M365 E3/E5 CSP licensing rights for self-hosted on-premise VDI

David Clark 0 Reputation points

If I have a M365 E3/E5 licensing thru CSP and want to host my own VDI infrastructure for my licensed users, do we need to use a KMS or VDA license as well?

Windows 11
Windows 11
A Microsoft operating system designed for productivity, creativity, and ease of use.
8,659 questions
{count} votes

2 answers

Sort by: Most helpful
  1. Konstantinos Passadis 17,376 Reputation points MVP

    Hello @David Clark !

    Licensing Requirements to Access VDI Through RDS

    User's image

    To access VDI through Remote Desktop Services (RDS) (or virtual machines through remote desktop) you need a VDA license as well as an RDS Client Access License (CAL). All users that connect to a Remote Desktop Session Host need a CAL. A VDA license is generally covered by a Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5 license. You do not need Windows Server CAL to access VDI through RDS.

    Licensing Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure

    Using Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure requires you to possess an eligible license or subscription per user. With an eligible license, you can access either a Windows 7 or 10 machine. The following licenses can offer you this access:

    • Microsoft 365 A3 or A5 Student Use Benefits
    • Microsoft 365 F3, E3 or E5
    • Microsoft 365 Business Premium (formerly called Microsoft 365 Business)
    • Windows 10 Virtual Desktop Access (VDA)
    • Windows 10 Education A5 or A3
    • Windows 10 Enterprise E5 or E3

    If you want to access Windows Virtual Desktop based on Windows Server, then purchasing the Windows Server license is another way to access Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure. You can either purchase:

    • A Windows Server license as a part of Azure subscription (pay-as-you-go model).


    • Azure Hybrid Benefits for Windows Server Core (a cheaper option that also includes Software Assurance).

    You also need to license RDS when using this option. This can be done via one of the following:

    • Windows Server RDS CALs covered with Software Assurance
    • Devices with existing RDS Device CALs
    • Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program

    The pricing calculation for using Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure depends on the following factors apart from the kind of license (as mentioned above):

    • Infrastructure. The infrastructure for Windows Virtual Desktop implementation can include the option to deliver personal desktops, pooled desktops or just applications. In each case, Windows Virtual Desktop delivers a virtual machine that is hosted within an Azure subscription and uses networking, storage and computing requirements. You are charged according to the particular options you select and the resources you use.
    • Windows Virtual Desktop Management Service. Windows Virtual Desktop management service offers a control panel for Windows Virtual Desktop, making management easier. What you pay for using Windows Virtual Desktop with Azure takes the cost of this service into account.

    Source : https://www.parallels.com/blogs/ras/microsoft-vdi-licensing/

    Also this is for E3 first column and E5 second column as per https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoft-365/enterprise/e3?activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab

    FUser's image

    So i think you are good to go !

    I hope this helps!

    Kindly mark the answer as Accepted and Upvote in case it helped!


    2 people found this answer helpful.
    0 comments No comments

  2. Konstantinos Passadis 17,376 Reputation points MVP


    Welcome to Microsoft QnA!

    Is this in reference to Azure VDI ?

    Do you mean something else ?