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Continually running out of TS device CALs

Posted on 2004-09-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I am running Windows Server 2003 with Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server, Terminal Services, and Terminal Services Licensing installed.  The problem I am running into is that TS issues permanent device CALs for 52-89 day periods, but the thin clients that connect to the TS don't always have the same computer name, and thus pull multiple device tokens.  

The thin clients create their computer name from their current IP address, assigned by DHCP.  For example, a thin client assigned the IP address 192.168.100.100 would use the computer name P192168100100, and TS licensing will issue a license token in that name.  If clients reboot and get a different IP address, the name changes and the client gets issued another token.  Even with the DHCP lease time set to a very high value (so that the clients *hopefully* keep the same IP), eventually we run out of licenses.  

There are 102 Permanent TS licenses on the server, and usually no more than 60 users connected to the system at any given time.  Would we be better off in Per User mode?  And if so, is it possible to switch to Per User mode without reinstalling Terminal Services (and Citrix)?  Anyone have any other ideas on the issue?

Thanks,
JJ
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Question by:sloppyjoe73
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oBdA earned 500 total points
ID: 11955670
W2k3 TS licensing and Citrix licensing are independent of each other, so you could change your TS to "Per User" licensing. The drawback is that you will have to buy new (user) licenses.
The easiest solution in your place would probably be to work with reservations, so that your clients will always have the same IP. That'll give you the benefits of DHCP and the benefits of static IPs at the same time.
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by:sloppyjoe73
ID: 11956615
I forgot to mention this in the original message, but many of the clients are in remote locations and receive their IP address from VPN routers that do not support DHCP reservations.  All of the clients in the main office are already using reservations.  

This is also a problem when users connect from home periodically from their various windows machines.  If a user connects remotely just once, they're tying up a CAL for the next 3 months.  For instance, since I started testing XP SP2, I've reinstalled my laptop twice (with the same computer name) within the last 3 months and connected to the TS once with each install.  Now I have 3 CAL's in use for the same notebook!

Regarding the purchase of the licenses, I wasn't aware that the CAL's are actually purchased as either Device CAL's or User CAL's.  I thought there were just TS CAL's.  Then again, I'm not really on the purchasing side of things.  That would certainly make Per User licensing a very expensive option.  

Is there any way to make TS licensing issue the device CAL's for a shorter period of time?  Or possibly revoke certain CAL's?
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by:oBdA
ID: 11956957
No, sorry, the period is hardcoded, and it wasn't even integrated at all in the first versions of W2k TS licensing; they probably got so many calls to the Clearing House that they decided to offer the expiring licenses. The only way to revoke/reissue them ahead of time is to call the MS Clearing House.
If your routers don't support DHCP forwarding, the best solution in your case in the long run would probably be to switch to Per User CALs.

The Function of Terminal Server CALs in Windows Server 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=822134

Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server Licensing Issues and Requirements for Deployment
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=823313
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