Windows Domain with RDS

Posted on 2012-08-29
Last Modified: 2012-08-30
Hi All ..... I am planning out a deployment of RDS as a member Server for approx. 20 Users in a small office.
The aim is to have a mix of BYOD for employees but also have approx. 10 desktops. I have solely lived and dies by Active Directory and Group Policy to manage computers generally with a SBS.
My question is around whether the desktops need to be joined to a domain and therefore managed in any way. My feeling is yes you do, so when it comes to licensing those desktops do you still need to buy CALs for Windows Server that is the DC? We already will be purchasing TS Cals for RDS, so not sure if you need both?
Question by:Flipp
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    RDS CALs are ADDITIVE - that means you NEED Windows CALs as well.

    Further, understand, CALs are assigned to HUMAN users (not account names) in the case of USER CALs and to phyiscal devices in the case of DEVICE CALs.  CALs are NOT concurrent (RDS or standard Windows).  That means (assuming you license by user) if you have 20 users, but only 10 will ever be in the office, you CANNOT get away with buying JUST 10 CALs... you need 20, one per user.

    Licensing by device is GENERALLY not recommended except for specific circumstances, like a machine on the shop floor used by 10 employees who otherwise never access a company computer - THEN you can get a Device CAL for that computer those 10 users use and be legit.

    Furthermore, REGARDLESS of whether the machines are in a workgroup or domain, if they are going to access network resources, they NEED CALs!

    At the end of the day, you are probably better off hiring a licensing expert to review your company's requirements and make recommendations.  And at the end of the day, remember:
    DISCLAIMER: Licensing advice offered here is a "best effort" and based on the understanding of the respondents. Licenses can change and we may not be aware of these changes or may misunderstand them. Further, licenses can differ by country and/or region and what we understand to be true in our region could be false in your region. "they told me on Experts-Exchange" will not be a valid defense in a software audit.  All licensing questions should be confirmed with the appropriate licensing authority (the maker of the software/issuer of the license).
    LVL 6

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks leew .... any recommendations on finding a licensing expert in Australia?
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    I'm in the states... but I'd probably start with a phone call to Microsoft and ask them (though I admit, it might be difficult to a GOOD answer from them on who else to talk to).   At the very least look for a local consultant and see how well they might understand licensing.  (I know few people outside of the states, but they are in Europe, unfortunately... (where in Australia are you?)
    LVL 6

    Author Comment

    We are based out of Canberra - I think I am fine with all the advice from different sources so far.

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