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Deploying Remote Desktop Licensing Step-by-Step Guide

Updated: February 16, 2011

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of setting up a Remote Desktop license server for a Remote Desktop Services infrastructure in a test environment. During this process, you will create a test deployment that includes the following components:

  • A Remote Desktop license server

  • An RD Session Host server

  • A Remote Desktop Connection client computer

This guide assumes that you previously completed the steps in one of the following step-by-step guides:

This guide includes the following topics:

The goal of RD Licensing is to manage the Remote Desktop Services client access licenses (RDS CALs) that are required for each device or user to connect to an RD Session Host server. You use RD Licensing to install, issue, and track the availability of RDS CALs on a Remote Desktop license server.

This guide does not provide the following:

  • An overview of Remote Desktop Services.

  • An overview of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

  • Guidance for setting up Active Directory Domain Services or an RD Session Host server. This information can be found in the Installing Remote Desktop Session Host Step-by-Step Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=147292). For a downloadable version of this document, see the Installing Remote Desktop Session Host Step-by-Step Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=147293) in the Microsoft Download Center.

    ImportantImportant
    If you have previously configured the computers in the Installing Remote Desktop Session Host Step-by-Step Guide, you should repeat the steps in that guide with new installations.

  • Complete technical reference for Remote Desktop Services.

When a client, either a user or a device, requests a connection from an RD Session Host server, the RD Session Host server determines if a license is needed. The RD Session Host server then requests an RDS CAL or VDI Suite license from a Remote Desktop license server on behalf of the client. If an appropriate license is available from a license server, the RDS CAL or VDI Suite license is issued to the client, and the client is able to connect to a session-based desktop, RemoteApp program, or virtual desktop.

Although there is a licensing grace period during which no license server is required, after the grace period ends, clients must have a valid license issued by a license server before they can connect to a session-based desktop, RemoteApp program, or virtual desktop.

ImportantImportant
Remote Desktop supports two concurrent connections to remotely administer a computer. You do not need a license server for these connections.

To use Remote Desktop Services, you must also have at least one license server deployed in your environment. For small deployments, you can install both the RD Session Host role service and the RD Licensing role service on the same computer. For larger deployments, it is recommended that the RD Licensing role service be installed on a separate computer from the RD Session Host role service.

You must configure the Remote Desktop license server correctly in order for your session-based desktop, RemoteApp program, or virtual desktop to accept connections from clients. To allow ample time for you to deploy a license server, Remote Desktop Services provides a licensing grace period for the RD Session Host server during which no license server is required. During this grace period, connections can be accepted from unlicensed clients without contacting a license server. The grace period begins after installation of the RD Session Host server. The grace period ends after whichever of the following occurs first:

  • A permanent RDS CAL is issued by a license server to a client connecting to the RD Session Host server.

  • The grace period of 120 days is exceeded.

We recommend that you first use the steps provided in this guide in a test lab environment. Step-by-step guides are not necessarily meant to be used to deploy Windows Server® features without additional deployment documentation and should be used with discretion as a stand-alone document.

Upon completion of this step-by-step guide, you will have a Remote Desktop license server managing the Remote Desktop Services client access licenses (RDS CALs) that are required for each device or user to connect to the RD Session Host server. You can then test and verify this functionality by connecting to the RD Session Host server from the Remote Desktop client as an authorized remote user, and reviewing license usage.

The test environment described in this guide includes four to nine computers connected to a private network using the following operating systems, applications, and services, depending on the environment licensing is supporting.

 

Computer name Operating system Applications and services

CONTOSO-DC

Windows Server 2008 R2

Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), DNS

RDSH-SRV

Windows Server 2008 R2

RD Session Host

CONTOSO-CLNT

Windows 7

Remote Desktop Connection

RDVH-SRV

Windows Server 2008 R2

RD Virtualization Host, Hyper-V – (VDI environment)

RDCB-SRV

Windows Server 2008 R2

RD Connection Broker – (VDI environment)

RDWA-SRV

Windows Server 2008 R2

RD Web Access – (VDI environment)

VDP1-CLNT

VDP2-CLNT

Windows 7

Virtual machines – (VDI environment)

RDL-SRV

Windows Server 2008 R2

ImportantImportant
To configure licensing using the new VDI licenses, you must use Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)

RD Licensing

 

ImportantImportant
The automatic activation method used by this scenario requires Internet connectivity from the license server (RDL-SRV).

The computers form a private network and are connected through a common hub or Layer 2 switch. This step-by-step exercise uses private addresses throughout the test lab configuration. The private network ID 10.0.0.0/24 is used for the network. The domain controller is named CONTOSO-DC for the domain named contoso.com. The following figure shows the configuration of the test environment.

Network diagram for RD Licensing with RemoteFX

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