How to manage device-based licensing on XenApp and RDSH using FSLogix Apps

Posted by Brandon Lee on Feb 20, 2018 11:37:58 AM

James Rankin and Kevin Howell, of HTGUK, recently published an article discussing the problems with per-device licensing on XenApp and RDSH and how to properly manage those issues with FSLogix App Masking. Using per-device licensed software on XenApp or RDSH servers can be a murky, annoying, costly pain. So how do we manage it without all these issues? 

The Problem

If an application uses per-device licensing, the idea is that a license needs to be purchased for every device that can access and run the application. If you then install this application onto a XenApp or RDSH server to allow users to access it in this way, then you may find you need to buy a license for EVERY user that accesses those servers, which may be an extreme excess of users that actually need to use the application. 

For clarity, Microsoft issued a set of guidelines that will drive the approach to auditing per-device licensed software in XenApp/RDSH situations.

  1. The software must be proven to be restricted to a specific set of client devices, without any possible way to circumvent the restrictions.
  2. The licenses must be transferable between devices.
  3. Reporting must be available on the current and historical license usage

So with these requirements in mind, you need to put together a solution that ticks all of these boxes to allow you to avoid big bills from non-compliance with per-device licensing. *Note Microsoft is only one of countless vendors where this may apply

FSLogix Solution

The FSLogix Application Masking feature is ideal for this because it physically hides the filesystem and Registry entries from devices that aren’t allowed to run the application.

"This makes FSLogix perfect to satisfy the first of the requirements above."

Summary of Findings

"So, if you want to exercise control over your per-device licensed software (be it Visio, Project, or one of the many others out there that adopt this model) in a XenApp or RDSH or VDI environment, FSLogix Application Masking offers you a quick, easy and audit-compliant way of achieving this." (Note there is no absolute certainty on that final point for anyone, you really need to construct the solution and verify it with the software vendor). However, based on my own experiences, I’m pretty sure that as long as you can demonstrate how the solution you’ve chosen meets the requirements specified, then there should be no reason why a vendor shouldn’t allow you to use it for these purposes." -James Rankin

Check out the below video to see James Rankin set up and implement FSLogix App Masking for per-device licensing:

Read James Rankin's full article, Managing device based licensing on XenApp and RDSH using FSLogix Apps

Topics: XenApp, license management, RDSH, Application Masking, FSLogix Apps, per-device licensing

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