2012R2 RD Gateway and RDS Licensing

Posted on 2013-12-21
Last Modified: 2013-12-22

I just want to install the Remote Desktop Gateway Service on a 2012R2 Server and as far as I can tell I need to install the whole RDS package and licenses just to get the RD Gateway.

All I want is to use it to get access to computers within the network securely using a public certificate

Is this possible as it was in 2008R2

Thanks for your time
Question by:Declaro
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 39734607
I believe you can install and use two concurrent connections with the license included with the server - otherwise you will need to purchase CALs for additional users, just like 2008R2.
LVL 77

Accepted Solution

Rob Williams earned 250 total points
ID: 39734631
Though you may not have done so with 2008 R2, using the RD Gateway required having RDS CALs to access PC's.  Only SBS allowed use of remote web workplace to access PC's without having CALs.  Even using the RD Gateway with SBS to directly access a PC required a server CAL and an RDS CAL, however there were no tools in place to enforce it.
LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:Norm Dickinson
Norm Dickinson earned 250 total points
ID: 39734639
Yes, that is correct. The same licensing rules applied for Windows Server 2012 as well as Windows Server 2008 R2.

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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 39734646
I was referring to accessing PCs via RD gateway, not a server using admin accounts or an RDS server which require the licensing service to be installed.  The former is an honor system as are all CALs today except RDS server and SQL CALs.  Microsoft does enforce this.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 39734657
There are also third party applications such as the popular LogMeIn free edition which allow direct access to PCs via web browser. See This is not recommended for a production environment but it is a handy tool for remote access nonetheless.
LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 39734708
Another option would be to enable a VPN and RDP directly to the desktops.  It's the RD Gateway that requires RDS CALs

Author Comment

ID: 39734840
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

Thanks to both of you for the information, it has cleared up a mistaken belief on my part.
LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 39734859
You are not alone in believing RDS CALs are not necessary in your situation.  I had heard it was a requirements so when I had the opportunity I asked the question directly to a Microsoft Program Leader who said it was required with 2008 but not clearly stated so it was a grey area.  He said it would be clearly a requirement with 2008 R2 and enforced.  This has been confirmed on many occasions, but to be honest I have not seen it in the ELUA's.

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