Citrix VDI and Microsoft RDS licensing explained
People asks continually from me what kind of licenses are needed in current cases and often I come across situations where I need to clarifying for the customers Microsoft and Citrix different licenses. I’ve put together mine checklist in different scenarios.
To access VDI, you need Windows Software Assurance on the client device or Microsoft Virtual Desktop Access licenses. RDS CALs are not used in this case. Windows Software Assurance and Virtual Desktop Access licenses include home use rights.
To connect to VDI, you need the following licenses:
- Citrix XenDesktop VDI Only Edition or higher.
- Either Windows Software Assurance or VDA license. You don’t need both. The license is assigned to the client device.
XenDesktop Enterprise and Platinum include the Citrix licenses to connect to Remote Desktop Session Host. But each named user would also need an RDS CAL.
To connect to Remote Desktop Session Host, you need the following licenses:
- Citrix XenDesktop Enterprise or Platinum
- Windows Server OS license for the RDS server
- Microsoft Remote Desktop Services CAL for each named user
Streaming App-V to virtual desktops you need MDOP licenses. If you are streaming App-V to Remote Desktop Session Host then App-V is included in the RDS CAL price.
To stream apps using App-V, you need the following licenses:
- To stream to virtual desktops, purchase MDOP for each client device
- To stream to RDSH, no additional license is needed.
And here is a good links!
Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services Licensing Data Sheet:
Understanding Remote Desktop Licensing:
Citrix product licensing information:
Citrix licenses explained: