JBYoung
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Bloomberg, Licensing, and VDI

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Looks like it's been a while since anyone has commented on the subject, and we've recently purchased the software. So now's a great time to open the discussion back up on this.

We purchased Bloomberg Professional, complete with their Bloomberg Keyboards and all. There's been some debate between us, licensing, and tech support as to whether or not we can legally run this in a VMware environment. In our tests, we've proven that the software works. We've yet to receive the keyboards, but we aren't anticipating any issues here. The only issue we have is with the deployment of licenses.


Bloomberg is telling us, all legal issues aside, for this to work in a VMware environment we must have some level of persistence for the user profile. The reason for this is because license information gets updated in the registry during the software's activation and at periodic intervals while it runs. If persistence is not enabled, we would have to reactivate the software each time a machine is refreshed (which would require a call to Bloomberg) or capture the registry key before the machine is refreshed. We tell Bloomberg we do not want to use persistence since this is a student lab, and we prefer to allow students to refresh machines with a reboot if needed to allow some level of self service if a machine is rendered unusable by the student population. Bloomberg has been less than helpful in finding a resolution to making the software fit our environment.

So aside from writing a custom service to manage the registry keys for each licensed machine and archive/restore these from persistent disk in some other location as needed, has anyone come to a resolution that allows the Bloomberg software to run in a non-persistent VMware lab environment without licensing headaches? For us, we will be deploying in kiosk mode, logging in via the MAC address of our Wyse P25 thin clients. If we can't come to a resolution, we will most likely deploy this as a persistent pool and store the license under each user's login.


Thoughts or comments from those of you who have dealt with this?


Thanks,

Jonathan

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JBYoung
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So, with the lack of support from Bloomberg on the issue, the lab decided to purchase PCs and install per Bloomberg's recommendation. We aren't really happy with this solution, but the decision has been made.

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vTimD
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Personally, I have never worked with a View deployment including such picky licensing of software. Though, I have worked with some weird software. Companies with large software like this is generally pretty willing to help get you setup in any way they can, so that they make the sale. If they're uneasy about a non-persistent VDI environment, then that should be a flag for you. From the sounds of it, without going way out of your way to create a "non-supported" solution to the problem, you may just want to setup dedicated persistent desktops.

Another question I had is regarding your users and the use of Kiosk mode. Is the license going to need to be done per machine, or per named user? If you have the Wyse logging in automatically with Kiosk mode, then you would need to license that 1 account. If you need to license the software by each named Windows user, then Kiosk mode won't help you, because the machine will login with the Kiosk account (not the individual users AD account).

-vTimD http://www.vtimd.com If you found this or any other answer useful please consider the use of the Helpful or Correct buttons to award points.
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JBYoung
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I agree. The lack of support in finding a working solution is a definite red flag, but I think the reason there's a lack of support is because the department that purchased the software bypassed us and purchased before confirming with us that the software would work in our environment. So now we have purchased software that we have to alter our environment to fit, instead of our preference of setting requirements and policies for any software prior to purchase. It will actually be easier on our team if we set this up as dedicated persistent desktops because we work with the initial install and deployments. The headache will come when each month, our lab admins have to reinstall the software (per Bloomberg's requirements) to stay in compliance with Bloomberg's licensing. We've received mixed reports on this reinstall. One rep told it was every three months. Another told us it was every month with a three month grace period. In any event, our lab admins will most likely refresh the pool at this point along with the new software, which means licensing information will have to be captured from each VM, archived, and restored. For now, it's only 12 machines. So other than being a minor inconvenience to someone each month, it's not a massive undertaking. However, we would like to find a better solution in case this grows.


For licensing, it is per named user. The licensing is stored with the user's profile and cannot be shared by other profiles on a VM. We will be licensing the AD accounts that we created for each of the 12 machines logging in via kiosk mode. So although this is a lab environment with many students that could use each thin client, each thin client has a singular AD account set up to Auto-login for any student that uses the thin client. Students do not have individual AD accounts. Because of this, we prefer non-persistent so that if and when one student messes up a VM, it can be rebooted and automatically refreshed to it's original state. Our lab admins have accepted that with the purchase of this software, this functionality will no longer be available, and there will be a slightly longer time to recover a VM since we will have to do persistent dedicated VMs and manually manage the refreshes and recovery of licensing.

I have yet to see any official documentation from Bloomberg or the department on what was actually purchased, so some details may not be 100%. I've been told we will not receive any licensing information prior to the installation of the software. After installation we will call Bloomberg with a code from the installation and our site name, and they will provide an activation code. This will have to be done for each installation under each user's account. This is different from our test licenses where we received all the information we needed, including activation codes, via email. If the information sounds a little off, that's because it is. We're getting conflicting reports from the sales representatives, tech support, and everyone in between. So much of my information is taking what we've heard from all of the above and doing our own testing to see what seems to be the case. We still have quite a few uncertainties that won't iron themselves out until we start to deploy the production licenses. We plan to start this process this week after we receive the specialized Bloomberg keyboards and test that they work as expected.

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JBYoung
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So, with the lack of support from Bloomberg on the issue, the lab decided to purchase PCs and install per Bloomberg's recommendation. We aren't really happy with this solution, but the decision has been made.

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joshopper
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Any chance before you decided to go persistent that Bloomberg provided you with the required registry keys? We are using Profile Unity and I think I can get that to capture those if I have a complete list (and this is probably faster than me going to Bloomberg)

Thanks!

Josh

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joshopper
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Hot Shot

So I spoke to Bloomberg support and they gave me a working resolution for non-persistent desktops for licensing.

in HKLM->Software->Wow6432Node->Bloomberg L.P.->User Info

add a DWORD key "Use HKCU" and set the value to 1

VDIMega
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So the "Use HKCU" value works with Bloomberg Anywhere licenses, but when I try it with a Bloomberg Open license it complains that the user needs Anywhere licensing.  Has anyone else experienced this?

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