Remote Desktop Services

Hi Experts,

Looking at implementing RDS on our Windows Server Standard 2008 R2 Server for a LOB Application. How many RDP sessions can we have into the server before we need RDS CAL's.

The server is running, our LOB App, File, Print, DHCP, DNS, AD & Backup.

Look forward to reading your responses.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
does 2008 CALS what?  Your question doesn't make much sense.  If your question is are 2008 CALs enough, then NO, you need RDS CALs to use RDS in ADDITION to 2008 CALs.
isdd2000Author Commented:
Hi Leew,

I saw that and have fixed the question, I need to know how many  RDS sessions into the server we can have before RDS CAL's are required.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
ZERO. Any LOB app connection requires an RDS CAL.

With that said, running RDS on a domain controller is never a good idea and that looks like that is what you are considering. You should really go back to the drawing board on this project.
Creating Active Directory Users from a Text File

If your organization has a need to mass-create AD user accounts, watch this video to see how its done without the need for scripting or other unnecessary complexities.

isdd2000Author Commented:
Hi Cgaliher,

It the load on the server is incredibly low, and the budget is not there for further OS licencing. Why would you not put it on a DC?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Because domain controllers are THE HUB to any network. If an end-user does something bad on an RDS server that is a member server and it crashes or gets infected, you can format and reinstall the member server. If that same incident happens on a DC, because DCs are the keys to the kingdom, you are reformatting and reinstalling every DC, every member server, every PC, and rebuilding any trusts on the domain.

And since RDS allows end users access, it very likely will happen at some point. It is just a matter of time.

Microsoft even comes right out and says it isn't recommended. Very first sentence here:

So sure, you can use the excuse that there isn't much budget. But a license is, what, $800 (US)? And the cost in labor of an infection is what, $10,000 (US) plus any incidentals, like conforming to privacy laws and informing any and all customers what data may have been compromised, and any lawsuits that may come of it.....I've personally consulted on a job where a poorly planned network created a security incident that cost a business $175,000 after it was all said and done. They declared bankruptcy.

So...why don't I recommend it? Because $800 to avoid $175k seems like smart math to me.

If you have a second DC, you don't need to rebuild everything in case one of the DCs are compromised or do not work as expected and need to be reformatted/re-installed.
Now, I agree that DC's roles are to be DCs, not Remote Desktop Servers. If you have some "available load" on that DC, why wouldn't use a Virtualization layer (hyper-v or VMWare) and use a virtual machine running in the DC to provide RDS? Actually, you could very well use a virtual machine for the DC two. Then, your physical server would run an hypervisor and here you would have 2 VMs, one DC and one RDS.

Now, regarding the number of CALs here are some useful links:

Basically, you can use 2 "free" CALs to administer the server (logging with an admin account, which is not what you want for users) and for users accesses, you need "real" CALs.

Now you could study the products on this page:

Maybe one free alternative would suite your need...

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
You can try RD Web Access in any of your 2008 Servers, Virtual or not.

Here is a link, very visual and simple to follow on how to achieve the installation:


Pay attention to the RD Gateway!!! Also... Remote Desktop Connection version on clients and remember to enable remote access on clients computers.

Good Luck
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2008

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.