VM and someone will be accessing it by either Remote Desktop, Team viewer, or similar means, then I believe you do need VDI licensing.

    You need VDI licensing no matter how the system is accessed. All systems are used by users eventually, so you need VDI. Windows 10 cannot be licensed for server use at all, so that would violate use in some other way.

    That makes sense.

    So in other words, you can't virtualise Windows Desktop in HyperV for any type of production use without VID licensing?

    Correct. VDI is the term for "virtualizing a Windows desktop". There's no way around it. And it doesn't relate to Hyper-V, it's all about Windows. So we can simplify the statement to...

    "You can't virtualize Windows desktops with Windows desktop virtualization licensing."

    Is there some kind of an official link somewhere that basically says this?

    It's not the kind of thing to have a link. It's the "proving the negative" issue. Hyper-V is free and has no licensing. Windows needs licensing. That's all that there is.

    Yes, but I'm not asking if Hyper-V is free or not.

    I'm asking where it says that one cannot purchase a copy of Win7 or Win10, and apply that license to a VM (running on any hypervisor), without VDI licensing.

    Oh, you can see that right in the EULA.

    I see conflicting results with what you say regarding Win7 here: http://download.microsoft.com/Documents/UseTerms/Windows 7_Professional_English_7bb89e9f-20ea-4555-892f-394539ec1090.pdf

    "d. Use with Virtualization Technologies. Instead of using the software directly on the licensed computer, you may install and use the software within only one virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed computer. When used in a virtualized environment, content protected by digital rights management technology, BitLocker or any full volume disk drive encryption technology may not be as secure as protected content not in a virtualized environment. You should comply with all domestic and international laws that apply to such protected content."



  • They are much more clear in Window 8 licensing: http://download.microsoft.com/Documents/UseTerms/Windows_8_English_ca383862-45cf-467e-97d3-386e0e0260a6.pdf

    But they do say you can virtualize it in a VM without VDI needed. Only one user may access it at a time and it cannot be used for one user at a time.


  • Service Provider

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    If you install a Win10 VM on there and nobody will be accessing the desktop... for example it's acting as a server for some type of client software, and will only be accesses via HyperV console for management purposes, I don't think you need VDI licensing. You only need a regular Win10 license to cover the OS. (but do correct me if I'm wrong)

    But if you are running a software on the VM and someone will be accessing it by either Remote Desktop, Team viewer, or similar means, then I believe you do need VDI licensing.

    You need VDI licensing no matter how the system is accessed. All systems are used by users eventually, so you need VDI. Windows 10 cannot be licensed for server use at all, so that would violate use in some other way.

    That makes sense.

    So in other words, you can't virtualise Windows Desktop in HyperV for any type of production use without VID licensing?

    Correct. VDI is the term for "virtualizing a Windows desktop". There's no way around it. And it doesn't relate to Hyper-V, it's all about Windows. So we can simplify the statement to...

    "You can't virtualize Windows desktops with Windows desktop virtualization licensing."

    Is there some kind of an official link somewhere that basically says this?

    It's not the kind of thing to have a link. It's the "proving the negative" issue. Hyper-V is free and has no licensing. Windows needs licensing. That's all that there is.

    Yes, but I'm not asking if Hyper-V is free or not.

    I'm asking where it says that one cannot purchase a copy of Win7 or Win10, and apply that license to a VM (running on any hypervisor), without VDI licensing.

    Oh, you can see that right in the EULA.

    I see conflicting results with what you say regarding Win7 here: http://download.microsoft.com/Documents/UseTerms/Windows 7_Professional_English_7bb89e9f-20ea-4555-892f-394539ec1090.pdf

    "d. Use with Virtualization Technologies. Instead of using the software directly on the licensed computer, you may install and use the software within only one virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed computer. When used in a virtualized environment, content protected by digital rights management technology, BitLocker or any full volume disk drive encryption technology may not be as secure as protected content not in a virtualized environment. You should comply with all domestic and international laws that apply to such protected content."

    It's not as clear as you think. You can put it in a VM, but you can't then access it via RDP :) As long as you are virtualizing it on your desktop and accessing it like normal (locally) you can do that. That's how Hyper-V with Windows 10 works.



  • @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    If you install a Win10 VM on there and nobody will be accessing the desktop... for example it's acting as a server for some type of client software, and will only be accesses via HyperV console for management purposes, I don't think you need VDI licensing. You only need a regular Win10 license to cover the OS. (but do correct me if I'm wrong)

    But if you are running a software on the VM and someone will be accessing it by either Remote Desktop, Team viewer, or similar means, then I believe you do need VDI licensing.

    You need VDI licensing no matter how the system is accessed. All systems are used by users eventually, so you need VDI. Windows 10 cannot be licensed for server use at all, so that would violate use in some other way.

    That makes sense.

    So in other words, you can't virtualise Windows Desktop in HyperV for any type of production use without VID licensing?

    Correct. VDI is the term for "virtualizing a Windows desktop". There's no way around it. And it doesn't relate to Hyper-V, it's all about Windows. So we can simplify the statement to...

    "You can't virtualize Windows desktops with Windows desktop virtualization licensing."

    Is there some kind of an official link somewhere that basically says this?

    It's not the kind of thing to have a link. It's the "proving the negative" issue. Hyper-V is free and has no licensing. Windows needs licensing. That's all that there is.

    Yes, but I'm not asking if Hyper-V is free or not.

    I'm asking where it says that one cannot purchase a copy of Win7 or Win10, and apply that license to a VM (running on any hypervisor), without VDI licensing.

    Oh, you can see that right in the EULA.

    I see conflicting results with what you say regarding Win7 here: http://download.microsoft.com/Documents/UseTerms/Windows 7_Professional_English_7bb89e9f-20ea-4555-892f-394539ec1090.pdf

    "d. Use with Virtualization Technologies. Instead of using the software directly on the licensed computer, you may install and use the software within only one virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed computer. When used in a virtualized environment, content protected by digital rights management technology, BitLocker or any full volume disk drive encryption technology may not be as secure as protected content not in a virtualized environment. You should comply with all domestic and international laws that apply to such protected content."

    It's not as clear as you think. You can put it in a VM, but you can't then access it via RDP :) As long as you are virtualizing it on your desktop and accessing it like normal (locally) you can do that. That's how Hyper-V with Windows 10 works.

    The Windows 10 EULA is MUCH more clear:

    (v) use the software as server software, for commercial hosting, make the software available for simultaneous use by multiple users over a network, install the software on a server and allow users to access it remotely, or install the software on a device for use only by remote users;



  • No question about it regarding Windows 10, it's clear as day you cannot virtualize it on a server.

    But for Win7, it's almost not even up for debate being that it's not even mentioned in the EULA.


  • Service Provider

    @tim_g said in MS Licensing - 3rd:

    No question about it regarding Windows 10, it's clear as day you cannot virtualize it on a server.

    But for Win7, it's almost not even up for debate being that it's not even mentioned in the EULA.

    Windows 7 covers it too, by allowing only a single VM per machine. No other VMs can exist on the machine on which Windows 7 is a VM. So while you can virtualize it on your desktop, or on a server, it consumes the entire use of the server, defeating all VDI use cases, but allowing you to virtualize in order to use certain backup or storage tools, for example.



  • Does "accessing" the computer only mean using the desktop? Or does accessing also apply if there's a web server installed or some other app that isn't accessed through the desktop?



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