I know, if we use a thin client to access a Windows (View VM) we need a VDA (100$ Year) license. But does the VDA license include the Windows 7 OS which we have to install in the View environment for using it with the thin client?
What's the right way to license this?
1. thin client + VDA + Windows OS
2. thin client + VDA (Windows OS included)
3. thin client + Windows OS with software assurance?
My understanding is that you pay the fee (or have a client that is covered under SA to get it "free") and you are licenced for up to 4 instances per covered endpoint. I do not believe VDA is in excess of a typical windows licence. That said, Im a technical person not a lawyer\licensing expert.
My understanding is that if you have SA won't have to buy a separate license to access Windows in a VDI environment because rights are included.
Non-SA customers will have to buy a VDA license, year per device secondary and noncorporate network devices, such as home PCs.
The old VECD plan was $110 per device per year, and didn't allow you share or roam the license
• Install Windows 7/Windows Vista/Windows XP virtual machines on any combination of hardware and storage
• Unlimited movement between servers and storage
• Access corporate desktop images from non-corporate owned Windows-based PCs
• The primary user of a Windows VDA device has extended roaming rights, which means that he/she can access their VDI desktop
from any device outside of the corporate environment, such as a home PC or an internet kiosk
• Includes Software Assurance (SA) benefits such as 24x7 call support, training vouchers, access to Enterprise versions of
• Eligibility for other Software Assurance products, such as MDOP and Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs
• Single Windows VDA license allows concurrent access for up to 4 VMs
• Reassignment rights to another device after 90 days, or in the case of end-point failure
• Dynamic desktop licensing enabled through KMS/MAK activation
• Unlimited backups of both running and stored VMs
You no longer need to license non-corporate access points (provided that user is a primary user of a licensed endpoint).
this is a real big problem, as Ms by is selve is not sure how to licens a VM enviroment.
Make 6 calls at MS and you'll get 12 different answers. I'm fighting every day again with it.
but: thake a SA and license every user by his own. Keep a lot of charge in the back, because Microsoft will come later on and
thkes some more money from you. Otherwise, go in bet with your MS dealer, and you'll might be free of any fee.....
I don't think we had a clear answer to the question, at least I'm still confused.
I've got a Thin Client hardware device so I have to buy a VDA license at $100 / year to access my Windows 7 guest...I get that bit. However do I ALSO have to license that Windows 7 guest OS or does the VDA cover that??
I suggest to ask your (implementation) partner to ask this question for you.
But as far as I understand the license of Windows 7 (and/or Vista/XP) are included in the VDA license.
I have been trying to get the answer to this question for many months. MS license resellers have said the answer is NO - VDA does not include the underlying OS license. VDA is more like a CAL. It is simply an access license. Yet questions in my mind still linger so lets try rephrasing the question in a series of questions:
Can I use a VDA license to activate a Windows 7 virtual machine? I believe the answer is NO.
A VDA license is supposed to provide access to MAK/KMS keys for activating Windows 7. These keys can be used to activate Windows 7. However, does "access to" mean you get a MAK\KMS key for every VDA license you own, or does it mean you simply have to right to purchase MAK\KMS keys (normally MAK\KMS keys are only available to people on SA or volume)? I believe "access to" simply gives you the right to pay more money to Microsoft to purchase the OS you plan to run in the virtual machines. Feel free to argue with me on this conclusion. I would love to hear from someone who is actually living this scenario (e.g. no SA only VDA - where do you get your OS licenses for you VMs).
Based upon the above lets look at a scenario:
You have a computer running Windows XP sp3 and you use that computer to connect to a Windows 7 virtual desktop. What licensing do you need?
Under Microsoft licensing you must have a separate OS license for the Windows XP sp3 computer (be it OEM, FPP, Volume, SA).
You must also have a separate OS license for the Windows 7 virtual desktop (be it OEM, FPP, Volume, SA).
NOTE - Windows 7 requires activation, and you can't use a VDA license to activate Windows 7, hence you must have a separate Windows 7 OS license (MAK\KMS)
NOTE: It can be argued that while VDA gives you "access to" MAK\KMS licenses, it does not actually give you the licenses, it just gives you the right to purchase the licenses (e.g. pay more money to Microsoft).
If your Windows XP desktop is licensed under OEM, FPP or Volume then you must purchase a VDA license to be able to access the Windows 7 virtual desktop.
If your Windows XP desktop is licensed under SA then you do not need to purchase an VDA license.
The real question is - what if your Windows 7 virtual desktops are licensed under SA, but your Windows XP desktops are licensed under OEM, FPP, or volume. Do you still need a VDA license to connect to the Windows 7 virtual desktops, or does SA on the Windows 7 virtual desktops provide VDA to your Windows XP desktops?
I think the answer to the above question is that SA licensing will not allow a company to split out their OS licensing, hence the scenario is impossible. If you get SA for the Windows 7 virtual desktops you would be required to get SA for the Windows XP desktops as well. In that circumstance no VDA would be required because all of the Windows XP desktops are under SA.
However, what if your employees are not using company equipment. If your employee is using a home computer running Windows XP licensed under OEM to connect to the Windows 7 virtual desktop, does the employee need a VDA? If the employee is the primary user of a company computer that is covered under SA or VDA then the company SA or VDA license will allow "occassional" usage of a home computer without additional licensing. If the usage was more than "occassional" then a VDA license would be required for the home computer.
The bottom line question - Does VDA give you MAK\KMS licenses or does it just give you "access to" MAK\KMS licenses? My reseller says it just gives you "access to" the MAK\KMS licenses, you must still separately pay for those MAK\KMS licenses.
We finally had reason to go directly to Microsoft for an answer to this question.
Here is the question we posed to Alexander R. Vasilakos, West Region Lead, Telephone Partner Account Manager (TPAM) Microsoft Corporation powered by Tech Data:
"I do not own a Microsoft OS license. I have a laptop running Linux. I purchase a VDA license. As part of that VDA license, Micosoft gives me a volume license key to install Windows 7 in a VDI environment so I can connect to the virtual Windows 7 machine using my Linux laptop.
Is the above accurate? Does purchasing a VDA license give me a license to install Windows 7 in a virtual machine?"
"You are correct, purchasing a VDA licenses give you the rights and keys to install a copy of Windows 7 in a virtual desktop environment hosted on a server. As long as you have a program to connect to that virtual environment on your Linux desktop such as VMware View or Microsoft VDI the VDA licenses is all you would need for that scenario."
This means you do not need to own the Windows OS separate from the VDA license. The VDA license gives you the Windows OS license to run in a VDI environment.
MoffatThomas, have you implemented this scenario that you put to the MS person? Did you get a license for Win 7 with each VDA license you purchased? I am looking at virtually this same scenario you described and after reading conflicting opinions I cannot figure out if you get the Win7 OS with each VDA license or not. If I was a betting man I would say yes you do get the license with the VDA.
Thanks for any help. Kieth
We have not actually purchased the licenses; however our Microsoft license guru has reassured us in no uncertain terms, that YES, you get the Win 7 OS with each VDA license. This is the OS that you install on the virtual machine. You then attach to the virtual machine with any separately licensed OS or zero client you want.
Gunner, please keep us up-to-date on what you end up with. I have just advised our management to buy VDA licenses based on what I have been able to glean from the Internet. We are only buying less than ten, and we do have to have them, but it will delay the setup if I don't get licenses for Win 7 with them. Thanks for any help you can give the rest of us. I am sure there are a bunch of people who want to know what the final results are. Kieth
This is a great discussion.
We too have been trying to get a concrete answer from MS regarding VDI licensing.
The statement made above about it being true that a VDA license solves the VM licensing woes is great. And I confirmed with my MS expert as well.
If there are any "vmware experts" out there that have read this discussion, or if there are any MS "licensing experts" out there that have read this discussion please chime in here. Obviously with the number of reads(over 2600) this discussion is getting, it is of huge interest and concern to a lot of people and I would dare to venture that at least someone who knows the answers to the licensing questions has at least glanced at this discussion. The question about how vdi is licensed has got to have concrete answers unless I am just naive. Come on experts give us a hand please.
One thing to add that I haven't seen mentioned is that when we purchased the VDA from CDW we were told we had to commit to 3 years. We could stretch the payments so we were only paying the $100/device per year but if our contractors drop out of the picture after 1 year we still have to pay for 2 more years. Has anyone else purchased VDA and run into this? Just curious. For 3 devices that wasn't a big concern for us but those facing larger #s it may be a factor.
We were adviced by CDW that for our 250+ users, it would be our best bet to go into an EA and this would encompass both our physical and virtual machines. This includes SA as well which allows for roaming, multiuse licensing as well as free upgrades to most recent version.
Still a bit vague though
Be aware that if you use any Thin Clients then these will not be covered by SA, even if they run Windows 7 Embedded. Only full Windows clients can have SA otherwise you need to buy a separate VDA.