How to easily License Microsoft Windows with VMware Horizon View
How to easily License Microsoft Windows with VMware Horizon View deployment is a big challenge for any organisation. We just want to pay Microsoft what we contractual owe them, nothing more, nothing less.
With a new licensing option starting December 1, 2014 you can now license an individual instead of a device, and that individual receives use rights for any device. This way when you are using or going to use VDI, Published Apps, SBC or Workspaces (which combine all other execution platforms mentioned) you can now count individuals instead of trying to keep track of a multitude of devices. Which in this world is undo-able. Fortunately Microsoft realised that it is crazy to try to track devices instead of individuals in a mobile, cloud orientated world.
Licensing Windows Software Assurance and Windows VDA on a per User Basis
Traditionally, Windows Software Assurance and Windows VDA have been available for licensing only on a per device basis. Starting December 1, 2014, you can license Windows Software Assurance and Windows VDA on a per user basis. Finally you can now license your users so the user can use or access Windows Enterprise across all their devices. This makes it a lot easier by counting the number of users instead of counting all their various devices. So no need to track every device and license anymore. This simplifies Windows licensing and management. Hurray!!
For full details about the access rights granted, refer to the Software Assurance Benefits section of the Microsoft Volume Licensing Product Use Rights (PUR).
Point 2 mentions: You may install one copy of the software on the Licensed Device or within a local virtual hardware system on the Licensed Device.
Point 5 mentions: Remote use is permitted for the primary user of the Licensed Device and for any other user from another Licensed Device or a Windows VDA Licensed Device.
Point 6 mentions: Only one user may access and use the software at a time.
Not every document from Microsoft is updated yet on the Software Assurance per User basis, I will check again on the release of availability on December 1st 2014.
Why Software Assurance?
If you are using Windows in a VDI or other Virtual infrastructure deployment SA is a must because of Roaming Use Rights and 90-day reassignment rights. Windows Software Assurance provides the greatest flexibility for how you use Windows. It includes access to new versions as they become available, flexible use rights, and a set of tools, technologies, and training to help you get the most from your Windows investment. Windows Software Assurance is available on a per device or per user basis. Windows Software Assurance per User and Windows VDA per User licenses are available through the following Volume Licensing programs: Enterprise Agreement, Enterprise Agreement Subscription, Select/Select Plus, Microsoft Products and Services Agreement, and Enrolment for Education Solutions. Software Assurance for Windows is the path to enabling flexible work styles by providing access to Windows instances in a variety of ways across devices.
Which Option to Choose?
Here’s how to choose the right option:
Windows Software Assurance per User
Windows Software Assurance per User is the right option if ALL of the following apply:
- The user is the primary user of at least one device licensed for Windows 8/8.1 Pro or Enterprise, or Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise, AND
- The device is the user’s primary work device, AND
- The device is not already covered by Windows Software Assurance or Windows VDA
Windows VDA per User
Windows VDA per User is the right option if either ONE of the following applies:
- The user is NOT the primary user of at least one device licensed for Windows 8/8.1 Pro or Enterprise, or Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise, OR
- The user uses a device licensed for Windows 8/8.1 Pro, or Enterprise or Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise, but that devices is the NOT user’s primary work device
Windows Software Assurance per User Add-on
Windows Software Assurance per User Add-on is the right option if either ONE of the following applies:
- The user is the primary user of a primary device with active Windows Software Assurance coverage, OR
- The user is the primary user of a primary device with active Windows VDA coverage
With the Windows Software Assurance per User Add-on, you get all of the benefits of Windows Software Assurance per User or Windows VDA per User at a price that recognizes your existing investment. When you license the primary user of a primary device that is already covered with Windows Software Assurance, the Windows Software Assurance per User Add-on grants the licensed user with all of the benefits of Windows Software Assurance per User. When you license the primary user of a primary device that is already covered with Windows VDA, the Windows Software Assurance per User Add-on grants the licensed user with all of the benefits of Windows VDA per User.
So which edition should you choose? See the Flowchart diagram for you answer. Because there is no requirement that the user is the primary user of a primary device licensed for Windows 8/8.1 Pro or Enterprise, or Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise, Windows VDA per User is the least restrictive option. If you were to license every user with Windows VDA per User, every user would have access to Windows Enterprise without the need to track the operating system license(s) on the user’s device(s) (except for devices on which you install the software locally).
Which License Terms apply?
The license terms that apply to your use of a given licensed product include the Universal License Terms, the General License Terms for the licensing model under which the product is licensed, and any Product-specific License Terms. The most specific rules will always take precedence over the terms above. For example rules mentioned in additional terms always precede over the General License Terms. And the General License Terms always precede over the Universal License Terms.
So can I use Windows 7 with the new licensing in a VMware Horizon View Deployment?
Customers who have licensed software through a Microsoft Volume Licensing program are eligible to use prior versions of the software edition that they have licensed. This is known as a downgrade right. More information is provided in the Downgrade Rights Volume Licensing brief, as well as in the Product Use Rights and the Product List. Important: You may not use both the licensed Windows product and the downgrade product; only one Windows product may be used at a time!
Does this mean we do not need CSL licensing anymore? Yes, I think so!
There are no prices published yet and are unknown for the different options, when they are released I will update this post accordingly.
- 7 Things You Should Know about licensing Windows 2012 R2 on… by Edwin Weijdema
- How to properly license your infrastructure by Anne Jan Elsinga
- Microsoft SQL 2014 Licensing in a VMware environment by Edwin Weijdema
- Windows applications on Chromebook with BLAST by Erik Scholten
- VMware launches AirWatch Express by Anne Jan Elsinga
Edwin Weijdema is a Solutions Architect at Veeam for the Benelux & Nordics region and has over 20 years of experience designing, implementing, and managing data center technologies for large companies. His areas of expertise include virtualization, networking, and storage solutions. He knows what it takes to add business value to partners and customers. He is a veteran vExpert, Cisco Champion 2015 and holds several other certifications.