On June 29 Citrix announced, through its official blog, the general availability of Citrix’s Hosted Server VDI technology.
This solution, intended for Service Providers, allows to deliver dedicated Cloud VDI desktops using shared hardware/storage and leveraging Microsoft SPLA licenses.
The solution is based on Windows Server 2008 R2 with the Desktop Experience Pack (instead of Windows 7) and XenDesktop FMA with an appropriate new Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA).
What licenses do you need?
On the Citrix side, this feature is part of the XenApp/XenDesktop CSP Premium SKU (Platinum level functionality). On the Microsoft side, you can use the normal SPLA options for Windows Server, and an RDS-SAL for each user. Make no mistake – it’s still going to be more expensive in terms of licenses and infrastructure than a hosted shared desktop. But for advanced customer use cases where they need a private VM environment for a user, this is the most cost-effective and practical option. Keep in mind that you can always combine the various desktop models in your service offering – they are not mutually exclusive. For more details on proper licensing, be sure to contact your Microsoft representative.