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2011 SBS Essentials RDP Issue

Posted on 2013-06-05
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Last Modified: 2013-06-14
Hello all, I signed up to EE for this problem.  Recently I had someone build a server for our business.  The reason for new server was we had 15-20 RDP users connecting to our old 2003 server and it wasn't able to handle the load any longer.

We got our shiney new server installed on Monday and after getting everything configured I discovered the hard way that only 2 RDP admin connections were allowed.

This caused major problems with our business.  I have done alot of reading on the subject and realize I would need to purchase the Premium-add on to get the amount of RDP sessions we need.  I have a few questions I hope some experts can help with:

1.  First, would it just be easier to install a completely different Server OS to replace 2011 and purchase the necessary licenses for RDP?

2.  If answer to #1 is no, I realize we will get a license for Win 2008 R2 with PAO which we can install as RDP license server.  Problem is the only other server we have is the old 2003 server but it is very old and i don't know if it can handle 2008.  But if it could, would RDP users be connecting to the old server running 2008 or our new server running 2011 that was build to handle all these users?

I also read I can do some sort of virtualization and install both 2008 and 2011 on the same machine.  Do you think this would be the best solution?  If so, I am still confused after a lot of research what kind of licensing I would need to allow the 20 RDP users.

I could purchase 2011 PAO 20 CAL, but do those 20 CALs allow 20 RDP connections or do I need additional licenses for that as well?

And if I do purchase PAO, how do I actually do that?  Is this something I can just download or do I have to order packaged disks?

I am really in a bind here and need a solution in place to install on Monday, the only day our business is closed.  We have a temporary work around in place for now involving the old server, but that thing as many other issues and won't last long.  Thanks for any advice you can give.
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Question by:Stevebuscher1
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Accepted Solution

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Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 39222394
Answers in-line:

1.  First, would it just be easier to install a completely different Server OS to replace 2011 and purchase the necessary licenses for RDP?

Not only easier, but REQUIRED. SBS cannot be a remote desktop server.

2.  If answer to #1 is no, I realize we will get a license for Win 2008 R2 with PAO which we can install as RDP license server.  Problem is the only other server we have is the old 2003 server but it is very old and i don't know if it can handle 2008.  But if it could, would RDP users be connecting to the old server running 2008 or our new server running 2011 that was build to handle all these users?

The premium add-on includes a server license AND a SQL license. As such, it is more expensive than a standalone server license. So unless you need SQL, don't buy the PAO. And regardless, whichever you buy, neither will allow you to use 2011 as a remote desktop server. Users would have to connect to the other OS install.

I also read I can do some sort of virtualization and install both 2008 and 2011 on the same machine.  Do you think this would be the best solution?  If so, I am still confused after a lot of research what kind of licensing I would need to allow the 20 RDP users.

This MAY be the best solution if you want to keep 2011 for its other features. Simplified AD administration, client backup, RWA, etc. As far as licensing. You'd need the 2011 license. A second 2008 R2 server license. 2008 R2 server CALs. And RDS CALs.

I could purchase 2011 PAO 20 CAL, but do those 20 CALs allow 20 RDP connections or do I need additional licenses for that as well?

PAO CALs do not allow RDS. They grant access to SQL. Which, as noted above, is not necessary given your plans. You need RDS CALs either way.

And if I do purchase PAO, how do I actually do that?  Is this something I can just download or do I have to order packaged disks?

Unless you order VL, you'll get packaged disks.
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Author Comment

by:Stevebuscher1
ID: 39224713
So if I scrap the 2011 and just buy 2008 with 20 CAL's (about $1200?) and then purchase an additional 20 RDP licenses (about $1700?), that is a total of around $2900.

If I keep 2011 and buy POA with 20 CALs (about $1200?) I would still need to buy 20 RDP licenses (about $1700), that would pretty much be the same cost.

Am I getting this right?
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39224753
Yes. But again, the PAO includes SQL. You may find it cheaper to buy Windows 2012 Standard (or 2008 R2), 20 OS CALs, and 20 RDS CALs.
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Author Comment

by:Stevebuscher1
ID: 39227214
Ok, thanks for your help!
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Author Comment

by:Stevebuscher1
ID: 39227229
sorry, one more question.  So with 2012, that is able to be an RDP server with as many connections as I have licenses for?
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39227697
As can 2008 R2, and 2008, and 2003...just not SBS.
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