Terminal licenses for XenApp

Hello Folks

We are running XenApp 5.0 on a 2008 Terminal server , basically publishing a non-Microsoft application for 40 simultanious users. We have Citrix licenses and windows terminal server is in evaluation period. I wanted to buy Terminal server licenses for 40 seats but Microsoft confuses me , they say we need to buy two types of CALS for this , 40 CALS for RDS which is almost 100$ each and 40 windows 2008 user CALS !! (each for 35$) , this is almost an additional 140$/per user cost.

Any one is familiar with this licensing requirement ? this is confusing ..
LVL 10
Who is Participating?
Carl WebsterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This is correct to a point.  You have to have a license of both type for every user who "may" access the server.  You can have 40 users for the application but have 80 people who use it and access the server but no more than 40 at any one time.  In this scenario, you would need 80 licenses.
James HIT DirectorCommented:
This is correct.

TS License allows for remote connections on a per user or per device basis.
The user CAL licenses those users to connect to the server simultaneously.

The user CAL is honor based and will not stop you from connecting, it will only affect you if audited and do not have sufficient licensing.
akhalighiAuthor Commented:
Thanks .. we have 40 users (Maximum) not more than that . that's our Citrix licesnisng limit.
so .. it looks like that we need to aquire both types ...
Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Azure 2017

Azure has a changed a lot since it was originally introduce by adding new services and features. Do you know everything you need to about Azure? This course will teach you about the Azure App Service, monitoring and application insights, DevOps, and Team Services.

Rant32Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Please point us to the source that confuses you.

Yes, you should have the necessary user CALs in place if your Terminal Server application connects to other services that require CALs (like logging on to a domain), which is no different from the licensing requirements for desktop systems accessing your servers. But there is no mention of User CALs purely to be able to use RDS in the official documentation on RDS licensing.

If your organization has already acquired User CALs for these users, these would also be valid for the same users accessing resources from RDS. If you don't, you wouldn't be compliant with or without RDS.

If your organization users per-device licensing, it becomes a little more complicated because these devices are often home computers or other systems that don't belong to the organization. These must be licensed accordingly, but it has nothing to do with RDS itself (rather, they access a file server on the network through RDS, or logging on to the domain requires a CAL, separately from the RDS CAL).
akhalighiAuthor Commented:
This is a per user scenario.

Windows terminal service is ONLY installed as a Citrix requirement , it doesn't server anything else ( like MS office) , this is a windows 2008 server.

Citrix Xen APP is licensed and it serves one non-Microsoft application to 40 windows XP clients in our domain.

Microsoft says that I need to get 40 CALS for RDS (Remote Desktop Service) and 40 CALS for windows 2008 user . Is this correct ?

Carl WebsterCommented:
Yes, that is correct.
I simply don't agree based on the information we have.

Look at the "Additive CALs" section in the Product Use Rights (as far as I can tell, this goes for all MS server OS products):


You need a license for each product and separately licensed functionality used on a device or by a user.  For example, if you use Office on Windows, you need licenses for both Office and Windows.  Likewise, to access Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server you need both a Windows Server CAL and a Remote Desktop Services CAL.

Windows Server 2008 Remote Desktop Services or Windows Server 2008 R2 for purposes of hosting a graphical user interface (using the Windows Server 2008 Remote Desktop Services functionality or other technology).

    Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services CAL, or
    Windows Server 2008 Remote Desktop Services CAL

Nowhere is there a user CAL requirement to properly license RDS or XenApp. User CALs are not a property of your RDS/XenApp solution, they belong to the file/print/domain servers that require CALs to license. You pay for the access to RDS via your RDS CALs, that's why they're required on top of XenApp licenses.

Also, the question really is whether your Citrix users are already covered by your existing user CALs. If they are external workers that do not have a desktop computer in your organization, then they probably are not licensed to log on to your domain. But that is true regardless of the use of RDS technology.

Again, I would really like you to point us to the source of "Microsoft says that I need 40 user CALs" because the PUR is in no way confusing and we have no information to support that claim.
akhalighiAuthor Commented:
Hi Rant ... I was thinking like you . Microsoft sales guy confused me ... this is not really clear.

All of my workstations in-house have a valid windows XP license. I guess I need to involve Citrix support.
Then, what did you tell the sales rep that made him conclude that you need user CALs?

Offering file/print/domain services to your users is where the user CAL requirement stems from, not XenApp. You should ask yourself if the Citrix users are going to use any of these services.

You need to license your file/print servers and domain controllers, if you have any, with user CALs for each unique user. That is true regardless of the desktop operating system involved or whether you're using RDS/XenApp. Thus, if you're extending your environment with 40 new people that are not already covered by a user CAL, then you need to purchase them.

A Windows XP desktop license is not a CAL. It IS possible that your server OS came included with a number of CALs.

Anyway, I think this is way out of the scope of Citrix support, but I'm guessing there.
Rant32Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I forgot to add the following paragraph, to hit the point home:

Conversely, if these 40 people are already part of the organization (e.g. remote workers with a laptop) then your organization should already have the user CALs in place, to be compliant. Assuming that they already use your Windows-based file servers, AD/Directory Services, or such.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.