One of the biggest challenges in deploying a virtualised desktop environment is licensing from both a cost savings point of view, as well as management. Speaking from an SMB perspective, Nexus IT’s Sean Murphy said Microsoft software licensing was a major inhibitor.
“What do you do with 80 OEM licences? You have to make this jump, so you have extra costs,” he said. “People don’t buy 80 thin clients at once, so the business case isn’t so strong.”
Thomas Duryea’s Peter Levett saw licensing as the killer cost for any organisation.
“I have a few customers who are looking at moving certain segments of their users to OpenOffice. They want the manageability feature but don’t want to pay through the nose for it. There’s a pretty large expense here across any desktop solution and it’s got Microsoft’s name on it,” he said.
“The biggest issue with ROI is you can get an OEM licence with a box, and you’re laughing. If you can’t get that with the virtualisation application solution, that’s where it’s hard to have the cost savings conversation at the moment.”
According to Ethan Group’s Shadi Haddad, companies buying OEM licences were not looking to virtualise the desktop.
“It’s typically the big enterprises and government agencies that have these ELAs and agreements in place covering the desktops,” he said. TAS’ Tony Wilkinson also found licensing under VDI to be a pain point.
“You get somebody in enterprise to ask how to licence under VDI, and it’s a big, long process to renegotiate those licences,” he said.