Questions about VMware View licensing often appear in my radar, especially from customers under ELA. Customers under VMware ELA may deploy as many VMware products as they wish based on agreement and need to report usage back to VMware.
This blog post is aimed to help you understand how to report VMware View usage under an ELA agreement. This is not in any way an official response from VMware around licensing, and if you have any questions you should contact your VMware sales rep.
- How should my enterprise be reporting VMware View usage?
- Should I use the numbers virtual desktop in my vSphere Clusters?
- Is VMware View licensed per median concurrency or maximum concurrency?
Before I go ahead it is important to clarify that a ELA defines a different license type for VMware View than the typical EULA. A ELA may be different for each customer, however, typically VMware View measures licensing as number of concurrent powered-on desktops.
A concurrent connection is defined as a powered on virtual desktop receiving a remote connection from a device or running locally on a device. The VMware View 5.0 FAQ:
Pricing, Licensing and Support help to define the context.
Going back to VMware View…
On the VMware View Admin dashboard, under View Configuration, Product Licensing and Usage administrator will find the system usage reporting (above image) demonstrating the highest number of simultaneous active connections to VMware View desktops seen at any one time.
This aligns with what the standard licensing for VMware View is. However, the term "Powered On Virtual Desktop" machine can be a little bit confusing, especially in a ELA context.
When an enterprise buy vSphere Desktop licenses, it really is Powered on VMs (since there is no way for VMware to measure concurrency – VMware doesn’t have a broker here to monitor connection usage.
When you buy VMware View, the definition of "Powered On Virtual Desktop" then morphs into a powered on VMs that you have active connections to. So in practice it doesn’t matter if a VMware View customer has 1,000,000 powered on VMs. If they only ever have 10 simultaneous user connections to those desktops VMs, then they would be in compliance if they bought 10 seats of VMware View. If however, they bought vSphere Desktop Licenses and had 1,000,000 powered on VMs, they’d need to pay for a million desktop seats.
Being a "logged in user" in VMware View doesn’t technically matter. Since a user can be logged in but disconnected, it’s only the connected status that matters. So if an enterprise have 100 desktops, and 100 real end users who all stayed logged in to those windows instances all the time (preserve their window placement, open apps, etc), if only 50 are ever connected to the desktops at a time (e.g. 2 shifts) then you’d only pay for 50 View seats.
More information can be found in the VMware Product Guide
Thanks to Robert Baesman (@rbaesman) for providing clarification on the subject.