Microsoft licensing lessons learned – Mobility, BYOD and Desktop Virtualization?

Neither BYOD and/or desktop virtualization are inherently bad. If the funding is there for the correct licensing and the benefits of improved security and device and account management are realized, these approaches can be quite favorable to you.

Server virtualization is the generally accepted standard, the dominant model if you will. Today’s servers are far too massive, far too dense for single applications and perhaps more importantly, far too massive and dense for licensing.

Microsoft has moved towards its Core processor and Core licensing constructs for some of its products and the cost of licensing many of these very large servers is too cost prohibitive. Licensing just a few servers is not only more economical from a licensing perspective but also from a desire to maximally leverage the computing capability.

One of the best ways to do that is through virtualization and we have truly seen some sophisticated workload balancing schemes. In terms of Microsoft licensing on the desktop side especially, there seems to be a lot of confusion. Questions like: Is Software Assurance required? Or do we need other licensing like VDA or RDS? Or can employees use their own devices? The answer to all those questions is maybe. This may be the reason, in addition to cost, that desktop virtualization hasn’t quite hit its stride yet. In fact, some bloggers who have predicted its demise in favor of a migration to cloud and to Software as a Service models.

We know there are significant factors in play involving licensing a virtualized environment. These are based on architecture and license mobility among other things and we see companies struggling with achieving and maintaining the defensible license position as they try and interpret these licensing rules. We’ve also learned that BYOD and desktop virtualization can be more expensive than originally thought. We think that this stems from understanding the myriad rules around CAL licenses, VDA, subscription licenses, and Software Assurance benefits.


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