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terminal server 2008 licensing

Posted on 2010-11-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi Guys

Will be installing our first 2008 TS along with a SBS 2008 server, question was with 2008, is it still the case that "per user" type licenses are not tracked ?

Basically same as this discussion:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/Remote_Desktop-Terminal_Services/Q_24545002.html

As I understand using the old system you could theoritcally just activate a license server with the company details, switch server to user mode, do not enter any purchased CAL's and leave the two default ones in there (temp liceneses and existing win2k server) and it would still work fine.

We have already brought the licenses so its not really a issue, just more of a curiosity.

Many thanks!
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Question by:Corp_Jones
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by:David Kroll
David Kroll earned 100 total points
ID: 34113618
From my understanding, with 2008, the CALs are just a piece of paper.  You don't enter any license information into the server.
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Rob Williams earned 400 total points
ID: 34113648
You are correct. If switched to per user mode it will not track licensing but for compliance reasons you should still install and activate your licenses. Server CAL's (as opposed to TS CAL's) can no longer be added that is strictly an honor system of maintaining the paperwork and having available if asked to present it.
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by:Corp_Jones
ID: 34119432
Thanks for the replies.

Can you clarify what you mean by:
Server CAL's (as opposed to TS CAL's) can no longer be added that is strictly an honor system of maintaining the paperwork and having available if asked to present it.
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by:David Kroll
ID: 34120085
Corp_Jones,

That is correct.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34120569
There are 4 primary types of CAL's; Server, Exchange, SQL, and TS.
In order to access the resources on any server the user (or device) requires a server CAL.
In order to access specific services such as Exchange, SQL, or TS, you also need 1 each of those CAL's.

In the past you had to set up a licensing manager for server CAL's and record and activate the CAL's. Server 2008 has dropped this requirement, and you only have to retain documentation.

More specifically SBS has it's own special CAL's which include Server and Exchange. If you buy Premium CAL's they also include SQL. In the previous server versions you had to add your CAL's to the server manager under licensing. The Server came with 5 but if more than 5 users you had to purchase more. In reality the server would not warn you you had exceeded the number of CAL's recorded until you had 6 more users that CAL's but it would block the 6th user. With SBS 2008 the requirement or ability to record Server CAL's was removed and it is strictly honor based now. You do still require server CAL's to access the server in any way such as e-mail, printers, or files. SBS also covers other member servers, so you only need server CAL's for the primary SBS server.

With TS CAL's that is not the case, you still MUST set up the TS licensing manager service on a server (not necessarily on the TS), and activate within 120 days of adding a the terminal server role to a server. You are also required to add and activate your TS CAL's within the 120 days. However, if it is in per user mode, it does not track or block users. In device mode it will block connections that exceed the licensing limit.
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by:Corp_Jones
ID: 34121629
Brilliant, Thanks RobWill

Just one final point before I close the question, in SBS 2008 are you saying theoretically that 20 users can use the server without issue even if no additional CAL packs are installed?
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34121769
Correct, however that would be a complete licensing violation, but it does not warn you in any way.
I have seen Microsoft do site visits and licensing violations are not taken lightly and can be very expensive. They will also pick up on it very quickly if you ever contact support.

>>"even if no additional CAL packs are installed"
That is the issue, there is no way with Server 2008 or SBS 2008 to install them, thus no way to monitor them.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34121779
I was referring to server CAL's not TS CAL's in the last comment.
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by:Corp_Jones
ID: 34121803
Ah I see, thanks RobWill.

We have to sell CAL's with the server but was just asking out of curiosity, in SBS 2003 it used to warn when the limit was exceeded and we used to buy more CAL's but looks like its changed.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34121909
Correct, no warnings now.

With SBS 2003 you had to buy CAL's in 5 packs, which might be why it didn't warn you until you exceeded the limit by 6, but 2008 CAL's are available individually, not that that is relevant to your question.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Corp_Jones
ID: 34121935
Perfect, Thanks RobWill, much appreciated! :)
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34122158
Thnaks Corp_Jones.
Cheers!
--Rob
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