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KMS or MAK for RDS 2008

Posted on 2011-04-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am trying to figure out the best way to handle our licensing for Remote Desktop Services either go KMS or MAK. What is reccomended the documentation Microsoft has is confusing.
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Question by:mnevoso
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by:connectex
ID: 35452487
Neither! RDS licenses aren't done via MAK/KMS product keys. It's done via your Microsoft agreement information. You activate your license under the RDS licensing manager. Currently only OS and Office 2010 installations can use MAK/KMS product keys.

-Matt-
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by:mnevoso
ID: 35454347
My mistake it is for office 2010 on rds servers
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by:connectex
ID: 35454599
Products are licensed per system. So pick either one. BTW, I forgot to mention you can mix activation methods too.
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by:connectex
ID: 35454602
Products are licensed per system
that should be Products are activated on a per system basis.
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by:mnevoso
ID: 35454779
Yes but should I do a mak on the rds server? Or is kms better
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by:connectex
ID: 35454878
Which better is a matter of option or based on your company size. Both methods accomplish the same thing. As I mentioned before you can mix the two methods. MAK is recommended for companies with 50 or less systems. Plug in the product key and complete the activation via Microsoft's activation server on the internet (or phone). KMS is for those companies that don't want to have to use the internet for activations. KMS sites have to setup a KMS server, the equilivent of Microsoft's activation server, for inhouse use. This is typically for larger companys.  But you could could also choose to use KMS for even a small company. I read it somewhere that Microsoft was going to require KMS method for those with 200 or more systems. But I can't find it again.

This EE post mentions pro/cons of each method: http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/Windows_Server_2008/Q_24406442.html.
This article also mentions some good information: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd981009.aspx.

-Matt-
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by:mnevoso
ID: 35454881
Well I have 100 users on rds.
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by:connectex
ID: 35454891
Again it's not about users or RDS. It's about Microsoft OS and applications deployment. Each OS (Vista/Win7/Svr 2003/Svr 2008/svr 2008 R2) or application (Office 2010) that's deployed will have to be activated. I can't recommend which method is better for you as I don't have all the needed information. That's why I've provided various resources for you to reference so you have the information to decide what's best for your needs. The only hard information I can provide is Microsoft recommendation of using MAK for those comapnies that have 50 or less machines.
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Pber earned 2000 total points
ID: 35466765
I agree with the comments above.  It really boils down to how much work do you want to do and your environment.  If you have an environment what has a bunch of mobile laptops that aren't in the office for 6 months at a time, you probably want to go with MAK licenses as they don't have to be regularly refreshed as they are with KMS.  The downside is you have to plug the license in for each deployment.
KMS on the other hand, you really only need to add the key to the KMS server and the client will automatically request the license for you.  Much simpler from an administration perspective.  Setting up a KMS server is pretty simple and not much effort and you may already have it in your environment for your OS licenses.  It is a very lightweight service that can be hosted on an existing server (such as a DC).
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by:techjunkyjosh
ID: 35705518
I would use KMS on the RDS server. You do have a limited amount of activated with each MAK key. You can have an unlimited number of activations to the KMS server. With the KMS server you also do not have to activate as the machines will contact the KMS server in the background using a DNS entry created while installing the KMS server. As stated by previous posters you can have a mixed environment. The default silent install I use is a KMS install. I then change the key to an MAK key if I know the PC will be offsite for an extended amount of time without VPN connection. You can always change an Office KMS install to MAK at a later date.
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