I am currently trying to get a frim grasp on software lincensing and linked clones. Basically determining if linked clones are a good option for us.
Ok so we have a client that we will be virtualizing their desktop in the future. This client is an accounting firm with a handful of different software. I wanted to start testing linked clones, but trying to figure out the best options to use for the different types of software. Half of the software is a per user license and the other half is a per workstation license.
How exactly does linked clones work with licensing? I am more worried about the per workstation licenses. Is this a situation where you could install the per user software on the linked clones template and then would have to install the per workstation software on the users linked clone after deployed? My knowledge on ThinApp is limited right now, as we are just starting to look into all of this. Is ThinApp something that would handle the per workstation software? I am really just trying to figure out what everyone else is doing with these types of situations.
Nothing changes as far as application licensing. If applications are licensed per user than even in VDI they are still licensed per user. You should be able to inquire with the application vendor with any licensing questions about using the application in conjuction with ThinApp.
@cshells - I went through Heck and back over licensing about a year ago when I first was introduced to linked clones. The licensing for the linked clones and the software applications that run on it are the same as a regular computer. IMPORTANT note is that everytime you recompose your linked clone pool the individual system is going to "reset" and will be required to re-activate. This is true even if you thin app the applications such as office and adobe pro.
Our vendors told us to buy retail licenses but after the second recompose all activations were used. This was my fault for not searching the licenses information prior to deploying because I took the word of the vendor and their engineers.
For microsoft os's on the virtual enviroment you will need a volume license with s/a or the Microsoft VDA license agreement which is like 100$ / license per year. Same for the Microsoft Office applications. You will need to check on the other software vendors and activation requirements. For the Microsoft products, you will need to configure a KMS server otherwise your users will burn up all your MAK keys. Me personally, I don't like to thin app anything unless I have to. Take a small 10MB software program and after you thin app it, it takes up loads of space specially programs like office and peachtree ect. If it is access about the software, like mine was, I installed the software on the gold image and then stored the software data files on a network drive and used the Domain security policies to control access.
Save your self some trouble and headaches mate, check directly with the MFG of the software and also VMware.
If it were me, I would not waste time on searching for the awnser, call the vendors directly starting with VMware. They work with it daily, if you try to take a shortcut it is going to be very painful later on.
@cprawitz - Very good information thanks. I am not too worried about the Microsoft products since we will be using a KMS server for them.
So when you recomposed, your original licenses where invalid because of the recompose?
Also, when you create the gold image I take it you don't put the license in at that time? If we are talking about per workstation licenses of course. The license would have to be entered in on the users linked clone for each desktop to be connected to a single license key, right? Or is my understand of this off?
I actually haven't talked with VMware yet, I thought I would search around first, but I might have to give them a call to talk it over.
On the KMS, you will install the KMS and during this process you will activate that machine with a MAK license in a sense. I have ours hosted on a virtual Windows 7 Machine. I use the same VM for both the OS and the Office. On this machine the Keys are activated like a retail edition of both.
When you get the vda and volume licenses for the MS products they will give you two types of keys. KMS and MAK. MAK is the tradional MS retail type license that is activated by the user w/ admin rights. The KMS keys are a volume key that give you a certain amount of time to activate the machine. You can either use a couple of DNS entries or add a bat script to tell the machines where to look for the KMS.
Each time you provision a linked clone, the linked clone is going to go to Out Of Box mode and will need to be activated and the same for the Office. Like a fresh install and will activate off of the KMS in place of the internet connection. These licenses must contact the KMS every 90 days I believe before they hit the un-registered mark and go into limited mode.
On your Gold image you will use the KMS keys as you will want these to be on the linked clones. <<<EDIT - You will use the customization wizard / script to define which key is applied to the linked clone during compose. You can use either the MAK or the KMS key on the Gold Image - EDIT>>>
Here is the thing to remember with KMS, you are not activating the machines from Microsoft, you are activating the machines from your own KMS machine. That machine will contact the Microsoft server for it's activation.
Microsoft KMS - http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/existing-customers/product-activation-faq.aspx
Microsoft Office 2010 KMS Pack - http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=25095
Discovery of KMS Machine and Manual Activation of KMS machines - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793406.aspx
Microsoft Windows 7 and 2008 KMS - http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=11170
A good KMS resource blog - http://www.toddlamothe.com/deployment/office-2010-kms-host-server.htm
Another good explaination of KMS and it's workings: http://www.toddlamothe.com/deployment/setting-kms-server.htm
Another helpful hint on the machines and config wizards, if you are not doing anything fancy dont use the sys prep, use the VMware quick prep. Much easier and nicer to use.
Thanks for the good info on the KMS.
I actually was more curious about the non-microsoft products and licensing. More specifically the per workstation licenses for other software products. You were talking about using a license up after a recompose. So I take it when it recomposes it uses up one of the license and you have to have a new license after you do a recompose?
For non-microsoft products and if it is a per workstation license, not a per user. You don't enter the license key on the golden image correct? Since it would be a per workstation license you would have to enter the license on the users desktops after the linked clone is deployed, right?
For example, lets say our client has Quickbooks, currently they have a license for 25 workstations. These licenses are activated when Quickbooks is installed on the workstation. Lets say we will use manual linked clone pools to map users to specific named computers in the pool. So you would have to put the product key on each individual workstation after they logged onto their linked clone, right?
You are correct. In our instance we had two machine licenses for Peach Tree Accounting. Everytime you re-compose, your software will notice a hardware change and have to be re-licensed.
So for Quickbooks, you will not enter your license on the gold image but on the individual clone and activate. When you re-compose the linked clones, you will have to enter your license again on that machine and activate. Where the problem comes if the software has restrictions on the number of activations.
We tried to thin app the Peach Tree but got the same result becuase the software thought the hardware changed with each recompose, we had to enter the key in and re-activate.
Our solution was first we purchased the user license for Peach Tree. For the users of Peach Tree we gave them their own seperate gold image so none of the general users had the software. The I installed the Peach Tree Server to a Virtual Server and shared the data file folder with the ou Peach Tree.
Then I installed Peach Tree to the Gold Image and told it that the programs files are stored under c: and the data files are stored on the shared p: drives. Now the registration takes place on the server, being that the server is licensed and activated on the Peach Tree license, the individuals as soon as they open Peach Tree on their linked clones and tell it to open the company files from the p: drive see that the software is activated and does not require serial number and/or activation. This also prevented the users from having the software keys and license information.
Hope that helps a bit more, might see if you can get a copy of their software for beta testing and see how it works out for you. All software providers do things diffrent. I know that on a machine quickbooks license it can only be activated on the number of machines you are licensed for then you have to call each time and explain why you need to activate. On their pro software they allow a desktop install and a mobile install and I installed to both, then I got a new laptop and had to call them and explain my replacement so that I could get a phone activation key.
Ya that does help a lot. I just wanted to make sure I got a general idea of how this worked.
We will have to do testing and I will call the MFG of the software, but atleast this gives me a good starting point.