Category Archives: View

VMwareTV releases new VMware View 5 videos

VMwareTV, VMware’s YouTube channel, just released some great videos on View 5.

This video shows the steps in entitling users to a pool of desktops using the View 5.0 Administrator.

This video shows the steps in creating a linked clone pool of desktops using the View 5.0 Administrator.

This video shows the steps in entitling a ThinApp application to a pool of desktops using the View 5.0 Administrator.

This video shows the steps in importing and editing the VMware View persona management group policy in an Active Directory server supporting a View 5.0 infrastructure.

Understand the PCoIP protocol that powers VMware View desktops. Learn how to tune the PCoIP protocol for different workloads to optimize performance.

This session will cover the basic features of VMware View Persona Management and the appropriate use cases where it provides the right fit. It will contain a brief demo of setting it up, including the most common settings to be used.

Learn how to troubleshoot VMware View from some of the best field troubleshooters. See how to identify the failure domain and obtain clues that point to root causes and how to resolve problems quickly and efficiently. You will be able to identify key logs and critical indicators of problems as well as determine if View is running smoothly.

Learn the tips and tricks to provide your business a data back up and recovery solution for the datacenter. This session covers back up requirements and storage design for different components and provides a reference architecture used to build this solution.

These videos are also available at VMware View Bootcamp page:

VMware View and OS activation

This is on the same note as my previous post so please check that out here.

So when using VDA licences you either get MAK or KMS licenses. Also sometimes you don’t want to setup a KMS infrastructure.

I will not go into detail what the difference is between MAK and KMS because that will require a long and tedious post.

Activating a Virtual Desktop with these two kind of license models are quite different.


  • When using KMS, the desktop only needs access to the KMS server and it will be activated.
  • You can create desktops using both QuickPrep or SysPrep.
  • As such VMware View was intended to use KMS activation.


  • When using MAK, you use a “multiple activation key” to activate the desktops.
  • You can only create desktop using QuickPrep. You will need to activate the “golden” image for recomposing.
  • Sysprep will not allow the desktops to activate as the user needs to be a admin on the desktop. Thats really nothing you would want.


VMware View and Microsoft OS licensing

This subject is very important for all View setups and designs, especially for the SMB. Which Microsoft OS packages are best for VMware View implementations?
The answer is, as always, it depends 🙂

First we have several ways of licensing desktops; OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), FPP (Full Packaged Product), Volume Licensing and SA (Software Assurance).

  • OEM: Pre-installed on hardware manufactured by authorized computer manufacturers. These licenses are non transferable and are not an option in VDI infrastructures.
  • FPP: Boxed software sold by resellers. Includes one license for retail machines. Not used with large-scale VDI deployments. Can be used as a single VM per server (not really an option), or buy a another FPP for each VM that will accessed on a device with a FPP (cheaper to get SA). Can not move VM’s between servers.
  • VL: Used by organization that need five or more licenses. Has the same limitations as FPP licenses. Can be used with VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) subscriptions.
  • SA: Upgrade from VL. Includes VDA rights.

Second we have the two licensing offerings that can be used in View environments.

  • Software Assurance Windows Virtual Desktop Access Use Right (SA).
    • Can not use this with Zero clients.
    • Only usable with licensed PCs.
    • Roaming rights – user can access their VM on corporate devices.


  • Windows Virtual Desktop Access subscription (VDA) using VL.
    • If using Zero Client you will need VDA.
    • Monthly fee – paid per year – contract for 3 years.
    • About 100$ p. year for each device
    • Access to Win 7, Vista and XP on View virtual machine
    • Single licence allows 4 concurrent access to 4 VM’s
    • Reassignment rights to another device after 90 days, or in case of a failure.
    • KMS or MAK activation.
    • Call support + other SA stuff (training and such)
    • Extended roaming rights – user can access their desktop on personal devices.
    • OS entitlement: Win 7 Enterprise, Win 7 Pro.
    • *Note; not available for Campuses or Schools.

So there you have two packages, but what about availability?

  • You can either buy VDA licences for their solution or upgrade their current licence agreement to include SA.
  • SA is available from any Microsoft representative.
  • VDA subscription is available as an additional product on most organizations agreements.

Examples of use:

Corporate use:

  • 100 Devices, but only 50 concurrent users = 100 VDA licences or part of SA
  • 50 thin clients, 50 devices= 50 VDA licences for thin clients (and 50 for the device if not under SA)
  • 100 Devices, accessing 150 VMs = Part of SA, or 100 VDA licensing.
  • So as you can see its, all about devices, and if you are using thin clients you need licences for each client.

Home use:

  • Occasional use: no additional licences if the user is the primary user of the device in work.
    • I’m not sure what occasional use is or what primary user means. But this is the one for employee owned tablets and PCs.
  • 100% home users: VDA licence for each device, even if its employee owned.

Contractor PC’s: VDA licence for each device within 6 months.

So there you have it:

  • Either you have SA or buy an additional VDA subscription for your organization agreements.
  • If you will be using Thin clients, you will need a VDA licence for each.
  • Licence amount depend on device count, and seemingly if the device has a “main” user.
  • Note: As Ian Forbes (thanks!) pointed out in the comments, is that you will need CALs (on the server side, AD etc)  for the VDI VMs just to connect to various Microsoft services. So make sure to include those licences as  well as a part of a design (if they aren’t a part of a higher level licencing, like SA or ELA agreements).

You can also read everything about Microsoft Desktop licensing here:

License Windows for Virtual Desktops

Microsoft: Licensing for Virtual environments