I recently received a clarification update that some new language has made it’s way into the Microsoft VDI Suites and Windows VDA FAQ v3.1. Basically, where SPLA is mentioned (page 3 of the PDF), Microsoft has added some clarification to the language that many of us had questioned regarding what exactly defines “shared hardware”. In this update, it has been clarified that “hardware” is any iron that is running an instance of Microsoft software (OS or application). They use SAN as an example – as long as it’s not running Microsoft software, it’s OK to share. I’m interpreting that to mean that by the same definition, most networking gear would be OK to share as well under this clarification.
While this does add some clarity to the issue, it doesn’t change Microsoft’s current fundamental position that there is still no SPLA model for VDA licensing. It’s still not any easier for many hosting providers to do DaaS offerings in a multi-tenant architecture.