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Terminal Services License Server Discovery

Updated: March 10, 2010

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

When you install the TS Licensing role service, you need to specify a discovery scope, which determines how the Terminal Services license server will be automatically discoverable by terminal servers.

The three discovery scopes are:

  • Workgroup

  • Domain

  • Forest

The recommended discovery scope for a license server is Forest.

noteNote
In Windows Server 2003, "forest discovery scope" was known as "enterprise scope."

If the TS Licensing role service is installed on the same computer as the terminal server, the terminal server will be able to automatically discover (contact) the license server, regardless of which discovery scope is configured for the license server.

Workgroup discovery scope is only available when the computer that you are installing the TS Licensing role service on is not a member of a domain. If you configure workgroup discovery scope, terminal servers, without any additional configuration, can automatically discover a license server in the same workgroup.

Domain discovery scope and forest discovery scope are only available when the computer that you are installing the TS Licensing role service on is a member of a domain.

If you configure domain discovery scope, terminal servers, without any additional configuration, can automatically discover a license server in the same domain only if the license server is installed on a domain controller. You can install the TS Licensing role service on a non-domain controller, but the license server will not be automatically discoverable by terminal servers in the domain. To configure domain discovery scope, you must be logged on as a domain administrator to the domain in which the license server is a member.

noteNote
If the license server is a member of a workgroup, and then you join the license server to an Active Directory domain, the discovery scope for the license server will be automatically changed from Workgroup to Domain.

If you configure forest discovery scope, terminal servers, without any additional configuration, can automatically discover a license server in the same forest, because the license server is published in Active Directory Domain Services. To configure forest discovery scope, you must be logged on as an enterprise administrator to the forest in which the license server is a member.

ImportantImportant
To issue TS Per User CALs to users in other domains, the license server must be a member of the Terminal Server License Servers group in those domains, regardless of whether the discovery scope for the license server is Domain or Forest.

In the license server discovery process, a terminal server in a Windows Server-based domain attempts to contact a license server in the following order:

  • License servers that are specified in the Terminal Services Configuration tool or by using Group Policy

  • A license server that is installed on the same computer as the terminal server

  • License servers that are published in Active Directory Domain Services

  • License servers that are installed on domain controllers in the same domain as the terminal server

ImportantImportant
To see which license servers the terminal server discovers and to be alerted to possible licensing discovery and configuration issues, use Licensing Diagnosis in Terminal Services Configuration. For information about Licensing Diagnosis, see the topic "Identify Possible Licensing Problems for the Terminal Server" in the Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services Configuration Help.

You can change the discovery scope of the license server by using Review Configuration in the TS Licensing Manager tool. For more information, see Change the Discovery Scope of a Terminal Services License Server.

For more information about license server discovery, see the Terminal Services page on the Windows Server 2008 TechCenter (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=73931).

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