SBS 2011 / Server 2008 R2 RDS Licensing

Posted on 2011-10-08
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Despite my best efforts researching this on-line I'm still confused as to what licenses I will need with this configuration:

SBS 2011 STD with a second 2008 R2 server for RDS via the Prem add on. (I want the SQL later). I plan to setup the second server as a Hyper-V 1+1 with the VM being the RDS host. My thinking is this will allow me to add additional VM's should I need them.

The RDS Host VM is to house an Access 2007 inventory LOB app. The RDS clients are Panasonic thin client Toughbooks running XP Pro. They run 24/7 with 2 or 3 shifts per device. Looking at 7 devices with 11 total users.

Can I do the Hyper-V / RDS with the single 2008 R2 license from the Prem add on or will I need a second Server 2008 license? As there any option to downgrade the VM to Server 2003 with the 2008 license? The XP clients seem to like a server of their own generation vs server 2008.

The XP Pro thin clients only connect to the RDS host so do I need to have 7 SBS Prem CAL's and 7 RDS Device CAL's for them or are the RDS licenses enough?

Question by:Raland9966
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    You should always check with MS Liscensing for licensing questions... contact info in a minute.

    Having said that:  SBS 2011 and Server 2008R2 can both be virturalized on one machine with any copy of Server 2008r2, including the one that ships with the PAO, so you are on the right track there.  SBS covers the Server CALs for any member server of equal or older vintage, so you are OK there.  SBS PAO comes with 5 SQL licenses so you won't need them until you actually install SQL, and you will need one for each user (device??) that accesses the SQL server.

    What appears to be left in your senerio is the number of SBS CALs and the number of RDS CALs.  SBS ships with five CALS, and as you may know, you can liscense them either by user or by device, and you can mix and match.  You will need 1 SBS CAL for each user or device that authenticates to the SBS, and you will need to choose to liscense your RDS server one way or the other, (or have two RDS servers) then purchase the appropriate number of CALs of that type.  On the face of it, RDS Device CALs seem to be your least expensive choice, but if you have any users that want to address that RDS server from off site you may wind up needing more device CALs than you expect.

    Here is the MS Licensing info I referenced above:
    For the license issue, you may also contact licensing specialist for the detailed information. In the United States and Canada, you may call the licensing team directly at 1-800-426-9400 (select option 4), Monday through Friday, 6:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. (PST) to speak directly to a Microsoft licensing specialist.
    Worldwide customers can use the Guide to Worldwide Microsoft Licensing Sites to find contact information in their locations.

    Author Closing Comment

    >>you will need to choose to liscense your RDS server one way or the other, (or have two RDS servers) then purchase the appropriate number of CALs of that type.

    Having two RDS servers, one with each license type is an interesting idea that I hadn't thought of. With a 5 CAL pack costing about the same as a copy of Server 2008 it may be a good option. Thanks for the contact info, I'll give them a call.

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