Network World - Virtualized software: Licensing terms run the gamut


(16-Sept-10) When Dataprise, 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, 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.

Sousa's experience is not unusual. In a study conducted by Info-Tech Research Group last year, Microsoft Windows licensing was the most-cited pain point for people implementing desktop virtualization, according to John Sloan, lead research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group.

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