VDI licensing in a Physical Desktop World.

I promise this is the last post on the subject. As you, I cannot stand talking about this anymore but I think I owe an explanation to the two readers of this lonely blog.

After all the comments and conversations I had with other CTPs, here is what I think about the licensing and to get there I will start with a real world example.

If you are a company now deploying 1,000 PCs to your users (let’s assume you have no PCs or that you are upgrading all these with new hardware), you are paying Microsoft, directly or indirectly, a license of Windows Whatever for each device you got, in this case, 1,000 PCs.

If you later enable RDP and allow your users to connect from home you pay nothing else. And if you have 3,000 users in three shifts (1,000 users working 8 hours shift for example), you are still buying 1,000 PCs that come with 1,000 OS licenses. So it is clear that on a physical desktop world the licensing is per device.

Considering that Citrix is really willing to compete head to head with the physical desktop world, why are they licensing XenDesktop on a per user basis if the real physical desktop world is licensed on a per device basis?

Yep, very good question. Let’s hope someone from Citrix reads this blog and is kind enough to give us an answer.

This would fix all the problems created for companies that were relying on the Concurrent User licensing model. Would that hurt their expected revenue? Maybe.

So Citrix people, where are you? We need answers. And fast ones.


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5 Replies to “VDI licensing in a Physical Desktop World.”

    1. Yep, you are right Joe. Still in this case Per Device licensing, as it is done with Physical Desktops, fixes all the problems. No matter if I have 3,000 or 5,000 users. They are all using 1,000 devices.

  1. Per device licensing would completely take care of my concerns. My 28,000 users can only ever use all 1,000 of my lab computers, after all. Not only that, but many of our labs are not open 24×7, so our actual concurrent usage will bounce anywhere from, say, 300 to 1000.

    But since for this use case we have, we’d have to serve all 1,000 concurrent users when all of the labs are packed or scheduled, we fully expected to have to purchase 1,000 licenses – one per device.

    Now for our other expected use cases, both of which will only come after we’ve proven this to be effective and worth the money in the labs, per-user licensing could make sense. Certainly for true desktop replacement scenarios it will. But we have to get from where we are now to there, and that path takes us through my labs, so that’s my main priority right now.

    Per device is fine with me for labs.

    Wait, am I one of the two readers? If not, you may be up to three. 🙂

  2. I’m probably about the sixth in your duo… 😉

    I’d agree regarding that per device would appear to solve a lot of problems – ‘per device’ works great for fixed location models such as these – but stumbles if you move outside of that space.

    Schools/colleges, hospitals, call centres, factory shop floors, all get hit hard with per *named* user licensing. But then I know a lot of those organisations – schools/colleges especially that allow users access from home/dorms – so the “1000” desktops in the labs could be way more outside: distance learners..people using their own machines, machines outside of campus… How do you manage & license the “per device” option there?

    Because – according to MS’s Product Use Rights document – you *must* have a license per device for remote access. The organisations that have fixed device numbers are fine – but to say virtualisation allows flexibility when you’re using Microsoft products is practically nonsense. Still – at least its a notational option.

    Personally – I think Citrix have baulked at trying to get licensing to work on a “per device” model and simply gone with an easier option. If Ctx were to introduce “per device” they’ve got to build some way of monitoring that into their product. I bet named was easy – password manager can be “named user” yes? They’ve never had a device license model before.

    As an aside I also think its highlighting the high cost of the citrix product range. I know they’ve some excellent features – but for a lot of implementations those features are wasted: if ctx wanted to increased revenue offering the chance to enable additional features over and above the core product could have won them more sales than trying to shoe horn a migration to XD by offering a 2-for-1 deal.

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