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Will Terminal Server 2008 CALs work on a TS 2003 server?

Posted on 2008-10-17
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Here's the situation:
2 months ago we moved a building. The new location received all new servers. Unbeknownst to me, the old location housed our old TS Licensing server which had our TS 2003 CALs installed on it. That server is subsequently gone, and the hard drive destroyed. I can't easily get the CALs back, as they were CALs obtained through Microsoft's Software Assurance program back when they offered 1 TS CAL per license of XP that was covered under SA (in other words, there's no purchase info to enter, and we've gone through 3 network admins since they were obtained).

We bought 300 Terminal Server 2008 CALs a few months ago, as we're slowly migrating to that instead, however the 2008 TS still isn't ready for production, so the 2003 Terminal Servers can't go away yet. The 2008 CALs are installed Per Device, and the 2003 TS in question is currently configured to use Per User (As the old Licensince Server was).

The problem I'm running into is that end users are starting to get error messages about no licenses when logging in. As I mentioned, we have plenty of 2008 CALs, but I'm unsure if they'll work for the 2003 TS, and I'm hesitant to try, as I'd have to swap the 2003 TS to per-device, which would invalidate EVERYone's CAL.

So, my questions are.. Will my 300 Per Device TS2008 CALs work for a 2003 TS, and if so, is it simply a matter of switching the TS to use Per-Device rather than Per-user?

Any help greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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Question by:tilbard
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 22743844

2008 TS CALs are not compatible with any prior version of Windows Server. If you want to use them, you have to have a 2008 TS Licensing Server.

You should, however, be able to call the MS Clearing House and get them to give you downgrade rights on the 2008 TS CALs for them to be used on the 2003 Licensing Server. I have heard of people doing this in the past - successfully.

-tigermatt
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by:tilbard
ID: 22743860
The Licensing Server is in fact running Server 2008. The CALs are installed, however I'm just not sure if the valid installed 2008 CALs will allow access to a 2003 Terminal Server.
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tigermatt earned 500 total points
ID: 22744011

Ah, I see. A TS 2008 Licensing Server can still issue Per Device CALs to a Windows Server 2000/2003/2008 and Per User CALs to Windows Server 2003/2008. See http://www.msterminalservices.org/articles/Changes-Windows-Server-2008-Terminal-Server-Licensing-Part1.html.

-tigermatt
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Author Closing Comment

by:tilbard
ID: 31507206
Sorry about the delay, just had the chance to test to make sure. Thanks for your help!
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 22788319

Glad that was the solution, I wasn't 100% sure when I posted it ! :)
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