Server 2016 Essentials Anywhere Access - Do I need additional CALs

Nick Brown
Nick Brown used Ask the Experts™
We have set up Anywhere Access on our 2016 Essentials server, and it is currently working fine, most importantly users are able to connect from outside, to their internal client desktops.
However, we are now approaching the end of the RDS licensing "grace period" and we are getting warnings on the server about RDS licensing.

I have searched without success so far to find definitive answers to the following questions: -
1) Do we need to purchase additional RDS CALs, over and above the Essentials CALs, to continue using Anywhere Access to connect to client desktops? (Not to the server desktop)
2) How exactly should the Remote Desktop Services be configured on the base server? The analyser is saying that a licence server is not assigned, but it does appear to be assigned in the control panel. Of course all services are on the same box in this typical small setup.

The server is not being used as an application server, so we do not need RDS in the way that used to be known as Terminal Services.

The "Set up Anywhere Access" wizard in the Essentials control panel directed us through installing Remote Desktop Services but did not provide guidance on setting it up.

Many thanks for any insights or guidance,

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If you have the true product, Windows Server 2016 Essentials (as opposed to Windows Server 2016 with the Essentials Experience Role) AND it's the only server on the network, then you do not need CALs for it or the Anywhere Access built in and setup through the Essentials Wizards.  

*IF* this is the Essentials Experience role, then you DO need RDS CALs.

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Nick BrownDirector


Many thanks for this clarification. It has answered my question.

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