Server 2012r2 can you install Remote Desktop and Backup on Hyper-V Server?

I have recently installed a Server 2012r2 as follows:

Bare Metal: 2012r2 with Hyper-V Server.
On that we have two VMs both running Server 2012r2, one is configured with the Server Essentials role and DHCP the other is purely for Exchange 2013. I understand that the deal with this configuration is that you are allowed to run the two VMs to count as your 2 licences under Server 2012r2 Standard licence, as long as you don't install any other roles onto the bare metal install.

As I administer this machine remotely I would like to be able to log into the bare metal box using Remote Desktop and also I would like to run the NT Backup program on it as well to back up the Virtual Machines on a daily basis. The question is if I add the Remote desktop and backup roles to this box does this invalidate the licence and will it stop the two VMs running due to a licencing issue?

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.

The official wording from MS is as follows:

For Windows Server 2012 Standard:
Running Instances of the Server Software. For each license you assign:
  For each server to which you have assigned the required number of software licenses, you may run on the
licensed server, at any one time:
o  one instance of the server software in one physical operating system environment, and
o  two instance of the server software in one virtual operating system environment.
  If you run all allowed instances in the virtual operating system environment, the instance of the server software
running in the physical operating system environment may be used only to:
o  run hardware virtualization software.
o  provide hardware virtualization services.
o  run software to manage and service operating system environments on the licensed server.

Now the next question is, enabling RDP (for admins only of course) and backup, is that "run software to manage and service OSE". In my opinion, it is. If you enable the full RDS role (so normal users can connect), I would say no.
Kash2nd Line EngineerCommented:
bare metal type sconfig  and enable remote desktop on it which will let you login remotely.
we have same setup as yours and we are using server backup without a problem
SivAuthor Commented:

@Kash Thanks for the advice, could you specify exactly which roles I should apply to the bare metal box that will comply with the licence terms.

@Kimputer I read that and like your thoughts I was not sure what that exactly meant.  Logic would dictate that you ought to be able to add backup and Admin remote desktop to allow you to back up and access the machine remotely without compromising the licence for the two VMs, but in my experience logic plays no part in MS Licencing!?

Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

this RDP is in administration mode and hence it is permitted, no licensing issue

The windows native backup (not 3rd party backup solutions to backup other servers) is also part of managing your VOSE, hence I don't think it will break your free license.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
None of what you listed are roles at all.

Remote desktop for admin purposes is installed by default. That isn't a role. If you install any of the RD roles like RDSH, RDVH, RDGW, then you'd be in violation. But RDP for admin doesn't require any of those.

Similarly, Windows Server Backup is a *feature* and not a role. Whether using the GUI or using powershell, the difference between roles and features is *very* clear. You can install features without violating virtualization rights. But not roles. Since backup is a feature (and it was put there instead of as a role for this reason among others), you can safely install it.

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
SivAuthor Commented:

I was able to add the Windows Backup "feature" to the File And Storage Services role, but I am unclear how to get Remote Access working.  I tried changing the Remote Access Service to automatic and started it, but I couldn't gain access to the bare metal server it comes up with the dialog saying that remote access is disabled or the machine doesn't exist on the network.  Do I need to open port 3389 on the bare metal server or is there a neater solution that enables all the stuff you need automatically?

Cliff GaliherCommented:
Remote access is NOT the same as remote desktop!! If you have the GUI, there is an option to turn on remote desktop and remote management in Server Manager on toe "local server" tab. In core, the scoffing utility has menu options to do the same thing. Either way, they'll flip the switches that need to be flipped and open the firewall ports for the built-in windows firewall. If you are using a 3rd party security product, you need to open that up yourself.
SivAuthor Commented:

Thanks for this, I'll contact the local admin either Monday or Tuesday (28 or 29 July) and see if I can get her to find this fix and turn on remote management.  I am getting confused with difference between Remote Desktop and Remote Management. For the purposes of this I want to log in remotely and manage the server.  I am using the Remote Desktop application on my Windows 8.1 box to do this.  Does this mean I need just Remote Management or do I need Remote Desktop as well?

There is no need for normal users to access the bare metal box only myself and the local admin from her box on the internal network.

We have the GUI install of 2012r2 and Hyper-V on the Bare Metal Server.

Since you are connecting to server remotely, it is called as remote management
For every windows server OS, remote management protocol (RDP) is mandatory so that administrator can manage it remotely and hence it is provided as free by Microsoft.
Note that it is called RDP in administration mode, otherwise you won't be able to manage server
Also if you connect to hyper-v server computer management \ disk management through other server, it is also called as remote management and it is allowed as you are accessing server remotely for managing its operation.

The fact here you should not install Routing and remote access services (RRAS) role on hyper-v server, if you do you are breaking the licensing.
RRAS is renamed with 2012 server as remote access (VPN and DirectAccess)
Also if you install RDS role on this hyper-v server, still you are breaking licensing as then you are turning server into RDP in application mode where multiple users can connect to server over RDP where in RDP in administration mode allows only TWO concurrent connections by default for free.
SivAuthor Commented:

Thanks for your help. As per your recommendation, turning the "feature" for "Windows Backup" in the File and Storage Services Role worked and also enabling "Remote Desktop" and "Remote Management" in the Server Manager "Local Server" section worked.  You just have to enable an inbound firewall rule on Port 3389 and obviously your router has to have a NAT Port Redirection rule that points 3389 to the IP of the relevant server box.

I am now able to log in remotely to the bare metal box and also can run backups on it backing up the VHDX files to my backup disks.

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 2012

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.