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Failover Terminal Server - Do I need duplicate TS CALS?

Posted on 2006-07-11
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I have a windows 2003 terminal server running Citrix, this box is being synchronized with another box in a NOC.

The box in the NOC will never be used at the same as the other terminal server.

It is an either or/active-passive affar.

Do I have to buy TS Cals for both servers, or can I use the same CALs on both, since they will never be used simultaneously?

Citrix will let me use the same licenses on both servers, due to the fact that one is a cold spare and both boxes will never be used at the same time, does microsoft also allow this?
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Question by:Derekleu
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oBdA earned 150 total points
ID: 17085302
You can happily use both terminal servers at the same time if you feel like it. The MS TS CALs aren't concurrent, but the licenses are available domain (or enterprise) wide. You only need eough TS CALs to cover the clients/users accessing your terminal servers, no matter how many terminal servers you have running.
The Ultimate Guide to Windows 2003 Terminal Server Licensing
http://www.brianmadden.com/content/content.asp?ID=154
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by:pjedmond
pjedmond earned 150 total points
ID: 17085384
Microsoft licencing is a nightmare!

Microsoft will only allow you to install the TS CAL on 1 server. However, if you had a 3rd server which provided the TS Licencing capability, then either of the servers concerned could request a TS licence from this 3rd server.

However, if you use per User client licencing, if the first server fails, then the client can still connect to any other TS system:

http://www.brianmadden.com/content/content.asp?ID=154

If however, the client has never been issued with a licence, then it will stil lget a 90 day temporary licence for the second server...which should give you more than enough time to fix the first server;)  and your system will continue to function correctly.

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by:pjedmond
ID: 17085422
Wow - almost identical thoughts, however the problem is that if you have the licences relating to the number of users logging in, and the TS licence (with the CAL installed)  server fails, then although you will get a temporary licence for the first failure, you will not get a temporary licence for the second failure.

There is also some other interestign options here in that the licencign of Windows server 2003, allows 4 virtual instances of the server to be run concurrently for the purchase of 1 licence. I'm not quite sure how this may help, but I'm looking for similar clauses in the TS licencing.

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by:Derekleu
ID: 17085472
Very interesting!

Here is the situation:
25 Users.

Home office has 2003 DC and 2000 TS.

NOC has 2003 DC and 2003 TS (per user).

I am retiring the 2000TS and purchasing a 2003 Server to replace it.

According to what you are saying, I only need to get the 2003 server with 25 CALs. No more TS Cals needed.

If I have them all log in to either 2003 TS before a disaster scenario occurs, I won't have to deal with purchasing more TS licenses, ever.

Did I understand correctly?
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by:oBdA
ID: 17085549
Don't confuse the Server 2003 CALs with Terminal Server CALs! You need both to access a terminal server running W2k3; note that, unlike Windows 2000, a terminal server running Server 2003 requires a TS CAL for *every* user/device connecting, there are no more built-in licenses for XP!
Install the TS licensing on the DC. If the DC isn't running, you're likely to have other, more important problems than TS licensing.
This document includes information about redundant setup as well:
Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server Licensing
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/termservlic.mspx
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by:pjedmond
ID: 17085611
With the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system, Enterprise Edition, you receive use rights for four virtual machines under one physical license. In this case, if you are setting up four virtual machines within Virtual Server 2005 to run one instance of Windows 2000 Server and three instance of Windows NT Server 4.0 at the same time, you will need to purchase only one Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition license as the host.

***The above only appears to apply to the Enterprise edition****

An inactive virtual machine does not need a separate license for any Microsoft server products. If an organization creates a virtual machine and the virtual machine is not running, then the organization does not need a separate license for the software in that virtual machine. With the "license by running instance" enhancement, one license allows the organization to create any number of instances or backups of the software. For example, if the organization has one license for Windows Server, then it can create any number of instances or backup copies of Windows Server.

Both from:

http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/highlights/virtualization/faq.mspx

However there appears to be plenty of information that seems to contradict itself!

So I guess that you could have you second machine 'available' with a virtual machine ready to go with a terminal server Licence server ready to go. This also implies that you could have the same licences installed on it ready to go......however explaining that to the average MS help line (may confuse them totally!)....and will probably confuse anyone else as well!

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by:pjedmond
ID: 17085623
Your assumption is correct provided it is per user, rather than per connection...and the user concerned must be connecting from the same device.

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by:Derekleu
ID: 17086196
Great responses across the board, I am going to have to up the points on this question to spread out enough goodness.

I browsed through the terminal services whitepaper, and found the license issuance matrix. Basically, I need to spread my licenses across 2 license servers, and in a worst case scenario, have 90 days to bring up the other license server.

Could I also take the licenses from the "dead" license server and transfer them to the living license server?

Note: I have 25 win2k TS CALs, can I use them in a full 2003 scenario?
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by:pjedmond
ID: 17086408
25 win2k TS CALs cannot be used on a Win2K3 TS - Although W2K3 TS licences can be used for W2K under downgrade rights.

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by:oBdA
ID: 17088445
pjedmond,
there is absolutely no need for a virtualized terminal server. As I said in my first comment: Terminal Server CALs are available domain/enterprise-wide, and they are used on a "Per User" or "Per Device" basis, NOT on a "Per Terminal Server" basis.
The number of terminal servers you actually have running is of absolutely no importance as far as terminal server CALs are concerned!
You can run a farm of 50 active terminal servers for 25 users with 25 terminal server "Per User" TS CALs.

Derekleu,
there is no way to transfer TS CALs from one server to a new one by yourself. The only way to do this is to activate the new server, then call the Microsoft Clearinghouse with the license papers at hand and have them re-issue the licenses.
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by:pjedmond
ID: 17089155
oBdA -

>NOT on a "Per Terminal Server" basis.

Not sure that's what I said...but anyway, to clarify - Full licences are issued from the Terminal Server Licencing Server on which they were installed (although other TS may issue temporary licences or request a full licence from a TS licencing server which has remaining licences on it).

 I agree that there is no need for a virtualized terminal server - What I was mooting was the potential for a virtualised terminal server licencing server. The reason being that by having a virtualised licencing server, you could avoid (under some circumstances) paying an additional server licence, *AND* have the TS licencing *in existence* on *BOTH* servers (but only in use on one of them). Recovery of all TS licencing functionality after failure is then just a case of starting the 'replacement licencing server'. This is an extremely valid use of the virtualisation technology.

>there is no way to transfer TS CALs from one server to a new one by yourself.

Yes there is if using virtualisation. Look at the Xen product, and you can move your virtual server from Vitual environment to the next with less than a 1 second interuption of service. More impressively, the ethernet connections and details move with the virtual server. VMWare also has a similar capability. I've not tried this with MS Virtual Server. This approach is already being used by various mainstream organisations in order to minimise key 'licencing enforcement' bottlenecks, and make almost immediate failover possible.

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by:oBdA
ID: 17089265
Well, it's obviously not a problem to move one virtual machine to another host; it's still the same (virtual) machine running.
But the terminal server CALs you install on one TS license server are tied to the certificate that this very machine receives during the activation. You can NOT move this database to another server.
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by:pjedmond
ID: 17089319
>But the terminal server CALs you install on one TS license server are tied to the certificate that this very machine receives during the activation. You can NOT move this database to another server.

If it's within a virtual server, then the whole virtual server moves. This includes the database. The certificate is issued to the virtual 'machine' on the host server, not to the host server.

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by:oBdA
ID: 17089387
That's exactly what I said; but, as I said, this does NOT move the licenses from one server to another.
Derekleu's question was "Could I also take the licenses from the "dead" license server and transfer them to the living license server?".
The answer to that question is a definite "no", and I repeat, "there is no way to transfer TS CALs from one server to a new one by yourself."
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by:pjedmond
ID: 17090246
oBdA  - Apologies, but it looks as if I might be confusing you with the terminology. Looking at you EE ranking, you should have a vague idea what you are talking about.

I used the terminology 'virtual server' where perhaps it is more appropriate to use the term 'virtual machine'. I notice that you are predominantly microsoft exposed, and as such the confusion is understandable as Microsoft has changed the name from the operating systems for servers:

NT (and NT for Servers)
Windows 2000 (proffessional, and Server Edition, Advanced Server Edition, and Datacentre)

to a state where they now call the software:

Windows Server 2003 - Implying that the software is the server...which is wholly inaccurate. Gramatically this would also be incorrect as the server can 'serve' other operating systems as well, even if the name was considered in the context that I think Microsoft is trying to imply. Additionally, I suspect that Microsoft is trying to get people to think of Server software synonymously with Microsoft. A classic example of this misuse is that IIS and Apache are not web servers - they are actually web server software which enables the hardware to be a web server.

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by:oBdA
ID: 17090885
I'm not quite sure what you're trying to tell me here. No, the term "Server" is not restricted to define a piece of hardware. If you don't believe me, check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_(computing) or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server
From the beginning:
A Terminal Services License Server (yes, some software, a service, to be precise; since you're predominantly linux exposed: a daemon) has to be installed on a Windows Server 2003 (yes, some software, an operating system) machine (some hardware) to be able to run terminal services on a machine (...) running Windows Server 2003 (...).
And again to the problem at hand:
Derekleu's question was "Could I also take the licenses from the "dead" license server and transfer them to the living license server?", meaning, if his current TS license server dies (and it doesn't even matter in which way the term 'server' is used here!), would he be able to take the licenses that had been installed on the now dead server and get them to work on another server that he has running?
For the last time: the answer is "no". No amount of virtualization will get around this; this would be the same as moving the TS CAL database from one virtual machine to another virtual machine (and NOT moving a virtual machine from one host to another, which is what you suggested).
Yes, you can transfer it to a "new server" if you define "server" strictly as a piece of hardware, and if you have a valid backup, but that is a) hairsplitting, and b) was not the question here.
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by:Derekleu
ID: 17091806
Lets say I have a phone, and lets say this phone has the ability to call microsoft. Can they assist in moving these licenses around, or would they call the license police on me?

It is too late in the game at this juncture to start virtualizing servers, hurricane season has already begun down here in south florida.
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by:oBdA
ID: 17091974
They will assist you in this (in fact, they're rather used to it ...). Just make sure you have your TS CAL license information at hand.
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