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Licensing VMware vSphere Desktop 5.5 and 6.0 (2132201)

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This article provides additional details on vSphere Desktop licensing, usage and enforcement for versions 5.5 and 6.0.


In a Horizon Virtual Desktop environment, vSphere Desktop can be used to power virtual desktops, as well as the underlying infrastructure for the VDI environment. For example, connection server, security server, active directory, monitoring tools, and other infrastructure directly related to and exclusive to the VDI environment. Storage servers would not be included. 

To report usage and enforce compliance, vSphere Desktop counts powered on virtual machines. In the case of vSphere Desktop as a component of the Horizon Editions, it is licensed per user( the VM metric serves as a proxy for user). When the number of powered on VMs exceeds the seat count / pack size, vSphere Desktop / vCenter software issues a warning, but still allow the user to create a new Desktop VM.  For example, if you bought a 100-pack of Horizon Enterprise Edition which includes a 100-pack of vSphere Desktop, you will see a warning if you power on more than 100 VMs.  

If you are a Horizon customer, you can ignore the warning if you are in compliance with the EULA/ Product Guide. For example, if at any given time, you have 95 named or CCU users connected and 10 VMs for your infrastructure, you would be using a total of 105 VMs and receive a warning from vSphere Desktop / vCenter Server. Since you are in compliance, you can ignore the warning. 

However, if you have 101 named or CCU users connected and just 2 VMs to support your VDI infrastructure, you would be using a total of 103 VMs and would also see a warning. In this case, you would be out of compliance and should purchase additional licenses as needed.

If a Named User spins out more than one Virtual Desktop, vSphere Desktop will see two VMs, and count it as two users instead of one. But from a Horizon licensing perspective, that scenario should be counted as 1 user/license. Note that this would not be the case for CCU licensing, where each Concurrent user is allowed to spin out only 1 VM per user, or else be consuming more than 1 license. 

In a Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop environment, you can use vSphere Desktop to power Virtual Desktops and the underlying VDI infrastructure as mentioned above for a maximum 100 users per pack of 100VMs.  In this use case, it is licensed per virtual machine and VMs used to host the underlying infrastructure will count against your "total powered on VM” count.  For example, if your Citrix environment has a 100-pack of vSphere Desktop and you are using it to host 90 Virtual Desktops and 10 VMs that host the VDI environment, you have used up all the licenses for vSphere Desktop in that environment.
Note: Every 100-pack of vSphere Desktop is limited to 100 users.

See Also

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