[SunRay-Users] VDA licenses hurting VDI

Craig Bender Craig.Bender at Oracle.com
Sat Mar 19 06:36:00 EET 2011

Call me a pessimist. ;)

Not to brag, but my crystal-ball kung fu is quite strong. Take a look.

I don't see their behavior ever changing until they are in an underdog 
situation.  The current crop of devices and remote protocols is 
something they've never faced before.  But they are not about to waive 
the white flag and they will do what they have to do to protect their 
market share.

Take a trip down memory lane.  When did applications stop being more 
important than the OS?  1995.  Windows 95 made the OS the killer app. 
Before Windows 95, applications ruled.  They ruled because they made 
device consolidation possible.  The early PC OS was horrible, but 
applications transformed on device into multiple things.  The 
applications on a PC replaced your typewriter, your filing cabinet and 
your ledger.  Forget DOS, forget Office, forget NT.  Windows 95 is what 
created the Microsoft we know today.  Never before did people line up to 
buy an operating system.  MS marketing created a rock star before 
anybody even clicked their first Start button.

But today you have non-Windows tablets and phones (iOS, Android, etc) 
that are once again showing people that the application is what is 
important.  The application is once again transforming the device.  My 
phone can be a credit card terminal?  My phone can be a GPS? My phone 
can be (insert anything you can find on an app store)?  Do you care 
about the OS?  Only if the App isn't available for it.  So what are 
application developers doing?  They are writing more and more apps for 
more and more devices.  If an app is successful on one device platform, 
you can almost guarantee it will be written for another.  That hasn't 
happened since 1995.

You also have the next generation of corporate users who use these 
devices far more than they ever have, or ever will use a PC.
This spells *big* trouble for MS.  Especially since they've failed at 
almost every device attempt they've ever done outside of Xbox.  And even 
that's not the top selling console.  This is not my opinion, the is fact.

One may say this is all the more reason the go with the RemoteFX = Free 
WVDA theory.  While a nice thought, that doesn't make up the revenue 
loss should the Windows PC OEM market go south.  And it's going to go 
south sooner or later.  A PC is more and more impractical as internet 
access becomes more and more important.  Today getting to critical 
Windows apps is important for the enterprise space.  But the apps that 
will be critical tomorrow are those that can be accessed regardless of 
the device.  Devices are driving everything, and the majority of them 
are not Windows-based devices.

Any enterprise app that has a hard requirement for Windows or worse IE 
will be dead in five years if it's not also running on Firefox, Chrome, 
etc and has no specific OS requirement.  Name one enterprise app that is 
showing up for iOS or Android that requires Windows.  This trend will do 
the proverbially hockey stick in the next year or so.

Remote protocols will always be important because speed of light issues 
will always exist and the global work force will continue to be more and 
more distributed.  The protocols that don't require additional network 
gear to perform regardless of distance from the server will be those 
that survive.

Also against the RemoteFX = no WVDA theory is the fact that MS has 
almost zero track record for making thin client computing more 
affordable than than a PC.  I'm not trying to make anyone who likes MS 
Operating systems mad, it's the truth.  The one thing they did that died 
a quick death was the no TS-CAL requirement for W2K Pro machines.

Sure, sometimes their own licensing bites them and a loop hole exists 
such as Office gets licensed where it is displayed.  Great for call 
centers, not so great for something like SGD or Citrix (or even OVDC) 
where people access it from many different devices.

Finally, all of the RemoteFX = Requirement for future offering is based 
on the assumption that RemoteFX will allow things will to scale where it 
will still be a profitable ROI.  Here's where you'll get my "opinion" 
(mixed with a bit of perfmon results)...and I'd say that's probably not 
going to happen. ;)

But if you were left with only the MS point of view, you'd see hear none 
of the above.  Thin clients, VDI, SBC, is dead.  You do remember their 
anti-Linux and anti-Vmware campaigns right?  Those should have been dead 
by now right?  "Get the facts!"

I really like VDI, but if one really needs windows, it still seems like 
the exception that terminal server won't do today.  And if you *want* 
VDI, I'd really like to have someone show me where a Win7 device has a 
better ROI than Sun Ray given the same VDI back-end.  The "VDI tax" of 
WVDA is going to be about $60 a year more than SA.  The admin, power, 
and productivity of Sun Ray will blow that $60 per year out of the 

We are witnessing the rebirth of the application.  Devices will continue 
be important, but only if they allow unfettered access to the 
applications or content users want.

I wonder how a device that doesn't ever need an app installed on it to 
be transformed will fare in the future?  The Sun Ray has always been 
about access to applications. Most of those on this list knew this even 
though Sun's marketing couldn't quite figure it out.  Whatever you think 
about Oracle, they've put more into this portfolio in one year than Sun 
did in the past 10.  The future is looking pretty bright.  Of course, I 
am very biased.  :)

On 3/18/11 4:39 PM, Ivar Janmaat wrote:
> Hello,
> "Remote FX requires Hyper-V"
> It looks like Microsoft is licensing Remote FX to chip manufacturers for
> server and client side graphic accelerator boards.
> So wouldn't it also be possible to license this technology as a plugin
> for Virtualbox and Sun Ray firmware?
> That would be something to negotiate between Oracle and Microsoft.
> The alternative for Oracle would be to build some competing technology
> with the same functionality.
> Although I think the former Sun people would be capable of doing this, I
> don't think Oracle would be capable of marketing this technology more
> effective than Microsoft is marketing Remote FX.
> Or might I be wrong here?
> Although there is no correlation between Remote FX and WVDA at this
> moment, I can not imagine that it will stay this way.
> If clients with Remote FX licensed chip designs are available it would
> be beneficial for Microsoft to drop VDA licenses for these clients.
> We might see a change in the VDA license structure by that time.
> I worry a bit about the statement that large sites will tend to use
> Windows based clients because of SA advantages and small sites are
> better of with VDA.
> Oracle VDI works best for large scale deployments. Small scale
> deployments are quite expensive because of the unified storage 7120 and
> consultancy costs.
> This would mean that the Sun Ray suffers indeed the most from the
> Microsoft SA and VDA licensing model.
> VMware is indeed not on the list. Their PCoIP is a competing approach.
> The problem with all the protocol options is that it is hard for people
> to choose. Not only for the professionals but especially for the customers.
> So customers tend to go with what they know...Microsoft, Citrix.
> A lot of Oracle marketing budget is needed to counter this if Oracle
> wants to compete with their own Windows 3D and HD software/hardware
> approach.
> But if Oracle chooses to develop their own solution, there also much be
> an answer to the WVDA license disruption of the market.
> Maybe even some legal steps.
> Nice piece from Brian ;-)
> Ivar
> Craig Bender schreef:
>> Hi Ivar,
>> I'm relaxed. Nothing but happy thoughts over here. ;)
>> The EULA is not pushing Hyper-V. RemoteFX requires Hyper-V , so I
>> guess that would be a no to your Virtualbox question.
>> I'm not sure I get the correlation between WVDA and RemoteFX and
>> roadmaps though. There's zero tie in between licensing the RemoteFX
>> spec from Microsoft and not having to pay the WVDA. That's only
>> possible by running Windows 7. But you do have to pay SA.
>> Since the price of SA is going to be determined by what your licensing
>> agreement is with MS (those who buy more copies of Win7 will get lower
>> SA prices), WVDA actually favors smaller companies because the delta
>> between the yearly SA cost and the full yearly WVDA license will be
>> less. IMO this is intentional. The biggest MS customers who may be
>> interested in VDI on non-Windows 7 devices will see such a huge
>> difference between SA and WVDA, they'll either not do VDI, or if they
>> still really believe in it, they'll buy Win 7 SA capable device.
>> Win/Win for MS.
>> I do wonder how many Citrix customers run the XD VMs on Hyper-V? I'd
>> guess not many. Citrix wants you to run on XenServer, Citrix customers
>> seem to want to run on Vmware. Citrix doesn't sell client devices, but
>> they do want to keep MS happy so XenApp can continue to be an upgrade
>> to WTS/RDS.
>> What you have left is companies that do not have protocols (RGS
>> doesn't count), though they do sell (or want to sell) a lot of PCs
>> (Wyse Cloud PCs are Windows 7 SA capable PCs). No big surprises on
>> that list who have signed up. Where is Vmware?
>> I've tried to illustrate why MS does not like VDI and why they like
>> Windows on PCs. Remember the stats I shared on the thin client market
>> on whole compared to the PC market on whole. They want they bigger
>> piece of the pie, and they want keep it as big a possible.
>> Here is Brian Madden's take on the subject:
>> http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/brianmadden/archive/2011/03/02/why-microsoft-hates-vdi.aspx
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