Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktops (VECD)


Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktops (VECD) is a unique way to licence Windows OS on virtual machines (VM’s) as part of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

The desktop OS (Operating System) images are held on a server and users access them via PC or Thin Clients*. You can have an unlimited number of OS instances on the server, these can be Vista or downgraded to XP, it is licensed by Device and you can have 4 virtual instances per access device at a time.

VECD is priced on a per device per month basis (so 100 users = 1200 units x price) for a minimum of 1 year.

A link to the Microsoft page which includes various datasheets can be found here.

Running Virtual Instances on the desktop is becoming more and more common and, of course, poses it’s own problems when it comes to licensing. You must have a separate OS licence for each VM as well as the OS licence for the physical machine.

If VECD isn’t an option for whatever reason, you can run OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)/FPP (Full Packaged Product) inside the VM to give you the OS licences. However if your corporate standard is still XP (as it is with many companies) it gets a bit trickier! You won’t find an OEM or FPP copy of XP now so you will have to start with Vista and downgrade to XP:

1) Buy a volume licence for Vista= NO. The Desktop OS volume licence is UPGRADE ONLY and as a VM is a clean machine, yo’re not eligible to install an upgrade.

2) Buy an OEM Vista licence= NO. Although OEM licences of Vista Business/Ultimate give downgrade rights, you’re not eligible for OEM licensing as they’re not being installed on a “new” physical machine.

3) Buy an FPP copy of Vista and enrol it in to Software Assurance (SA)= YES. Enrolling an FPP licence into SA** grants you Downgrade Rights, so you can take Vista down to XP and it’s a full copy so you can install it in a new clean VM.

* PC’s MUST be covered with Software Assurance (SA) to be eligible for VECD.

**You have a time limit to enrol the FPP copies into SA. 90 days for Open Licensing, 30 days for Open Value/Select/Enterprise Agreements.

Backup Exec 12.5 Virtual Licensing


Backup Exec 12.5 claims virtual machine licensing is a lot easier and cheaper now, but I’ve been doing some research…and that claim isn’t quite as true as it seems!

The new agents for ESX & Hyper-V are claimed to be able to back up all the Virtual Machines on a physical server..but this is only true as long as they are all file servers!

If you have any application on the VM’s such as SQL, Exchange, Sharepoint, Oracle, SAP etc, you will still need to licence each VM with an application agent and treat it like a separate physical machine…just like before.

Also, the new Virtual Agents only allow you to perform FULL backups. If you want to perform incrementals etc, you will need to buy an Agent for Windows Systems for each VM…just like before.

While the new Virtual Agents will reduce costs and complexity to some degree and they show a step in the right direction, they are by no means the revolution that Symantec indicated!

Microsoft Office Sharepoint 2007 Licensing


As a follow on to my MOSS 2007 post, here’s some information on the various versions and how they are licensed…hope it helps!

The main and most common edition is:

Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007: This is licenced with a single server version and then 2 editions of Client Access Licences (CAL)-Standard and Enterprise. It is the CALs that determine which features are avilable to the users and they are “additive” meaning you must have both the Standard AND Enterprise CALs to receive the Enterprise features, which include:

  • Line of Business Data Search
  • Business process and forms capabilities (such as Web-based Microsoft Office InfoPath forms)
  • Business intelligence capabilities (including report center sites, the ability to build interactive dashboards, and Excel Services)

 Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for Internet sites: This version is licensed per server only and is used for running extranets and internet sites. This means it cannot be accessed by internal employees “creating, sharing, or collaborating on content which is for internal use only”. As there are no CALs required, this edition includes the functionality of both the Standard AND Enterprise editions.

Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007: This licensed via the Server/CAL model so each client accessing the server needs a CAL.

Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007 for Internet sites: As with MOSS 2007, this is per server licensing only, cannot be used for internal only projects and includes full Enterprise functionality.

Microsoft MSDN Licences for Production


As we all know, MSDN (MicroSoft Developer Network) licensing gives developers the rights to use Microsoft software fro Testing & Development purposes; but what not everyone knows is that it gives you production liceces too!

Each Developer who has an MSDN Premium subscription is allowed to use one copy of:

  • Office Ultimate
  • Visio Pro
  • Project Std
  • Sharepoint Designer
  • Office Communicator

for production purposes! That means that when it comes to licensing, if you’ve got say 100 users, 10 of which are Developers-you can purchase 90 x Office Std/Pro for the staff and the developers will be covered via their MSDN subscription. Being aware of this can help reduce the occurence of being over-licensed..and get you some brownie points with the FD?!

 

In the style of Michael Caine..not a lot of people know that!

 

I hope that helps…

 

Vista MUI’s-Extra Languages


Recently I’ve had a few people asking about MUI packs with Vista and it can be a bit confusing for all of us. As I hope this blog will become more well read than the Meditations of Mr Aurelius/Heat magazine I thought I’d post up the info here as a handy reference guide :-)

MUI’s are only available with Vista Enterprise (Vista Business with Software Assurance) or Vista Ultimate, so OEM Vista Business isn’t eligible. Unless, you buy OEM Vista Business and then enroll it into Software Assurance.

 

The alternative is to download the LIP (Language Interface Pack), which is free and provides “a translated version of the most widely used areas of the user interface.” This means it does leave some areas in the “Parent Language” so for example if you had English Vista with a French LIP..some bits would still show up in English.

 

To see more information, go to:

http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/35a1b021-d96c-49a5-8d8f-5e9d64ab5ecc1033.mspx

 

or to download the LIP’s, you can go to:

http://www.microsoft.com/unlimitedpotential/programs/llp.mspx

 

I hope this helps but if you’ve got any questions/suggestions, drop a comment and let me know.

 

Cheers

Rich