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I am having a strange requirement from my employer that I am not sure how to actually solve.

We have an application that works in a client <-> server mode. The client logs in to a server, and afterwards the application will do its job (mainly data processing).

Only one username / password combo has been given to us to login. So far, only one statistician has used the app so this has not been a problem. Now, we have employed three more people, all of them will need to use the same app.

The problem is that if a second user logs in, every client loged with the same user/pass combo will be disconnected. My first answer was to ask if we could get more accounts for us. Unfortunately, that option was not acceptable to my employer (probably price, contract agreements...). He is willing to do anything else. I have even gotten a brand new server with Windows Server 2008 for this purpose.

Is there anything I can do about this issue? I have read a little about Microsoft VDI, will that be a viable alternative?

Note that I do not have much experience in this area, I am mainly a developer for this company.

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closed as not constructive by Chris S Jan 10 '13 at 14:04

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Circumventing a license restrictions would almost certainly breaching your terms, whatever the package. Buy more licenses or figure out some kind of usage rota. – SmallClanger Jan 10 '13 at 13:32
@user10901 - it's REALLY not your fault, it's in the FAQ but don't worry about this - but we're SUPER 'funny' on serverfault about any form of hacking to get around licence terms, security measures etc. as we're a site for professional sysadmins, and frankly we don't want to be associated with anything 'dodgy' (British term, hopefully you know it). Like I say though it's not your fault, we get some really sketchy requests sometimes on here :) – Chopper3 Jan 10 '13 at 13:36
:) thanks for the responses... I have had few discussion session trying to convince people why this will not work. A 'smarter' manager have rolled out his own attempt to circumvent this. This is where the idea of Microsoft VDI came out. Anyhow, thanks! Now ill try to find better ways to explain myself. – user10901 Jan 10 '13 at 13:48
I think we've all been there with the requests from management who have heard a buzzword and thinks its the answer to everything. – RobM Jan 10 '13 at 14:02
Sorry about the mod-hammer, but as others have pointed out you're asking how to get around licensing/policy, and we explicitly do not allow such questions. – Chris S Jan 10 '13 at 14:05
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you're not experienced in this and need an argument to take back to this boss that thinks virtualisation is how we spell "magic" these days:

Firstly: Virtualisation, in the sense being talked about here, is a way of allowing multiple virtual servers or workstations to exist on one physical piece of hardware. It's a way of, for example, taking five physical server boxes that are all utilised at 20% of their total capacity and making them share one box that's now being used to full capacity, freeing up the other hardware for other projects or just leaving it switched off and reducing your power bills.

Secondly: The closest thing to what he's talking about is allowing multiple users to share the same box. In Windows this is remote desktop or terminal services type use (You may already be using this for your 'one user at a time' server connection?). This still doesn't help because if you only have one ID for the application itself, or if its coded so that only one instance at a time can run on that box due to technical limitations, then this still doesn't help with multiple users each running their own jobs at the same time.

If we combine these ideas you could create a bunch of virtual servers, each with their own copy of the software on it, with each user logging into their own personal server. Of course, this then brings us back to the licence issue, which your boss is unwilling to deal with.

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No kind of Virtualisation will help with this issue, there's only one way to do this and that's to get more accounts, even if that costs money.

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That has been my argument the whole time :( If I were to develop such a system (as I said I am mainly a developer) this would have been an approach that I would use... Anyhow the virtualization option was pushed upon me (a manager had read somewhere that it would work) :( – user10901 Jan 10 '13 at 13:30
@user10901 Your manager has fundamental misunderstandings about VDI and virtualisation in general. – Dan Jan 10 '13 at 13:30
@user10901 It's not your fault but your manager has confused "virtualisation" with "magic" and is essentially trying to use it to get around licence restrictions, and neither of those scenarios tend to get much sympathy here. – RobM Jan 10 '13 at 13:31

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