Managing your TS Licensing Servers - Terminal Services for Windows Server 2003

Once your environment grows to become a Terminal Server powerhouse serving thousands of customers with hundreds of servers, you'll need a few tools to ensure that everything is going according to plan with regards to licensing.

Once your environment grows to become a Terminal Server powerhouse serving thousands of customers with hundreds of servers, you'll need a few tools to ensure that everything is going according to plan with regards to licensing.

Managing Windows 2003 Terminal Services license servers should not take much of your time. There are only a few tasks you'll need to know about:

  • Adding new licenses to the license pool.
  • Administering the license server.
  • Reporting on license usage.
  • Troubleshooting client device license acquisition.

Adding Licenses to a TS License Server

All newly-purchased Terminal Server Client Access Licenses must be installed into a TS license server database. Since Windows Server 2003 also supports Windows 2000 licenses, you can also install your Windows 2000 TS CALs onto a 2003 server. (These licenses cannot be used for Windows 2003 Terminal Servers, but at least you'll be able to centrally manage all your licenses.)

TS CALs are purchased just like any Microsoft license. Traditionally, if you bought a Client Access License pack, that pack only contained a license agreement—nothing more than a piece of paper. Now when you buy a TS CAL license pack, it comes with a 25-character license code. This code must be entered into the TS Licensing Wizard for the TS licensing servers. If you buy licenses through a volume license agreement such as Select or an Enterprise Agreement, then you'll need to enter that agreement number into the Licensing Wizard when you add the licenses.

After the licenses have been installed, you must activate them. Licenses are activated via the same three methods you use to activate the license server (Internet, web, or phone). Once activated, the licenses are ready to be distributed to client devices. Clients that previously received the 90-day temporary licenses will be upgraded to full licenses the next time they connect.

In some situations, adding or removing licenses to a license server will cause that server to notify other license servers.

  • A domain scope license server will notify other license servers within the same domain.
  • An enterprise scope license server will notify other license servers in its Active Directory site.
  • An enterprise scope license server will notify other license servers in its domain.

In all of these cases, adding or removing licenses to a Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 license server will cause the server to notify the appropriate Windows 2003 license servers as mentioned. A Windows 2003 license server will not notify a Windows 2000 license server.

As outlined earlier in this chapter, this notification allows the license servers to redirect client requests to other license servers should the first server run out of licenses.

Remotely Administering License Servers

The TS licensing service is mainly a "set it and forget it" kind of service. Theoretically, it only needs to be administered when new licenses are purchased or old licenses are removed.

However, there are times when it would be convenient to administer TS licensing servers remotely. For technical reasons, the TS Licensing Tool cannot be run via a remote Terminal Services session. However, this tool can be executed locally on any Windows 2003 computer and used to connect back to one or more TS license servers. To do this, copy the licmgr.exe and the lrwizdll.dll files from the \system32\ directory of the TS licensing server to the \system32\ directory of the computer you would like to use. Run licmgr.exe to use the tool.

As was mentioned previously, running the tool in this manner can be helpful when activating TS licensing servers or TS CAL packs. During the activation, the machine running the TS Licensing Tool needs access to the Internet—not the actual license server itself. This method works well in scenarios in which the Terminal Servers are not connected to the Internet but there are certain administrator workstations connected to the Internet and the internal network.

Maintaining TS license servers is simple. One TS licensing console can connect to all of the license servers in your environment, facilitating centralized administration.

Reporting on License Usage

The Terminal Server License Reporting tool, lsreport.exe, from the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit can be used to view and analyze the data contained within the licensing server database. This tool outputs the information in the database into a tab-delimited format that allows you to create reports of who is using your licenses. Run "lsreport /?" from a command prompt for a list of options.

Uncovering Client Device TS CAL Details

The Terminal Server Client License Test tool, TSTCST.EXE, is a command-line client-side tool that displays information about a client device's local TS CAL. Also included in the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit, it provides the following information about a license:

  • Issuer
  • Scope
  • Issued to computer
  • Issued to user
  • License ID
  • Type and Version
  • Valid From
  • Expiration date

By using the "/A" switch, the following additional information is displayed:

  • Server certificate version
  • Licensed product version
  • Hardware ID
  • Client platform ID
  • Company name

This tool is used from the command line of a client device. It's useful when you need to locate information about the TS CAL certificate that's stored locally on that device.

 

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