Desktop OS Virtualisation – Part 1 – Windows Vista Enterprise and Remote Boot Licensing Rights

 

Lets begin at the beginning, Windows OS + Software Assurance = Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Enterprise = Desktop Virtualisation and extended license rights

To clear up any confusion around the rules on Virtualisation and Windows Vista Enterprise

Windows Vista ENTERPRISE, ULTIMATE or a 3rd party product must be installed on the physical host to run the Virtualisation software, these  versions are the only option available if you want to avail of the extended Virtualisation rights, namely 4 additional virtual OSEs!!

You may not use Windows Vista Business or XP or any other version of Windows on the physical host

You may run an instance of any edition (Business, Enterprise or Ultimate) or a prior version of the software in place of the licensed version on the Virtual Desktop OSEs

More on this in  the Product Use Rights Document the black and white rules of Licensing and Brief

 

Why is Windows Vista Enterprise right for me?

If you want to have multiple Windows OS on a single PC, if you want the technology advances of Windows Vista, but still need legacy editions of Windows OS or Desktop Applications

So the above covers off the extended Vista Enterprise rights, each license will give you up to 4 virtual instances of the  Windows OSE per device, but what if you decide you would actually like to store these additional virtual instances of Windows OS on a server, or VHD or SAN, well, that’s covered too

Windows OS + SA also = Remote Boot

This new right permits, as an alternative to installing the software on your desktop PC,  install copies of Windows Vista on a storage device, such as a network server.

You can then run those copies locally on the desktop PCs by remote booting an operating system image over an internal network from the storage device. 

This right applies to Vista Enterprise, Vista Ultimate (available through Software Assurance), or any eligible prior version of Windows Vista Business, if you choose to run either of those editions in lieu of Vista Business.

Why is remote boot right for me?

If you want to have PCs with the option of no local hard drives, were your devices connect and pull a central image down to the PC only when connected to the server, this is the correct solution for you!

 

And what if you want to run Windows OS on a server and access via PCs or Thin Clients well that’s VECD

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31 Comments

  1. Emma, can you specify, which OSes can I install on top of Vista Enterprise / Ultimate (or for example VMware ESX with a dedicated license of Vista Enterprise/Ultimate attached to host) to get 4 free instances? Words like "any edition" are confusing.
    Namely: WS2008/Vista/WS2003/XP/2000/Me/98/95/NT – what can I use? As far as I get – any Vista, ?any?  XP (Mediacenter? Tablet?), ?2000 Pro?, ?Me?, ?98?, ?95?, ?NT workstation?.. No servers of course for free.
     
    Also, I didn\’t get about "or any eligible prior version of Windows Vista Business, if you choose to run either of those editions in lieu of Vista Business" How came Vista Business here?
     
    And the last one, – if I do want to use VPC on my Vista Home. Can I install it, BUY another license for VM and use it?
     
    Thanx.
    I will ask that many questions in your other great articles about virtualization rights, coz I am making a presentation on that topic soon and need the answers.

  2. Hi
     
    When you license the Host OS for Windows Vista Enterprise, Ultimate or 3rd party in the guest or virtual OSs you can run any prior version of Windows Vista Business < Windows Vista Business is the core offering, this is why we use this version as the "base" for establishing downgrade rights>, see below for more detail

    Volume licensing customers with a license for Windows Vista Business are eligible to use a prior version in place of the version they have licensed. Eligible prior versions of Windows Vista Business include Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000 Professional, Windows NT Workstation 4.0 or 3.51.
    Microsoft has extended the above downgrade rights under Windows Vista Business Upgrade to allow you to downgrade to Windows 98 or Windows 95.  If the customer exercises this right to use a prior qualifying Windows operating system for which there is Microsoft Plus! Software available, the customer may also use the appropriate Microsoft Plus! Software. For example, a customer who enrolls Windows Vista Business under Software Assurance may choose to use Windows 98 and Microsoft Plus! For Windows 98 instead of Windows Vista Business.  Windows Millennium and Windows XP Home Edition are not prior versions of Windows Vista Business
     
    We have removed the restriction on Windows Vista Home in a virtual environment, in Jan 2008
     
    check updated MSLT          http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/useterms
     
    If it helps I can post some training material to help, let me know what you need
    CheersEmma

  3. Thank you for explanation.
    One more issue.
     
    In this article you say: "You may not use Windows Vista Business or XP or any other version of Windows on the physical host"
    When I asked you about the case when I have Vista Business installed and I have Software Assurance, you said: "5. For PC you need to have Windows Vista Business + SA = Windows Vista Enterprise or Ultimate"
    So my question is: I have Vista business on all PCs in my company (preinstalled). I baught SA, so I have Vista Enterprise license. Buy I do not want to reinstall my OSes! Can I use Vista Business (and attached to host my Vista Enterprise license from SA) on host and run four free instances?
    Same question goes to Windows XP PRO, installed at thouthand of customers, who have SA. Can they use 4 free VM instances with SA license, but still having XP on hosts, or we require to upgrade OS in this case?
     
    Alex

  4.  

    HI Alex
     
    To make sure this is completely clear
     
    Windows Vista Business + SA = Windows Vista Enterprise or Ultimate
     
    To get entitlement to the 4 Guest/Virtual OSs on the PC, you need to have SA and you need to install Vista Enterprise or Ultimate or 3rd party technology as the HOST, you may not use Windows Vista Business or XP Pro as a HOST for the 4 Guest OSs, you may install Business or XP Pro as a Guest only
     
    You cannot attach 2 Vista Enterprise Licenses to 1 device, as Vista Enteprise is an SA Benefit, 1 machine cannot have 2 SA
    attached
    If you need more than 1 Host and 4 Guest OSs per machine, you have 2 options
     
    Purchase Fully Pack Product – retail/FPP Windows Vista Business/Ultimate for each additonal instance of the OS you need
    or
    Purchase VECD coverage for the machines, providing up to an additional 4 Guest OSs <run up on a server>
     
    More on VECD
     
    Emma!

  5. Hi Emma
     
    I\’ve got one more question. On this picture you have a license for Virtual PC. But why do I need one since it is a free product? I understand that I need a license for every Guest OS — either with Extended Virtualization Rights or purchased separately. But what about the virtualization software itself? As far as I can understand I do not need a license for Virtual PC since I have any valid Winodws license.
     
    Thanks in advance,
    Artem

  6. Hi Artem
     
    The picture symbolises what is required from a technical and licensing perspective
     
    Virtual PC is a free offering now, so no, you do not need to pay for this, but you still need the license
     
    Cheers Emma

  7. Need some clarification…what happens with OEM licenses?Say I bought Vista Enterprise through an OEM (Dell for example). I went and exercised my rights to install a prior version on the host (Windows XP) since we\’re not ready to move to Vista just yet. Can I install Virtual PC or VMware Workstation on this machine and then run another VM of Vista or XP on top of that same host without any more license purchases? I do not have SA for the OEM licenses. If I\’m not allowed to do this then what part of the PUR am I breaking and what do I need to stay in compliance?Part 2 of this is what happens if I am running something like VMware ACE where the VM is running off a USB stick? Same PC as above but the location of the VM has moved from local media now to a USB drive. The USB drive will always stay with this machine. What do I need to stay in compliance then?Any help is appreciated. You are the best at explaining all of this!

  8. Hi Mike
    Answers inline in BOLD
     
    Say I bought Vista Enterprise through an OEM (Dell for example) – You cannot buy Vista Enteprise via OEM or FPP its an SA benefit only
     
    I went and exercised my rights to install a prior version on the host (Windows XP) since we\’re not ready to move to Vista just yet – If you buy Windows Vista Business or Ultimate OEM, yes, you can install Windows XP Pro in place of the Vista licensed
     
    Can I install Virtual PC or VMware Workstation on this machine and then run another VM of Vista or XP on top of that same host without any more license purchases? At this point you have "downgraded" to Windows XP Pro and that is the one instance you are permitted to run, OEM is a single use license, you would need to purchase Windows Vista Ultimate OEM to get additonal VIRTUAL instances or attach SA to the OEM Windows Vista Business license you bought
     
    I do not have SA for the OEM licenses. If I\’m not allowed to do this then what part of the PUR am I breaking and what do I need to stay in compliance? OEM is governed by the Microsoft Software License terms, formally the EULA, not the PUR, PUR is for Volume Licensing only, each license you buy via OEM for the Desktop OS is tied to that original hardware and provides you 1 instance of the OS on that device, attaching SA to the OEM Vista Business gives you the right to run Vista ENTERPRISE which has the additional 4 virtual OS rights,
    You can certainly purchase copies of FPP to cover additonal instances on the device, if you do not want to attach SA to the OEM/FPP OS licensePart 2 of this is what happens if I am running something like VMware ACE where the VM is running off a USB stick? Same PC as above but the location of the VM has moved from local media now to a USB drive. The USB drive will always stay with this machine. What do I need to stay in compliance then? This is not currently supported under MS Desktop OS licensing policy, we are revising the licensing terms, this will more than likely be part of the MDOP offering when we support this as a technologyHope this helps
    Emma

  9. I\’m having a hard time following all this.  One of the reasons my organization decided to go with an Enterprise Agreement was to get the virtualization rights the Microsoft reps kept reminding us about.  The thing is they knew full well we are currently on XP and weren\’t just going to upgrade all our machines to Vista (since another reason we made the jump was to get the rights to image all our desktops with XP from a standard image).  I\’m wondering whether our reps simply sold us benefits they knew we didn\’t meet the criteria to take advantage of.
     
    So if we have an XP machine with the upgrade license to Vista Enterprise and under software assurance through our Enterprise Agreement, what Desktop OS virtualization rights do I have? (ie how many Xp/Vista VMs can we have on a single XP OS?)

  10. Hi Derek
     
    I cannot speak for the specific MS reps you have been dealing with, nor can I contact them on this as you have not left any company details for me to provide feedback to them, if you want me to do this, please email me your contact info
     
    Please also bear in mind this blog is for depth info, so its not general help, and if you find difficulty reading the blog entries we have a customer support team on 0870 60 10 100 who can talk to you on licensing matters
     
    If you had or have active SA on Windows OS licenses when we released Vista then you have rights to install Windows Vista Enterprise as the Host OS on the PC and take advantage of the Windows vista Enterprise extended virtualisation rights by installing up to an additonal 4 windows OSEs on that device, the 4 extra OSEs can be Windows Vista Business, Ent, Ultimate, or XP Pro, 2000,98 or windows fundamentals for legacy PC, the HOST OS will need to be Enterprise or Ultimate or 3rd party technology
     
    Hope this clears any confusion
    Emma

  11. Emma,
     
    Wondering if, in a VDI scenario, purchasing FPP for the VMs covers every and all deployment and access scenarios. For example:
     
    Deployment:
     
    -Is re-imaging allowed?
     
    Access:
     
    -Can a single user access the same VM (permanently assigned to them) from any access device?
     
    Just trying to uncover scenarios where using FPP involves certain tradeoffs (besides economic ones) that customers need to know about.
    Thanks,Jeff

  12. Hi Jeff
     
    FPP in a VDI situation would be on a 1:1 basis wereas VECD provides unlimited instances on the server and up to 4 OSE pulled down from the server per VECD covered device, FPP would be 1copy on server and 1 copy per single access device, same device, dedicated
    To answer your question, there would be situations were FPP would be the most economical way forward, for small dedicated deployments, normally remote boot <RDP>as opposed to actual virtualisation or VDI
    Do not get confused re the licensing, FPP is still dedicated to the individual device, you can re-assign, but not on a short term basis, it would just be running off the server as opposed to locally on the device
     
    FPP can be reimaged using VL media under specific criteria, check out the re-imaging brief on my blog
    OS licenses are per Device, no per User option exists, so you would need to assign a license to every DEVICE that the user is accessing the OS from
     
    VECD would be the most economical solution for many of the scenarios we see, there is always alternatives
     
    CheersEmma

  13. Hi Emma,
     
    I think you\’ve helped clear up my confusion.  Let me recap my understanding to make sure I\’m understanding you correctly:
     
    To make use of the virtualization rights for an additional 4 OS, we need to have Windows Vista Enterprise licenses/upgrades through Software Assurance (SA).  If we use the SA licenses to downgrade to XP, we lose the virtualization rights for those 4 additional operating systems since we are no longer running Vista Enterprise (even though the license to run XP is actually the downgraded Vista Enterprise license).  I was hoping we might be able to retain those virtualization rights to run 4 virtual OSs by using a downgraded Vista Enterprise license, but you are telling me those rights don\’t survive the downgrade. 
     
    Am I correct in all this?
     
    Thanks so much,
     
    Derek

  14. Hi Derek
     
    If you have the right to Windows Vista Enteprise, so you have active SA, then you need to install Windows Vista Enterprise or a 3rd party piece of technology on the host OS, you may not install XP Pro, to get the extended virtualisation rights associated with Vista Enterprise, you may install all 4 Virtual OSEs with XP Pro, the host must be Enterprise
     
    Hope this helpsEmma
     
     

  15. Hi Derek
     
    If you have the right to Windows Vista Enteprise, so you have active SA, then you need to install Windows Vista Enterprise or a 3rd party piece of technology on the host OS, you may not install XP Pro, to get the extended virtualisation rights associated with Vista Enterprise, you may install all 4 Virtual OSEs with XP Pro, the host must be Enterprise
     
    Hope this helpsEmma
     
     

  16. Hi Derek
     
    If you have the right to Windows Vista Enteprise, so you have active SA, then you need to install Windows Vista Enterprise or a 3rd party piece of technology on the host OS, you may not install XP Pro, to get the extended virtualisation rights associated with Vista Enterprise, you may install all 4 Virtual OSEs with XP Pro, the host must be Enterprise
     
    Hope this helpsEmma
     
     

  17. Thanks Emma.  Yes, that helps.
     
    I\’m wondering, what do you mean by "3rd party piece of technology on the host OS"?  Are you referring to something like VMWare Workstation or Server?
     
    Derek

  18. VECD question – for external contractors using their own PCs to access running virtual machines on my host servers, can I use Windows VECD (as opposed to VECD for SA) when they are not using thin clients? In other words – is Windows VECD (as opposed to VECD for SA) ONLY for THIN CLIENTS or can it be used on non-SA PCs outside of the enterprise?

  19. Hi BilboYes same for Windows 7, VECD/Diskless boot covers the Desktop OSE, for Win Server, you can cover with a Remote Desktop Services CAL <new TS CAL> you dont need VECD for Server OSECheersEmma

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