Thinking about offering Desktop as a Service? Pay attention to how you are allowed to license the solution in a hosted environment before implementing!
Below I have highlighted two ways in which you can offer hosted desktops and the only way to provide desktops in a non-virtualised environment.
1. Using SPLA – You have the right to provide a desktop experience in a shared environment using Windows Server and RDS. In this model, you will need to license Windows by processor and RDS SAL for each user. In addition, you can add Office under SPLA for each user as well. This is NOT Office 365. but Office under SPLA.
2. Dedicated Outsourcing – Under this model, the end customer has licenses for Windows client OS with SA or VDA subscription under a separate volume licensing contract. As a service provider, you must deploy and manage the licenses on their behalf within a physically isolated (dedicated) hardware environment. The end customer must provide the appropriate number of CALs for their virtual desktop. The Windows OS does not have license mobility rights(!).
3. Rent the Desktop using SPLA – Probably a last resort for SPLA partners. Renting a desktop would require you (the service provider) to have a PC that your company owns that already has a qualified OEM license installed, and use Windows desktop OS for SPLA and Office to rent it out. This is only available per a rental amendment. If you are renting desktops today without an amendment, please contact me.
Lastly, new language in the SPUR states that if you are providing hosted desktops you must explicitly identify that you are providing this using Windows Server, not the desktop license in your marketing materials. This is new in the SPUR. There’s a lot of compliance issues with hosting desktops, this is a way for Microsoft and your customer to know what they are actually getting.
Thanks for reading.