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2018

A connection broker connects users to the remote desktop server in the private datacenter or public Cloud. The application then executes entirely on the server and is visualized on the client via a display protocol. The user interacts with the application remotely by sending mouse-clicks and keystrokes to the server. The server then responds by sending screen updates back to the user’s device. Session virtualization allows any user on any operating system to access any windows application delivered by IT. As a result, enables Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android devices to run any windows applications and or desktop using session virtualization. Furthermore, session virtualization leverages server-side processing power.

 

The applications are either published or the users log in to the remote desktop to access their applications.

 

The following session virtualization solutions are supported by Snow License Manager:

Citrix XenApp

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services

 

“THE SAM CHALLENGE”

Licensing of session virtualization can be based on, for example, server installations or accessing devices. For some applications, licensing is based on the number of users that the application has been published to, and that have the possibility to run the application. Active Directory groups are often used for granting application usage rights, and Active Directory group memberships are then used as basis for license requirement calculations.

The challenge is to obtain correct information on application access to be compliant and not overspend.

 

“THE SNOW SOLUTION”

 

INSTALLATION AND PREPARATION

To utilize the functionality for session metering and to gather usage for license optimization, the

Snow Inventory Client for Windows must be installed on the server host.

 

CALCULATION OF LICENSE REQUIREMENT

Snow Inventory Client for Windows identifies on which servers the applications are installed, and which devices and users that access the application. Actual usage of the application is metered as well to provide the possibility of license optimization.

 

APPLICATION USAGE RIGHTS

When a user has been granted application use rights it means that the user has been allowed to use a certain application. However, it does not automatically imply that the user has accessed it.

For applications that are licensed on application usage rights, follow the steps below to keep track of number of granted use rights versus actual usage:

  1. Create a Custom compare value type, named AD Access Rights.

  2. On the License settings tab in Application details, select Custom compare values from the Metric dropdown list, and select AD Access rights from the Custom compare value type dropdown list.

  3. On the Compare values tab in Application details, add Organization nodes and Quantity of users that have application usage rights.
  1. When compliance is calculated, license requirement will be based on registered Quantity.

 

REMOTE DESKTOP SERVICES APPLICATIONS

In Snow License Manager a device is a computer or object that has been connected to one or more remote desktop servers and/or virtual desktops. It may for example be a home PC, a smartphone, a thin client, or an inventoried computer.

With Snow Inventory Client for Windows installed on the remote desktop server, all devices that access the remote desktop server applications will be identified. Snow License Manager supports secondary use rights in remote desktop server environments where software is installed locally on rich clients.

EXAMPLE

Scenario for Microsoft Office 2013 Standard

Several devices are identified to access the application Microsoft Office 2013 Standard that is installed on the remote desktop server. In Snow License Manager the fictional application TS-Microsoft Office 2013 Standard is added to those devices.

If the accessing device is an inventoried computer with a local installation of the application, secondary use rights must be applied to avoid duplication.

To achieve this (note that the application must be in Edit mode):

  1. Change metric for the remote desktop server application according to agreement, for TS-Microsoft Office 2013 Standard = Based on total devices 
  1. For the application TS-Microsoft Office 2013 Standard and on the License settings tab, enable the option Suppress this locally installed application when inventoried on remote desktop servers and select to suppress the corresponding application Microsoft Office 2013 Standard.
  2. For the application TS-Microsoft Office 2013 Standard and on the License settings tab, enable the option Enable secondary use rights.

With the settings in place, correct license requirements will be automatically calculated according to the example below.

MICROSOFT OFFICE 2013 STANDARD

Server installations = 1

Computer installations = 500 + 200 = 700

Total installations: 701

Reduction = 1 (the server installation is discarded with the Suppress this locally installed… option)

Total number of installations that require a license: 701 – 1 = 700

 

TS-MICROSOFT OFFICE 2013 STANDARD

Accessing objects (devices) = 300

Accessing inventoried computers (devices) = 500

Total number of accessing devices = 800

Reduction = 500 (number of inventoried computers with local installation of MS Office 2013 Standard)

Total number of devices that require a license: 800 - 500 = 300

 

Total requirement for Microsoft Office 2013 Standard is 1000 licenses.

 

NOTE

When registering the license purchase for Microsoft Office 2013 Standard in Snow License Manager, the purchase needs to be divided in two: one license purchase for Microsoft Office 2013 Standard and one for TS-Microsoft Office 2013 Standard.

 

PRESENTATION IN SNOW LICENSE MANAGER

In Snow License Manager and Application details, a summary of license requirement and purchased licenses is presented. Excluded installations are indicated on the Compliance tab.

EXAMPLE

Metric: Devices

Inventoried computers that are Covered by secondary use rights are indicated by the remark U.

EXAMPLE

Metric: Installations

EXAMPLE

Metric: Custom compare values

 

 

In a Windows Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution the computer desktop environment is separated from the physical computer to maintain data compliance by keeping sensitive corporate resources off user devices. Virtualized desktops are stored on-premises or in the cloud and are provided to the users via a display protocol. The users can access their work desktop from any location and any device (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android) if they have a network connection and a VDI client.

The following desktop virtualization solutions are supported by Snow License Manager:

Citrix XenDesktop

Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

VMware Horizon View

“THE SAM CHALLENGE”

Desktop virtualization provides advantages from an operational and management point of view, but it also adds complexity when it comes to licensing of the VDI environment. Since Windows VDA is based on the number of access devices, the total number of Windows VDA licenses required equals the total number of thin clients and other non-SA devices that will access the VDI environment.

Microsoft licenses Windows for virtual desktops by access device:

Virtual desktop access rights are a benefit of Windows Client Software Assurance (SA). Customers who intend to use PCs covered under SA have access to their Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) desktops at no additional charge.

Customers who want to use devices that do not qualify for Windows Client SA, such as thin clients, will need to license those devices with Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) to access a Windows VDI desktop. Windows VDA is also applicable to third party devices, such as contractor or employee-owned PCs. The challenge is to obtain correct information on actual number of VDA licenses that is required in

a VDI environment to be compliant and avoid overspending:

The server and management infrastructure of the VDI solution requires licensing

The operating systems of the virtual desktops require no licensing

The devices accessing the virtual desktops require licensing If you are accessing a Windows client OS as your guest operating system in the datacenter from any non-SA device (including thin clients, iPads, etc.), Windows VDA is the appropriate licensing vehicle regardless of the VDI software vendor you choose. The only scenario where you would not need Windows VDA is if you were using PCs covered under Software Assurance as the access devices, since virtual desktop access rights are included as a benefit of SA.

SNOW PREREQUISITES

Snow License Manager 7.0 or higher.

Snow Inventory Client for Windows 3.7, or higher, must be installed on all virtual desktops.

Information on host/guest relationships.

SNOW SOLUTION

INSTALLATION AND PREPARATION

To utilize the functionality for VDI and Windows VDA license requirement calculations in Snow License Manager, the Snow Inventory Client for Windows (SICW) is required to be installed on all virtual desktops.

When SICW is used in a VDI solution there are some configuration settings that need to be applied to ensure accurate capture of all activities on each virtual desktop:

The agent needs to be aware of that it is part of a VDI.

Each virtual desktop needs to get a unique client identifier.

Information on all sessions and relevant application usage needs to be captured before the virtual desktop session is shut down/re-provisioned.

For more detailed information on this configuration, refer to the document User Guide, Snow

Inventory Client for Windows.

CALCULATION OF LICENSE REQUIREMENT

With Snow Inventory Client for Windows installed on the virtual desktops, all devices that access them will be identified by Snow License Manager. A device may be, for example a home PC, a smartphone, a thin client, or an inventoried computer.

In Snow License Manager the fictional (and non-editable) application Windows Virtual Desktop Access is added to the identified devices. Calculation of license requirement for the Windows VDA is then performed according to the following conditions.

For a device that:

Is an inventoried computer with a qualifying operating system license covered by Software Assurance for Windows - no Windows VDA license is required.

Is an inventoried computer with a qualifying operating system license not covered by Software Assurance for Windows - a Windows VDA license is required.

Is an inventoried computer without a qualifying operating system license - a Windows VDA license is required.

Is not an inventoried computer - a Windows VDA license is required.

In Snow License Manager, management of Windows VDA licensing is automated. However, to ensure correct license requirement calculations it is important that all purchases of Windows licenses with Software Assurance are registered with upgrade rights.

PRESENTATION IN SNOW LICENSE MANAGER

When the license requirement for a certain operating system is calculated, all virtual desktops that run the specific operating system are automatically excluded from the calculation. In Snow License Manager, excluded virtual desktop operating systems are indicated by Virtual desktop infrastructure on the Compliance tab in Application details.

When the license requirement for Windows Virtual Desktop Access is calculated, devices that are covered by a Windows license with valid Software Assurance are automatically excluded from the calculation.

In Snow License Manager, excluded devices (with Software Assurance for Windows) are indicated

by the comment Virtual desktop access on the Compliance tab in Application details.

AVAILABLE REPORTS

The following reports with VDI information are available in Snow License Manager:

All devices that have accessed a VDI

Presents all devices that have accesses a VDI, and the last logged on user of the device.

All users that have accessed a VDI

Presents all users that have accesses a VDI, and the last VDI that they accessed.

Applications per VDI computer

Presents all applications installed or used per VDI computer.

 

Snow Software helps organizations manage their virtualized assets by providing the intelligence necessary to build a complete and reliable SAM solution. This document describes how Snow Software provides complete visibility and control of the virtualized windows applications of an organization.

APPLICATION VIRTUALIZATION

Application virtualization is software technology that isolates applications from the underlying operating system on which it is executed. A fully virtualized application is not installed in the traditional sense, although it is still executed as if it were. The application behaves at runtime like it is directly interfacing with the original operating system and all the resources managed by it but can be isolated or sandboxed to varying degrees. Application virtualization separates the application from the operating system to reduce administration cost, patch management and avoids conflicting applications and it can allows incompatible applications to run side-by-side, at the same time.

 

There are two major types of application virtualization: remote applications and streaming applications.

Remote applications run on a server, and the users access their applications over the Network via a display protocol. The network connection must be constantly maintained for a remote application to function.

When a streamed application is requested by a user (on demand) it is downloaded to and executed on the client computer. Once completely downloaded, a streamed application can function without a network connection. When the application in closed, it can be cleanly removed or kept in cache from the client computer.

 

The following application virtualization solutions are supported by Snow License Manager:

Citrix XenApp

Microsoft App-V

VMware ThinApp


THE SAM CHALLENGE

Application virtualization can be great from an application delivery point of view, it could create blind spots from a Software asset management point of view. Since the virtual application is not installed locally on the computer where it is run.

THE SNOW SOLUTION

Software usage is used as basis for licensing. The Snow Inventory Client for Windows continuously scans the user computers to meter usage of executed applications. Snow License Manager presents information on applications that have been used virtually, on which computer the applications have been run, and by which user.

 

INSTALLATION AND PREPARATION

Snow Inventory Client for Windows must be installed on all user computers that will utilize virtual applications:

Support for metering usage of Citrix XenApp, Microsoft App-V and VMware ThinApp virtual application packages are provided in Snow Inventory Client for Windows from version 3.5. The complete package content is not scanned; however, each file being executed is scanned as part of the software metering.

 

PRESENTATION IN SNOW LICENSE MANAGER

Snow Inventory Client for Windows identifies all applications, both installed locally and used virtually. In Snow License Manager all computers that have used a certain application virtually are indicated by the remark A (“Virtual application”) in Application details. A summary of license requirement and purchased licenses is presented as well.

To get a presentation of all virtually used applications that have been identified, use the standard report Applications per computer with the criteria “Virtual application” set to “Yes” in Snow License Manager. In the example below, the standard report with the added criteria has been saved as the report Virtual applications per computer.

By clicking on the computer name, we can have a detailed look the applications and notice the usage data of the virtualized Snagit9 application indicated by the remark A.

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