Computer World - Desktop virtualization: Confusion reigns over software licensing


(7-Feb-11) When Dataprise Inc., an IT services company, helped a customer with a desktop virtualization project last year, it found itself dealing with desktop virtualization's dirty little secret: No one -- including vendors -- seems to know how to license the software.

Having run a successful pilot, Dataprise's client wanted to take the next step and deploy 700 virtual desktops, says Chris Sousa, director of infrastructure service at Dataprise. That's when the trouble began. Like many businesses, the customer -- a manufacturer of fiber-optic cable -- had an enterprise agreement with Microsoft Corp., but its IT staff wasn't sure exactly what was covered in a virtualized environment. Apparently, neither was Microsoft, says Sousa, who noted that he called the company repeatedly seeking information.

"We'd get a different answer from a different person on a different day," he says.

In a 2009 study by Info-Tech Research Group Inc., Microsoft Windows licensing was identified as the No. 1 pain point for organizations implementing desktop virtualization, according to Info-Tech analyst John Sloan.

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