Timmax
Contributor
Contributor

XP VMs in vSphere? A license issue?

Hey guys

I'm sorry that this is a bit of a dumb question maybe!  I just wondered if anyone might know definitely if I am able to deploy XP VMs in a standard vSphere environment?

The situation is that I have a closed network comprising a SQL server/domain controller and 4 PCs running XP.  We want to virtualise the lot.  The 4 XP machines just communicate with the DC/SQL svr, and only one operator at a time would control each XP machine.  So I had imagined using basic thin client boxes for users to simply rdp on to each XP client.

My re-seller is telling me I cannot do this!  Now, I am pretty sure that I can - at least physically, it would work.  But Microsoft's licensing is so ridiculously complicated that I can't seem to get a straight answer on whether or not I am allowed to set things up this way.  Obvioulsy I would need 4 x Windows 8 licenses for the VMs, but I don't know if I'd even need RDS/TS/whatever CALs, given that XP supports a single RDP session out of the box?

The thing is, my re-seller is telling me that irrespective of the appropriate CALs, I still cannot deploy XP VMs directly into vSphere (for licensing reasons) and that I would have to either use View, or HyperV.

I just wondered if anyone else has been down this road themselves?  Or does anyone know what the answer is on the licensing front with regards to running XP VMs in vSphere?

Thanks in advance for any assistance!

Tim

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6 Replies
lenzker
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I'm not really a licence guru and think that this problem would fit betten into a Microsoft forum, but I never had heard or had any issues of licencing Windows XP in a vSphere environment. Of course you need a licence per instance or volumen licence.

http://communities.vmware.com/message/806437

was a similiar discussion a few years ago. Probably you should check the paper which is mentioned there

VCP,VCAP-DCA,VCI -> https://twitter.com/lenzker -> http://vxpertise.net
Timmax
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the reply, Fabian.

I've now heard back from our re-seller and the situation has slightly changed.  As expected really, they're now saying that I can run XP VMs directly within ESXi.  However, they are now saying that I MUST have VMware View.  Apparently View licenses are only available in packs of 10 (I only need 4) but apparently I must have View licenses, even if I only want one user at a time to access each VM.

Does this sound right?

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mcowger
Immortal
Immortal

You dont NEED View. If you want to manage everything manually and no have automated provisioning etc, just plain ESXi is fine.

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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lenzker
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VMware view has nothing to do with the Microsoft licencing. I would try to catch another person at your reseller 😉

You only need View if you really want to desktop-virtualization with provisioning of desktops/pools/.... that would be a slightly overkill for your 4 VMs.

VCP,VCAP-DCA,VCI -> https://twitter.com/lenzker -> http://vxpertise.net
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IanBerg
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Ther are two licensing issues here.  The first is running Windows XP in a VM.  As mentioned, you'll need a license per VM or a volume license.  Second, clients accessing virtual instances of Windows XP cannot be running just any operating system.

You really need to talk to your Microsoft account rep but this is what I understand.

Thin clients running Windows and covered with software assurance can connect to Windows VMs for free.

Thin clients running Windows (like Windows Thin) not covered with software assurance require a VDA license.  Costs vary depending on your relationship/contracts with MS.

Thin clients running another operating system (Linux, Wyse, etc...) require a VDA license.

I have seen prices for VDA licenses that range between $12-$100.

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Timmax
Contributor
Contributor

Great answer Ian - thank you! I think the question of what is connecting to the XP VM is the part I was struggling with. We plan to use HP Zero Clients, running Linux to connect - so the requirement for VDA makes sense (though I think it is unfair!

Thanks!

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