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TS Licensing

Updated: January 5, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Terminal Services Licensing (TS Licensing) is a Terminal Services role service that manages the Terminal Services client access licenses (TS CALs) that are required for each device or user to connect to a terminal server. You use TS Licensing to install, issue, and track the availability of TS CALs on a Terminal Services license server.

Aspects

The following is a list of all aspects that are part of this managed entity:

Name Description

Terminal Services Client Access License (TS CAL) Availability

When a client—either a user or a device—connects to a terminal server, the terminal server determines if a Terminal Services client access license (TS CAL) is needed. The terminal server then requests a TS CAL from a Terminal Services license server on behalf of the client attempting to connect to the terminal server. If an appropriate TS CAL is available from a license server, the TS CAL is issued to the client, and the client will be able to connect to the terminal server.

TS CALs are installed onto a license server by using the TS Licensing Manager tool.

Note:  A terminal server running Windows Server 2008 can only communicate with a license server running Windows Server 2008.

Terminal Services License Server Activation

To install and issue Terminal Services client access licenses (TS CALs), a Terminal Services license server must first be activated. When the license server is activated, Microsoft provides the license server with a limited-use digital certificate that validates server ownership and identity. Microsoft uses the X.509 industry standard certificate for this purpose. Using this certificate, a license server can make subsequent transactions with Microsoft.

Terminal Services License Server Availability

The Terminal Services license server relies on the Terminal Services Licensing service to be running in order to install, issue, and track the availability of Terminal Services client access licenses (TS CALs).

Terminal Services License Server Database Availability

When the Terminal Services Licensing (TS Licensing) role service is installed, a database is created in which to hold information about the Terminal Services client access licenses (TS CALs) that are installed onto the license server.

The location of the TS Licensing database can specified during the TS Licensing role service installation. The database location must be a local folder on the computer on which the TS Licensing role service is being installed. By default, the TS Licensing database is located in the %systemroot%\system32\lserver folder. You can confirm the location of the TS Licensing database by using Review Configuration in the TS Licensing Manager tool.

Terminal Services License Server Discovery

Terminal Services license server discovery is the process by which a terminal server discovers (contacts) an available license server to request Terminal Services client access licenses (TS CALs) for the clients that are connecting remotely to the terminal server. If the terminal server cannot discover a license server, client connections may fail.

The recommended discovery scope for a license server is forest discovery scope. 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.

Note:  A terminal server running Windows Server 2008 can only communicate with a license server running Windows Server 2008.

Terminal Services License Server Security Group Configuration

When the TS Licensing role service is installed on the server, the Terminal Server Computers local group is created. The license server will respond only to requests for TS CALs from terminal servers whose computer accounts are members of this group if the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\TS Licensing\License server security group Group Policy setting has been enabled and applied to the license server. By default, the Terminal Server Computers local group is empty.

When the TS Licensing role service is removed from the server, the Terminal Server Computers local group is deleted.

Terminal Services Per User Client Access License Tracking and Reporting

In Windows Server 2008, you can use the TS Licensing Manager tool to create (generate) reports to track the Terminal Services Per User client access licenses (TS Per User CALs) that have been issued by a Terminal Services license server. TS Per User CAL tracking and reporting is supported only in domain-joined scenarios because the information about the TS Per User CAL that has been issued to a user is stored as part of the user account in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS).

For TS Per User CAL tracking and reporting to work, the computer account for the license server must be a member of the Terminal Server License Servers group in AD DS. If the license server is installed on a domain controller, the Network Service account must also be a member of the Terminal Server License Servers group.

Related Management Information

Terminal Services

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