Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ Category

Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server – Improved but No Replacement for XenApp

April 2, 2009

As a follow-up to my last post around the Windows 2003 TS / Citrix XenApp comparison I thought I’d create a high level summary of some of the changes made to Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server.  Most of this is summarized from a recent Citrix document that is very informative.  In general, most of the benefits listed in my previous post still apply to Windows 2008 and there is no question Citrix XenApp is still a much better solution for larger environments.  So let’s look as some of the improvements made to Windows Server 2008 from a Terminal Services standpoint over what is offered from Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services:

          Server Health Monitoring      

o   Ability to monitor and report on problems occurring in the environment. (XenApp adds automatic recovery options such as restarting the server)

          Printer Management Improvement: 

o   Ability to inherit existing printer settings of the local printer.

o   Ensures that local printers are isolated to that user specifically.

o   Client side printer can be restricted to only the default printer.

          Improved User Experience

o   Now capable of 32-bit color resolution.  (XenApp still limited to 24-bit)

o   More seamless application performance

o   Local audio playback now supported

o   Redirection of file types to the terminal server (client to server)

o   USB Printer and Storage support

          Performance Improvements

o   Session Sharing – increased application start time and reduces CPU and memory usage.

o   Display Data Prioritization – basically QoS for graphics apps.

          Application Compatibility

o   Basic SharePoint integration has been added.  (XenApp expands the capability)


o   SSL/TLS encryption now available

o   Policy-based control of client devices


o   Improved load-balancing

These are certainly good improvements over Windows Server 2003 but don’t even come close to the capabilities offered by the XenApp product.  Take a look at the complete 15 page document here to see the complete list of XenApp advantages.

VECD Licensing Made Easy/Easier

January 22, 2009

After my last blog entry regarding Microsoft VECD licensing it appears I was still confused.  Here is the way VECD licensing works (really this time).





The Clients:

          Licensing must be purchased through the Microsoft Open Value Program which is a 3yr subscription

          For desktop/laptop Clients the OS must be upgraded to Software Assurance licensing for Vista

o   If the Client OS was purchased more than 90 days ago it will need a Vista Upgrade with SA.                   

§  MFG #:  66J-01442          

o   If the Client OS was purchased less than 90 days ago it needs a Vista SA Upgrade.

§  MFG #:  66J-01287           

          For Thin Clients there is no Software Assurance licensing to worry about


The VECD License:

          Once the client is licensed correctly as described above you also need a VECD license to cover the virtual desktop.  There must be 1 VECD license per client.  Each client can connect to up to 4 concurrent VDI session at one time per VECD license.

          For Desktop/Laptop Clients:

o   VECD License

§  MFG #:  DSA-00050         

          For Thin Clients:

o   VECD License

§  MFG #:  DTA-00051         


Note:  To start an Open Value agreement with Microsoft requires a minimum purchase of 5 Microsoft Licenses in any combination.  This can be for Windows OS, VECD, Office, …..”