RDS License Server Questions

Posted on 2014-08-06
Last Modified: 2015-05-02
We've been running a few small Server 2003 remote desktop servers for a few (very small) clients under our SPLA.  (Windows SALs and RDP SALs reported monthly)

With 2003, when we selected the per-USER licensing method, we weren't forced to configure a license server.  We simply accounted for the RDP and Windows SALs in our monthly SPLA report.  (We admin the servers and know exactly how many user accounts are configured, so that's easy given the very small number.)

With 2003 going away next July, we're faced with replacing these 2003 servers.  These small clients have legacy software that is better suited for 2008 R2 than 2012, so we will be using 2008 R2.  Server 2008 R2 apparently REQUIRES a remote desktop license server even in per-USER mode, which brings up some questions, since I've never used a remote desktop license server.

1.)  How does license server work with SPLA?  General overview, please.

2.)  How do licenses get added under SPLA?  One independent blog said to put in the SPLA agreement number instead of a license key.  Does this mean the server will "phone home" to Microsoft and automatically add licenses?

3.)  How is the accounting handled now?  Do we report what the license server shows on its console for usage?

I'm a veteran systems/network admin, but am a newbie at remote desktop license servers.  Thanks in advance for advice, discussion, etc.
Question by:Ecompro
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    I'll answer these out of order (I've done SPLA licensing for it before).

    2. You add the keys to the license server.  They are generally unlimited licensing, or at least very large blocks.  Yes, it will phone home, but licenses aren't added from that per-se.  With the SPLA license, they try to maintain contact with Microsoft.

    3. You will generate reports from the licensing server for Microsoft on a monthly basis to pay your fees.   Your SPLA agreement should contain the details you will need for your report.  If it doesn't, your MS rep will be able to get the information for you.

    1. Overview..
    You'll need a 2008R2 (or 2012) server to be your license server.  You'll install that licensing role, and then your license pack(s) onto thebox.
    For your 2008R2 RDS servers, you will either install them pointed at your license server, or you will use a GPO to assign the correct licensing server.  
    When your users login to the RDS servers, the server will contact the license server and validate that it has a license for that user.  

    Hopefully that will help you..


    Author Closing Comment

    DIdn't directly answer my question, but pointed me sufficiently in the right direction.  Thanks.

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