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Microsoft Software Assurance

I am shopping licensing packages for Microsoft Exchange as well as rights to Virtualize Windows 7 and Office 2010.

As im sure anyone who has looked into this knows Microsoft has made licensing such a headache.

Im looking for some opinions.  We are an organization of roughly 350 people spread across the United States.  We currently run exchange 2007 and are 120 cals short.  In getting quotes and comparing feature sets im weighing towards upgrading to 2010 rather than getting my licensing up to date for 2007.  Im also looking into Citrix VDI in a box for a virutalized environment rather than managing physical machines and VPN's

1) Is software assurance worth it?  I know Microsoft is setting up to release a ton of new stuff but i may not have the time to impletment or the need to do so.  Im sure others have had this problem.

2) Is anyone experiencing drastic cost savings doing a VDI environment?  Doing the math im only saving roughly $200-$250 per machine when factoring in all licensing.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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Forgot to add that we are looking at getting our savings out of being able to use some of our PCs with the View client and replacing some with the Wyse boxes, plus we hope to save maintenance costs over time since the Wyse boxes have no moving parts and we should be able to better control upgrade issues by only having to upgrade a few master images instead of 500 PCs.
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We actually won't be moving to thin clients.  Our company is unique in that our employees are actually sub contractors that purchase their computers from us and pay us for services.  One of those services being IT.  With them being subcontractors they ae free to leave us at any point.  They pay a subscription fee to our company for our services.  I'm hoping to promote bring your own device or purchase less of a pc for them then figuring a way to build the cost of the licensing for the vid into our subscription fees.  
We are in the financial industry and therefore subject to strict compliance on workstations.  We provide a domain environment enforcing compliance via group policy.  This causes some disgruntled employees due to the fact that they actually own their machines and therefore they feel they should be able to do what they want with them.  My hope is to give them freedom on their local machine and provide security through vdi.  It's an odd situation that I'm trying to make better for both myself in an administrative position and for the end user.

I'm am a one man show for 350 people based in 35 cities across the United States.  We are rapidly growing and I'm tired of managing end user machines.  Hoping vdi is my answer.

We have a very good relationship with dell and they have been working through licensing with me.  They are pushing SA and I'm not sold on it.
From a VDI perspective, you will get a better experience from a Wyse P20 with the special chipset than you will from a PC running the View client. Still, if the underlying box is good enough, the experience will not be bad; but, it will not be as good as running Windows natively on the hardware.  The "best" experience would require you to tweak the PCs in order to push as much of Windows 7 out of the way as possible; which may be a problem in your environment with the users owning their own PCs. Here is a guide centering on tweaking the Windows 7 image to help at least from that side:

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMware-View-OptimizationGuideWindows7-EN.pdf

SA makes sense if you are going to purchase any MS product directly from MS or a partner and you want to be able to upgrade it as MS upgrades it. It's usually cheaper to buy the product once and pay SA than it is to buy the product new each time MS comes out with a new version. But, as I said above, that depends totally on how you do things. Until we did the EA, I would never have done SA on anything but our CALs.  So for example, I did SA on our server CALs, Exchange CALs, and SQL CALs. That gave me the option of upgrading any of the servers at any time (paying full price for the servers( without having to take the huge bite that would have been the cost for the new CALS. But I usually skip at least every other generation of Exchange and sometimes SQL and only upgrade servers when I need to, so I opt to just buy the server licenses new; same thing with Office and Windows. Until we started looking at VDI, I would never have even considered doing wholesale upgrades of either Windows or Office so I just bought them OEM, when I can and then Open License when I could not. Over the last 15 years or so, I believe that I have saved way more than I would have if I'd invested in SA and constantly upgraded everything.
Thanks for your comments.

Im not really all that worried about the end user experience inside the VDI.  We really only run a web based application that uses java and adobe.  The other will be the Office suite mainly word excel and outlook.  

These are the only programs they need for business related purposes that we provide.  If they are looking to stream video and things like that they can do it on their local machine.

VDI is why im considering puting SA on my Windows 7 and Office.  

Im going to be using Citrix VDI in a box.  Doing some research and specing i think i can get about 80 users on a single server.  Total upfront with all Citrix licensing minus windows licensing $25,000.

Im hoping to add a $10 a month fee into our service plan for the VDI.  80 people times 10 a month for 3 years comes out to roughly 28,800.  Not a money maker but a break even and much less of a headache from an adiminstrative standpoint.