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Install and issue RDS CALs or TS CALs

Published: November 11, 2011

Updated: November 14, 2011

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

Following the release of Windows Server 2008 R2 in September 2009, the Terminal Services role has been renamed Remote Desktop Services. This reflects the addition of new and improved features for traditional Terminal Services scenarios and the expansion of the role to provide an extensible platform for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions. Terminal Services client access licenses (TS CALs) are now called Remote Desktop Services client access licenses (RDS CALs) in Windows Server 2008 R2, and a terminal server is now known as a Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server.

Several key elements to the changes we have introduced with RDS CALs in Windows Server 2008 R2 are as follows:

  • Equivalency of the new Window Server 2008 R2 RDS CAL and the previous Windows Server 2008 TS CAL

    1. Despite the new name, the Windows Server 2008 TS CAL is functionally equivalent to the Windows Server 2008 R2 RDS CAL. These can be used with both server roles: Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008 and Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2.

    2. To install RDS CALs on a Windows Server 2008 license server, you must install binaries from Hotfix 968074.

  • The Windows Server 2008 R2 RDS CAL is priced marginally more than the TS CAL it replaces.

    1. The new RDS CAL was available at a price equivalent to the Windows Server 2008 TS CAL it replaced from its introduction on September 1, 2009 until December 31, 2009. Beginning January 1, 2010, the RDS CAL reverted to its new price.

    2. Windows Server 2008 TS CALs were no longer available for purchase beginning September 1, 2009.

    3. The new pricing reflects the addition of new features and capabilities in Remote Desktop Services and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure scenarios in Windows Server 2008 R2 such as:

      • Simplified management with a unified and scalable connection broker for both session desktops and VDI desktops

      • Unified RD Web Access and a RemoteApp and Desktop Connection feature for access to VDI and session desktops

      • Ensures that users can only see the apps they are supposed to see with per-user RemoteApp permissions and filtering

      • Provides the user with a rich remote experience, bringing the experience closer to that enjoyed by users accessing local computing resources; this includes true multi-monitor support, Windows Media Player redirection, bidirectional audio, and enhanced bitmap acceleration for 3D applications and rich media content such as Silverlight & Flash

    4. Improved application compatibility and management of RD Session Host servers with the inclusion of Application Virtualization for Remote Desktop Services

You must have a Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2 license for every terminal server or RD Session Host server that you deploy in your organization, as well as TS CALs or RDS CALs for devices that access that server.

For a terminal server that is running Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008, or for an RD Session Host server that is running Windows Server 2008 R2, there are two types of client access licenses:

 

Per Device Per User

When the Per Device licensing mode is used, and a client computer or device connects to a terminal server or RD Session Host server for the first time, the client computer or device is issued a temporary license by default.

When a client computer or device connects to a terminal server/RD Session Host server for the second time, if the license server is activated and enough Per Device CALs are available, the license server issues the client computer or device a permanent Per Device CAL.

In Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008, these CALs are called Terminal Services Per Device client access licenses (TS Per Device CALs). In Windows Server 2008 R2, these CALs are called Remote Desktop Services Per Device client access licenses (RDS Per Device CALs).

A Per User CAL gives one user the right to access a terminal server or RD Session Host server from an unlimited number of client computers or devices.

Per User CALs are not enforced by TS Licensing (Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008) or RD Licensing (Windows Server 2008 R2). As a result, client connections can occur regardless of the number of Per User CALs that are installed on the license server. This does not release administrators from the requirements of the Microsoft Software License Terms to have a valid Per User CAL for each user. Failure to have a Per User CAL for each user, if the Per User licensing mode is being used, is a violation of the license terms.

In Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008, these CALs are called Terminal Services Per User client access licenses (TS Per User CALs). In Windows Server 2008 R2, these CALs are called Remote Desktop Services Per User client access licenses (RDS Per User CALs).

noteNote
Which CAL you choose depends on how you plan to use the terminal server or RD Session Host server. To ensure that you are in compliance with the license terms, make sure that you track the number of Per User CALs being used in your organization, and have a sufficient number of Per User CALs installed on the license server to provide a Per User CAL for each user that needs to connect to the terminal server or RD Session Host server.

See also

This matrix defines what type of CALs can be issued to the specified terminal server (Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008) or Remote Desktop Session Host server (Windows Server 2008 R2).

 

CAL Type Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2003 TS CAL

Yes

No

No

Windows Server 2008 TS CAL

Yes

Yes

Yes

Windows Server 2008 R2 RDS CAL

Yes

Yes

Yes

See also

First install the licensing role service applicable to your operating system.

 

Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2008 R2

Install Terminal Server Licensing from Add/Remove Windows components

Install TS Licensing by using Server Manager

Install RD Licensing by using Server Manager

This matrix defines what version of CALs can be installed on the specified version of the license server.

 

License Server TS CALs (Windows Server 2003) TS CALs (Windows Server 2008) RDS CALs (Windows Server 2008 R2)

Windows Server 2003

Yes

No

No

Windows Server 2008

Yes

Yes

Yes

Windows Server 2008 R2

Yes

Yes

Yes

To install and issue TS CALs or RDS CALs, you must first activate the license server. 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. To activate your license server, go to Windows Terminal Services Licensing, a site designed to help you manage your license server and obtain client access license tokens. If you have trouble with this, use the Telephone method below.

 

Activation Method Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2008 R2

Automatic (Internet)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Web browser

Yes

Yes

Yes

Telephone

Yes*

Yes*

Yes*

*The Telephone method requires that you contact the Microsoft Clearinghouse. For more information, see How to locate a telephone number for the Microsoft Clearinghouse.

See also

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