At MMS today Microsoft pulled back the curtain on Windows 8 Enterprise, offering the first hints on what it would be doing to improve the lot of enterprise IT as desktop virtualization goes mainstream and the consumerization of IT continues to rock the boat. Unfortunately the answer is, not a lot.
Articles Tagged with Licensing
When we look for patterns from the past, sometimes we can really get a good idea of what the future might entail. If you take a look at the way VMware has rolled out licensing changes during each of the major releases you can see a pattern and get an idea of what the future may bestow upon us. When Virtual Center was first released, vMotion and vSMP were licensed separately from Virtual Center as an add-on for Virtual Center.
OnLive, the desktop pundits favorite DaaS provider, is one step closer to being able to offer a viable and fully compliant virtual “desktop” service following the stealth update of its platform from a Windows 7 based VDI service to a Windows Server 8 R2 Remote Desktop Services offering. While this move eliminates the threat to the service that attempting to run a set based on a licensing model that was not compliant with Microsoft’s licensing policies, OnLive is still not out of the woods.
OnLive is on the verge of making a game-changing move in the VDI space. The game focused application delivery company announced their OnLive Desktop service at CES this year. OnLive Desktop claims to deliver a seamless Microsoft Windows desktop experience with cloud-accelerated web browsing and full Adobe Flash. The marketing talks of “instant-response multi-touch gestures“, “complete and convenient viewing and editing of even the most complex documents” and “high-speed transfer from cloud storage or Web mail attachments“. Sounds like something a CFO would bite your hand off for.
Still, delivering a ubiquitous desktop environment is a complex undertaking. Desktone tried punting to end users and then thought better of it. The default position when delivering desktops is to deliver a Microsoft Windows workspace: that’s what most users need and want to run their applications. However, a “use any device” model gets hampered by Microsoft’s VDA yearly license cost, and further constrained by the lack of a viable way of policing/validating VDA assignment. VDI can leave an enterprise open to Microsoft beating them with a stick for a host of additional end device licenses.
Have OnLive taken an impressive application delivery model and tried to apply it to windows desktops without necessarily thinking licensing through? Will the scalability and experience that Onlive have mean that VDI vendors should re-think their technology? Will the buzz that OnLive has created mean an new level of engagement with Microsoft, perhaps even a shotgun wedding? Will Onlive Desktop be the technology that prompts Microsoft to get its licensing-of-vdi house in order, properly enabling a Desktop-as-a-Service market: what better way to laugh in the face of Apple than to have most iPads running Windows 8?
Should software licensing be completely based off of the hardware MAC address of the NIC and or UUID of the mother board? This process worked very well before the introduction of virtualization but now that virtualization has become more prevalent in most environments. I think software venders really need to reconsider how they are going to license their software although it seems that some companies have not bought on to the idea of virtualization and would prefer to continue to support their product type to a specific hardware platform that the vender put together and shipped out. Can software venders hope to survive and remain current without embracing virtualization? I think the answer to that question is going to be no in the long run.
The news is out, VMware has changed its vRAM licensing model for vSphere 5. VMware has clearly decided to continue its premium pricing strategy for what is hands down the best virtualization platform on the market. VMware probably views this pricing as necessary to continue to fund the massive investment in R&D that is required to maintain this leadership position, and to protect itself from the ever increasing levels of workload density that are being enabled by ever more powerful CPU’s and ever greater core density.