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Remote Desktop Services / Terminal Services User CAL Query

Posted on 2014-04-28
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I have (please don't laugh!!) an old early 90s DOS application at my place of work that I'm serving up via RDS / Terminal Services from a 32-bit install of Win 2008 Server. Using first gen RemoteApp technology, it actually works surprisingly well. We use RDS purely for this one app.

Through a long and boring story, I've realised we aren't licensed with RDS / TS Client Access Licenses. I want to get the right number of CALs, but it is unclear the number of licenses I need to get for our scenario.

To be clear, whilst the users who connect in have their own AD User Account running on their local PC, the user account used for the remote app is exactly the same from each different system. So, whilst one user might initially log in to their workstation as 'mike.webb' and another as 'tom.smith', both then use the AD username 'old.dos' to fire up the RemoteApp.

We have a total of 15 users doing this. Do I need a RDS User CAL for each user loging in initially, or do I need only 1 RDS CAL, as I'm using an identical user name to connect to each instance of the software on the RDS Server?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Microsoft have been unable to answer this one. I've included Citrix as a relevant topic, as I know RDS has some historical rooting in this, and hope you guys might help.

Many thanks,

Bobby
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Question by:bluemercury
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by:bmurray-vb
ID: 40028426
The honest thing to do is use 15 per device cals since you're using the same AD account for the 15 connections.
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Cliff Galiher earned 2000 total points
ID: 40028442
If you chose user-based licensing, it is one CAL per user. *Accounts* have never mattered.

For example, in user-based licensing, I may have an account called "cliff" and another "cliff-admin" and a third "cliff-rds-quickbooks" and a fourth "cliff-rds-office2013" for various things. I'd need one windows user CAL and one user RDS CAL for me as a user. Even though I have four accounts.

Microsoft counts users as physical people. For both AD and RDS.
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Author Comment

by:bluemercury
ID: 40028445
Why are per device CALs needed? The users log in across a total of 20 systems, so this would seem the wrong route to go. If anything, I would have thought it better to buy 15 user CALs, as the RDS session is being launched from this total number of different user logins to Windows.

So to ask again, do I legally need 15 user CALs or just 1? I can't find any MS documentation that covers this very specific scenario :-(
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by:bluemercury
ID: 40028448
That was exactly the tree I was barking up. You've confirmed my belief. I wanted someone to back me up on this, so I can present the bad news to my boss tomorrow! Your time much appreciated, they'll just have to buy the 15 user licenses!! Many thanks :-)
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by:bmurray-vb
ID: 40028463
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by:bluemercury
ID: 40028612
Thanks for that - had already read it. Reminder I needed was Cliff Galiher's, in that a user is not a login account, but a person. Thanks :-)
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