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How do you change the licensing mode from per device to per user in a Remote Desktop Services environment Server 2012 Std.

Posted on 2015-01-07
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Last Modified: 2015-03-05
Hi everyone,

I can't seem to find a proper procedure on this issue.

I'm running Server 2012 Standard Ed. RDS Farm.  I stupidly setup the licensing mode as "per device" when I deployed the system and now it's coming back to bite me as more and more users want access from their personal devices.  In some cases 1 user is taking up 3 or 4 device licenses.

I've read a lot of notes on this but all is still revolving around 2008 R2, 2012's environment is much different.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much.
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Question by:Bullfrog28
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Expert Comment

by:Joshua Grantom
ID: 40535744
This should guide you in the right direction.

Open Server Manager.
Navigate to the Remote Desktop Services navigation area.
Select the Overview branch.
Under the Deployment Overview area, select Edit Deployment Properties from the Tasks menu.
Select the RD Licensing page of the displayed dialog.
Specify the licensing mode and the license server, then click OK.

http://windowsitpro.com/windows-server-2012/set-windows-2012-rds-licensing-mode-using-server-manager
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Author Comment

by:Bullfrog28
ID: 40538289
Thanks,

What the follow up to this though?

Does the system need a reboot? CAL's reinstalled?

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:Joshua Grantom
ID: 40538305
You have to have a User CAL license pack installed on whichever server runs the licensing server. If your license is for Device CALs then you will need to purchase a user CAL pack.

Rebooting the server will not hurt either.

What kind of license do you currently have?
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Author Comment

by:Bullfrog28
ID: 40538571
Hi,

They are open WinSrvr 2012 RDS User CAL but they are currently activated under "per device" and handing out licenses to client devices
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Expert Comment

by:Joshua Grantom
ID: 40540216
to switch the actual license from Per Device to Per User you will need to contact Microsoft. Once the open license is installed as per device you cannot change it. Even if you uninstall the license and reinstall.
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Author Comment

by:Bullfrog28
ID: 40567043
I noticed an option to convert licenses in the TS Licensing Manager, would that work instead of having to call Microsoft?
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Josh Garrett earned 500 total points
ID: 40643818
I used the convert licenses option and so far so good. I can login from multiple computers without a hitch.

convert-cals.png
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Expert Comment

by:Joshua Grantom
ID: 40644423
That's good to know, thanks for the update
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Author Comment

by:Bullfrog28
ID: 40648509
Ok I've made the change:

Changed deployment properties to 'per user' licensing
Converted all of the licenses to 'per user' in the RD Licensing Manager

Everything seems to be working, users can log in without any problems

In the RD licensing manager I do get the yellow triangle warning icon.  When I 'review configuration'  I get the message:

"You must restart the Remote Desktop Licensing Service.  Until the service is restarted, this license server will not be able to issue RDS User CAL's to users in the domain, and you will not be able to track or report the usage of the RDS User CAL's on this license server"

I've confirmed that licenses are not being handed out, luckily this doesn't seem to be revoking access to any of the users.

....i have restarted the service and the whole server a couple times but it's not resolving the issue.  

Any ideas?

Thanks so much.
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Expert Comment

by:Josh Garrett
ID: 40648514
RDS does not keep track of "user" licenses. It is up to the administrator to make sure the number of users is legit. You will always see # of licenses and then # of licenses available as the same number. This got me out of the bind I was in until I could purchase 50 more licenses.
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Expert Comment

by:Josh Garrett
ID: 40648517
I believe your second question would warrant a new post on here now that the original question was resolved. My first step would be to remove the license set and reinstall it during downtime.
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