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Remote Desktop Licensing

Updated: June 12, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

Remote Desktop Licensing (RD Licensing), formerly Terminal Services Licensing (TS Licensing), is a role service in the Remote Desktop Services server role included with Windows Server 2008 R2. RD Licensing manages the Remote Desktop Services client access licenses (RDS CALs) that are required for each device or user to connect to a Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server. You use Remote Desktop Licensing Manager (RD Licensing Manager) to install, issue, and track the availability of RDS CALs on a Remote Desktop license server.

The following changes are available in Windows Server 2008 R2:

The improvements to the RD Licensing role service will be of interest to organizations that currently use or are interested in deploying Remote Desktop Services in their environment.

The new functionality provided by these features in the RD Licensing role service is described in the following sections.

In Windows Server 2008 R2, you must specify the name of a license server for the RD Session Host server to use by using Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration.

However, for Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, or Windows 2000 Server, you must specify a discovery scope when you install the RD Licensing role service, which determines how the Remote Desktop license server is automatically discoverable by terminal servers that are running these earlier operating systems.

Prior to Windows Server 2008 R2, the license server was automatically discovered on the network. This discovery is no longer supported for an RD Session Host server that is running Windows Server 2008 R2.

In Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration in Windows Server 2008 R2, you must specify a license server for the RD Session Host server to use. You can either choose from a list of known license servers or manually enter the name. License servers that are registered as a service connection point in Active Directory® Domain Services (AD DS) will appear in the list of known license servers in Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration. You can add more than one license server for the RD Session Host server to use. If more than one license server is added, the RD Session Host server contacts the license servers in the order in which they appear in the Specified license servers box on the Licensing tab in Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration.

In Windows Server 2008 R2, a new wizard is available in Remote Desktop Licensing Manager (RD Licensing Manager) that allows you to do the following:

  • Migrate RDS CALs from one license server to another license server.

  • Rebuild the RD Licensing database.

noteNote
You can only use the Manage RDS CALs Wizard for a license server that is running Windows Server 2008 R2.

You might want to migrate RDS CALs from one license server to another license server if you are replacing one license server with the other one or if one license server is no longer functioning. By using the Manage RDS CALs Wizard, you can automatically migrate RDS CALs from one license server to another license server. However, if you are migrating RDS CALs from a license server that is not running Windows Server 2008 R2, you must manually remove the RDS CALs from the original license server after you have finished the migration process.

CautionCaution
Rebuilding the RD Licensing database will delete any RDS CALs that are currently installed on the license server. You must reinstall those RDS CALs onto the license server after the database is rebuilt.

Registration of the license server in AD DS enables a list of valid and published license servers to be listed during manual licensing configuration for an RD Session Host server. When the RD Licensing role service in Windows Server 2008 R2 is added by using Server Manager, the license server attempts to register as a service connection point (SCP) in AD DS. When a license server is registered as an SCP, it will appear in the list of known license servers in Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration. If AD DS is not available during installation of the RD Licensing role service, you can manually register the license server by using Review Configuration in Remote Desktop Licensing Manager.

Prior to Windows Server 2008 R2, RDS CALs were sold in packs of 5 and 20. In Windows Server 2008 R2, single RDS CALs can be purchased and installed.

RD Licensing is available in the following editions of Windows Server 2008 R2:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter

RD Licensing is not available in the following editions of Windows Server 2008 R2:

  • Windows Web Server 2008 R2

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems

For information about other new features in Remote Desktop Services, see What's New in Remote Desktop Services.

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