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Per device licensing caveat

Posted on 2008-10-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Due to a large number of shift workers, we have a per device licensing scheme for terminal services.  However, some offices have switched out a large number of devices in the last few weeks and the lifecycle of the CAL hasn't had a chance to run its course.  So we ran out.

Anyway, it's easy enough to 'reg delete HKLM\Software\Microsoft\MSLicensing /f' on a laptop or workstation to trick it into getting a 90 day temp license till the storm blows over, but what about non-Microsoft clients?.  We are now planning on replacing old linux terminal boxes with new ones in the next two months and I'm not really sure how I would trick them into getting new CALs, since I doubt they store the CAL locally like the windows RDP client, so I assume the info is cached server side, but I don't understand how.  Any tricks?
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Question by:Marketing_Insists
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 22798203
*If* your licensing is correct, replacing your TS clients with new ones should be no problem at all, whether they're Windows based or not.
A TS CAL will be renewed by the client as long as it's connecting to the terminal server. If a client is retired and doesn't connect to the TS anymore, its TS CAL will be returned to the pool of available licenses after 54 to 89(!) days. During that time, a new client replacing the old one can use a temporary license, which is valid for 90(!) days (one day more than the longest possible lifetime of a CAL of a client not connecting anymore).
In other words: if the temporary CALs of the "new" devices ran out before the old ones expired, the new clients have been used *parallel* to the old ones, violating the licensing. You'll need new licenses to cover this situation.
But a one-to-one *replacement* of clients (that is, as soon as the new device has logged on for the first time, the old one will never again access the terminal server) should be no problem at all.
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Author Comment

by:Marketing_Insists
ID: 22798910
I suspect parallel usage, I suppose... salesmen have been known to hang on to their old laptops for a few weeks before sending them back, but it's odd that I'm having as many problems as I am having.

If I were to switch to 'per user' mode for a few weeks on my terminal servers, would I have issues switching back to 'per device' mode?  I'm not really familiar with 'per user', since it's relatively a newish 2003 feature.  I have more users than devices, so I'd be in EULA limbo for a while.
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oBdA earned 500 total points
ID: 22799535
Technically, you can switch back and forth between the modes as often as you feel like it. Legally, ... well, you already mentioned the EULA limbo.
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Author Comment

by:Marketing_Insists
ID: 22800079
Ah, it seems our main office set up a class room for training purposes with the old machines before sending them back.  surprise.  "per user  mode" it is - mum's the word though, nudge-nudge.  

Definitely cutting back on the grace period for device swaps.  
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