Thinking about offering Desktop as a Service? Pay attention to how you are allowed to license the solution in a hosted environment before implementing! I highlighted below two ways in which you can offer hosted dekstops and only one way to provide desktops in a non virtualized environment.
1. Using SPLA- You have the right to provide a desktop experience in a shared environment using Windows Server and RDS. In this model, you will need to license Windows by processor and RDS for each user. In addition, you can add Office under SPLA for each user as well. No, this is NOT Office 365. but Office under SPLA.
2. Dedicated Outsourcing- Under this model, the end customer has licenses for Windows client OS with SA or VDA subscription under separate volume licensing contract. Great read from my friend at microsoftlicensereview.com – you can check it out Here As a service provider, you must deploy and manage the licenses on their behalf within a physically isolated hardware environment. The end customer must provide the appropriate number of CALs for their virtual desktop. The Windows OS does not have license mobility rights. Ugh.
3. Rent the Desktop using SPLA – Probably a last resort for SPLA partners. Renting a desktop would require you (the service provider)to have a PC that your company owns that already has a qualified OEM license installed, and use Windows desktop OS for SPLA and Office to rent it out. This is only available per a rental addendum. If you are renting desktops today without an addendum, please contact your reseller.
Last, new language in the SPUR states that if you are providing hosted desktops you must explicitly identify that you are providing this using Windows Server, not the desktop license in your marketing materials. This is new in the SPUR. There’s a lot of compliance issues with hosting desktops, this is a way for Microsoft and your customer to know what they are actually getting.
Thanks for reading,
February 13, 2014 at 12:31 pm
Since VMware View 5.3 supports Server 2008 R2 as a desktop and doesn’t need to use it as a terminal server, do we still need the RDS? Can we license the VMware host using a Server Datacenter license and cover all of the virtual desktops?
February 13, 2014 at 3:53 pm
Great questions. VMware does not change the way Microsoft is licensed. Check out http://community.spiceworks.com/attachments/post/0015/9918/Microsoft_VDI_and_VDA_FAQ_v3_0.pdf
February 21, 2014 at 4:03 am
great quick and clear summary!
February 21, 2014 at 8:02 am
Awesome. Thanks Tony. Right back at ya!
July 29, 2015 at 3:35 am
I unfortunately don’t see how the proposed solutions 2 and 3 can be used for providing a DAAS (Windows Client OS) offering out of a data center.
If I understand solution 2 correctly one would try to use the License Mobility for Software Assurance from a customer with a separate Volume Licensing contract. But License Mobility just covers certain server products excluding Windows Desktop Operating System according to the Microsoft Product Terms so I do not see the appropriate usage here.
Solution 3 doesn’t fit as well in my opinion as the managed PC amendment for SPLA (rental PC’s) demands the OEM devices to be physically transferred to end customers at the end customer site. Which of course depends a lot on how you define the end customer site. Could that also possibly be the data center of the service provider? And even if that would be allowed from a license perspective would it even be allowed to remotely login to those OEM devices (assuming the devices used by the customer to login are covered by SA and/or VDA licenses)?