Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner conference is taking place this week in New Orleans. There have been several announcements around desktop virtualization, including one about Microsoft bundling *most* of the components needed to build a complete VDI solution.
They’re being sold as the “VDI Suite” licenses, and they’re a combination of the host, management, and broker capabilities you need for VDI. Two versions are available: “standard” and “premium.” The main difference between the two is that the cheaper standard license is VDI only, while the premium version lets you combine VDI and TS.
Let’s take a look at the specifics of each bundle:
Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Standard Suite ($21 per device, per year)
- Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
- System Center Virtual Machine Manager
- System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2
- System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2
- Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), which includes App-V, MED-V, etc.
- All Remote Desktop components (RD Web Access, RD Session Broker, RD Gateway, etc.) However these have restricted use rights so you can only use them to deliver VDI, not full-blown TS (err, “session-based desktops”)
Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Premium Suite ($53 per device, per year)
- Includes everything from the Standard edition, plus:
- Full, unrestricted rights to use all components for TS / session-based desktops too, including TS, App-V to TS sessions, etc.
- TS CAL
The premium suite includes the TS CAL, which is amazing, since this bundle includes a lot more stuff and it’s about half the price as a TS CAL. (Although I guess you have to keep in mind that this $53 is yearly, while I think the $119 or whatever for the TS CAL is perpetual.) But still, wow! What a bundle!
The only real catch is you still have to buy that crazy VECD license (for both bundles), which is the “centralized desktop” license that is needed to even allow you to use VDI in the first place. At first I thought this was crazy, but after thinking about it for a day I so I guess this makes sense too, since you need VECD for any VDI deployment, even if it’s on Citrix or VMware infrastructure. So VECD is like the “base” license, and then on top of that you can choose to buy Citrix, Quest, VMware, Symantec, or this Microsoft Suite.
And finally, notice that these two suites are “per device,” defined as needing one license for each different client device that will access the environment. This is especially fun because just about everyone else in the industry licenses their stuff based on users. I mean Microsoft even recommends XenDesktop in their blog post, yet XenDesktop is sold based on concurrent users. Ugh!
Bottom line, though, is that these bundles are smart. Tomorrow we’ll look at what this will mean for Citrix and VMware.