Terminal Server Licensing - General Information

The Terminal Server Licensing procedure is designed to manage the Terminal Services CALs that are required to connect any user or device to the server. Use Remote Desktop Licensing to install and release TS CALs on the Remote Desktop Licensing server and monitor their availability.

Important! Remote Desktop supports two simultaneous connections for remote administration of a computer. These connections do not require a license server.

To use Terminal Services, you must deploy at least one license server in your environment. In smaller environments, you can install Terminal Server and Remote Desktop Licensing on the same computer at the same time. In large environments, we recommend that you install the Remote Desktop Licensing and Terminal Server role services on separate computers.

Types of CALs

There are two types of Remote Desktop Services Client Access Licenses (RDS CALs):

  • Remote Desktop Services Per Device CALs
  • Remote Desktop Services Per User CALs

In per device licensing mode, the first time a client computer or device connects to the server, by default, a temporary license is issued. When the client computer reconnects to the server, if the license server is activated and sufficient RDS Device CALs are available, the license server issues a permanent device license to the client computer.

A Remote Desktop Services User CAL entitles a user to access the server from an unlimited number of client computers or devices. Remote Desktop Services Per User CALs are not enforced by Remote Desktop Licensing. As a result, the client connects regardless of the number of Remote Desktop Services Per User CALs installed on the license server. This does not relieve administrators of the terms of the Microsoft Software License Agreement, which require a valid Remote Desktop Services User CAL for each user.

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Procedure for installing a license

  • Check the prerequisites for installing the Remote Desktop Licensing tool.
  • Installing the Remote Desktop Licensing role service.
  • Activating the Remote Desktop License Server.
  • Install Remote Desktop Services Client Access Licenses (RDS CALs) on the Remote Desktop Licensing server.
  • Configure support for Remote Desktop Licensing on the server.

For a detailed description, see the article: Terminal Server Licensing in Practice.

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