Remote Desktops on SBS 2011


I have an SBS 2011 Standard installation on Hyper-V server and want to implement Remote Desktops.  I am hoping not to get any more hardware.

As I see it I have 2 options; Install 2011 Premium on a VM and configure this or get a copy of 2012 standard and make this a member server.

2012 seems to have more options and looks to be the more cost effective option considering licencing and is the option that I am favouring.

What I am looking for is any wisdom you may have on this.  Which of the 2 is the best option in your experience?  

Can anyone see any pitfalls in getting 2012 and making this the Remote Desktop Server?

Thanks in advance.
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Rob WilliamsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It would be less expensive and easier to manage an RDS server(Remote Desktop Services / Terminal server).
You cannot use OEM when virtualize so 9 Volume licensed desktops would be far more than an RDS license, even if you include the additional costs with Office licensing for RDS.

Leew is more up to date on licensing than I and may be able to fill in details, but there are changes with Office 2013 purchased though  Microsoft's Office 365 program that are supposed to make it more affordable on an RDS server.  Some details, if you can follow it, are explained here:

Again, as suggested by Leew, getting a volume  2012 license would allow you to downgrade to 2008 R2, retain flexibility, and avoid buying additional CAL's for each user.

In all scenarios, including remote desktops, you still need RDS  CAL's.
Haresh NikumbhSr. Tech leadCommented:
Microsoft already Announces the End of Small Business Server, so instead of going for premium edition will suggest go for Windows 2012 essential or standard.

There is no issue found making 2012 server and RDS

How to enable RDS on windows 2012
Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
There is a HUGE issue with making a 2012 server an RDS server in an SBS 2011 domain - specifically, you will need to buy Windows CALs since the SBS 2011 CALs do not cover you.

What would be a MUCH better solution is buying a 2012 license through volume licensing and using downgrade rights to instead install Server 2008 R2.  The SBS CALs will cover you on that (You need RDS CALs as well regardless; licensing is ADDITIVE - RDS CALs add the right to connect to RDS, they do not include other rights).

The Premium Add-on only makes sense if you need SQL server.
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CharliebearAuthor Commented:
Thanks Leew, My reason for thinking of 2012 instead of 2011 premium was I thought it would be cheaper on licensing as I would be just getting the RDS licences instead of 10 SBS Premium CALs and then the 9 RDS licences.

Obviously it's not that simple.  One thing I will point out is that they already have 10 user cals and it will be the same users using RDS.

Also, if I am understanding what you say, it would be best to get a regular copy of 2008 instead of the SBS premium.

Are there any technical issues with 2012 as a member or just licencing ones?
Rob WilliamsCommented:
No problem to add a 2012 RDS server to SBS 2011, I have blooged about the correct method:

However as leew pointed out going with any server version newer than SBS 2011 (Server 2008 R2) requires buying a user/device CAL for each connection.  The SBS CAL's do not include newer server versions.  They do include adding another member server of the same or older vintage.

Premium would be a waste as you would also be paying for SQL which you do not need.  Using downgrade rights on a volume license, again as leew sated, allows you to have server 2008 R2 and the right to upgrade to 2012 at any point.

I am commenting because you said "Remote Desktops".  I assume you are wanting either an RDS server or virtual PC's, but are aware that SBS by default allows users to connect to their existing Remote Desktops  using RWA with no attritional services, CAL's or fees?
CharliebearAuthor Commented:
I'm having a bit of trouble keeping up with the acronyms, Thanks for pointing out that the PCs can be accessed for free, I am aware of that but they are after virtual desktops of some kind.  I am thinking RDS but virtual PCs could be an option if they're cost effective.

Thanks also for putting some more clarification on the licences.  It's all becoming clearer now.
Would using virtual PCs make the licencing more simple, thinking ahead to Office etc?
Rob WilliamsCommented:
The main question would be how many users, or virtual desktops ?
CharliebearAuthor Commented:
It is for 9 users / virtual desktops.
CharliebearAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your help.
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