VDI and VDA: The ROI killer

Within a few weeks, you will see an article from me on virtualizationadmin.com in which I outline a number of what I consider “desktop abstraction” scenarios, including Terminal Services andVDI with and without shared storage. The point of the article is to consider where ROI is found in VDI initiatives. I believe that there could be ROI in VDI if it were not for new licensing mechanisms put into place by Microsoft – the Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) license, which is required in order to access virtual desktops from non-Windows-based endpoints, such as terminals based on Wyse ThinOS and Teradici-based PCoIP terminals.

At $100 per year per device, the VDA license is surprisingly expensive and pretty much (if not more than such) wipes out any ROI that could be had with VDI, at least based on direct costs.

This gives pause to what have been mainstream VDI products, such as VMware View. Now, it appears as if all of the eventual ROI must come from desktop-based management improvements such the VDA license, when viewed from a long-term TCO viewpoint, demolishes the VDI financing model.

What are your thoughts? Am I looking at this situation from too narrow a view? Am I factually incorrect in how I’ve interpreted VDA licensing? If so, leave a comment!

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