Windows 2003 Terminal Server Licensing: Technical Q&A Yields Surprising Answers

Think you know everything about Windows 2003 Terminal Server licensing? I though I did until I talked with some Microsoft folks last week.

Think you know everything about Windows 2003 Terminal Server licensing? I though I did until I talked with some Microsoft folks last week. Several Terminal Server product managers, engineers, and developers made themselves available via a chat last week to answer questions about licensing. I took the opportunity to ask several questions, and they did a fantastic job with the answers. I learned a lot, and some of their answers surprised me. Here are my questions and their answers:

Q: How long will an unactivated license server give out temporary CALs for? (i.e. I know that the temps are good for 90 days. But how long will a license server hand out temps before it must be activated?) My testing seems to show 120 days. Can you confirm?
A: A License Server can remain inactive as long as you want. It does not have to be activated within 120 days.

Q: We know that license servers notify other license servers when CALs are added or removed in some situations (Domain within domain, Ent within site, From ent to domain, From 2k to 2003). Under what situations is this information used?
A: When you have multiple license servers, any requests that come in for a CAL type that isn't available locally will be forwarded to a license server that does have that CAL .

Q: What happens if a client presents an expired temp TS CAL to a Terminal Server, and that Terminal Server's license server has no CALs. Will the license server pull a CAL from another license server? Will the TS try another license server from its cache? Or is the client connection refused?
A: The License server that originally issued the license will forward the request to another license server that it has identified as having the requested license version. The expired license will be renewed with the new license server as the issuer

Q: When a Terminal Server is configured for "per user" licensing, if a client connects with a valid TS "Device" CAL, will that always be accepted? (i.e. will that always cause the TS not to request a TS "user" CAL?)
A: "Per User" licensing mode is not managed at this time. As long as the Terminal server has discovered a license server, client connections will be allowed independent of whether the client has a license or not.

Q: Follow up: Just to be clear, a "per user" mode Terminal Server does not have any communication whatsoever with the License Serv other than validating that one exists? Does it need a find an activated license serv, or will any one do?
A: Correct, the Terminal server will not communicate with the License server once it has discovered it. It does not matter if the license server is activated.

Q: Follow up 2: Is the External Connector License (ECL) also non-managed in the same way as a per-user TS?
A: Yes.  If you want to use ECL, you should set the TS to Per User licensing.  You'll still a license server available, as with Per User.

Q: How does "per user" licensing mode affect the integrity of the technical enforcement of license compliance? i.e. couldn't a rogue admin simply set their Terminal Servers to "per user" mode and then not deal with installing licenses?
A: Yes, you're in the same situation as Windows Server CALs: the honor system (and audits) are all that stop you from non-compliance.

Q: Any future plans to manage per-user licenses?
A: Yes there is plans to support this in a future release

Q: Why does Microsoft build the technical compliance infrastructure of a license server if it can be so easily circumvented by setting a Terminal Server to "per user" licensing?
A: During the beta, we built support for "Per-CPU" licensing.  At the last minute, we realized that Per User was better for our customers, but didn't have time to build technical compliance infrastructure.

Q: Any other plans for future licensing technical components you care to share today?
A: At this time all we can say is that we will continue to improve monitoring and management of licensing.

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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on May 7, 2004
If a server is installed as Per User and issues temporary licenses, Per Device Licenses are then installed and the server mode changed. Will the clients, at temporary license expiry, automatically collect a per device license allowing continued access?
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This message was originally posted by Brian Madden on May 7, 2004
Per User mode does not issue any licenses, so this is a non-issue.
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This message was originally posted by another anonymous visitor on May 31, 2004
If a server is installed as Per Device, and issues temporary CALs to several users, then is switched over to Per User. User CALs are installed on server. Several clients devices show as having a temp license. When these expire will the obtain an ?unmanaged? Per User CAL?

Just to confirm. My purchased TS USER CALs will be displayed in the TS LIC MGR always as they were installed. Never indicating that users are picking up a CAL?
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This message was originally posted by Brian Madden on June 1, 2004
Hi. I think we should move these questions over to the tech support forum at forum.brianmadden.com. I have a licensing section set up there. Thanks, Brian.
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Looking at: https:
It almost seems as if this is a concurrent user license. Can I safely assume this?

And thanks for a kickass site. :)
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What? No it doesn't. It says "every named user accessing your servers" in the "Device-based and User-based Windows CALs" section. TS user CALS are NOT concurrent, they are per named user.

Brian
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ORIGINAL: Brian Madden

What? No it doesn't. It says "every named user accessing your servers" in the "Device-based and User-based Windows CALs" section. TS user CALS are NOT concurrent, they are per named user.

Brian


Unless you do Per Device licensing.
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Hi,
 
I have a terminal server where i installed terminal service for 120 days. And when i tried to reinstall after when it seems it was expired, none of my users are able to connect to the server. All the users are getting remote access denied incuding administrator in per user mode. In per device mode am none of the workstations are connecting.
 
Can u give some information as this is a high priority issue and right now server is running out of date for running the service.
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ORIGINAL: Guest

Hi,

I have a terminal server where i installed terminal service for 120 days. And when i tried to reinstall after when it seems it was expired, none of my users are able to connect to the server. All the users are getting remote access denied incuding administrator in per user mode. In per device mode am none of the workstations are connecting.

Can u give some information as this is a high priority issue and right now server is running out of date for running the service.
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Friend,
 
    no other way..... either u have to buy CAL licenses or reinstall the Operating system after the format......for the time being u can manage with the out of date sol. :)
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5 Terminalserver in a Workgroup, one from this is a licensing server with activated client packages "per device".
On all TS are the terminal services "per device".
Client run first time a citrix published application - the application is not on the licensing server published - unable to acquire a terminalserver license.
If the published application on the licensing server, then is all ok. The client become his license and can now open every published application.
 
 
TS: Windows 2003, Citrix: PS4 with R01
Client: Windows2000 WS, Novell Client 4.92 sp2, ICA 9.x, Zenworks 6.5 
 
with the best regards
Ines Mueller
Germany
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Is the license server in the same local subnet as the terminal servers?  You may be having problems with the terminal servers discovering the license server.

For W2K3, edit the following:

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\TermService\Parameters\LicenseServers

Add a new key (folder) with the name of the license server.  Again, this is a key, not a value.
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Yes, the license server is in the same local subnet as the terminal servers (one blade) and the key is in the registry too. They see each other.
  
 
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Hello
 
Last week we added new TS CALS (Per Device) to our Terminal Server 2003.
 
The problem is that actually i'm seeing on the management console that the clients which their licence was expired are taking a new TS CAL from the added set of licences but their old expired licence from the old one is not released to be available.
 
Is this a problem or a missconfiguration of our TS Server  
 
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Hi...  I have installed 5 Windows 2000 Teminal Services Client Access Licenses with Select type... It says in the monitor that I have 5 total licenses; 5 Available and 0 Issued... Do you know the reason why there was no license issued yet? I have already 7 issued Existing Windows 2000 Licenses and 5 Temporary Licenses for Exisiting Windows 2000 License on my Terminal Services Licensing.
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Hi,We have implemented Windows 2003 Terminal Server, and also have purchased (25- Per Device CAL Licence). Now the CAL licence got expired. But during our implementation stage we tested the TS with our test machines with the required softwares installed. But after comming to the live cinario the CAL Licences are already being used, so we unable to use it for production. Can you help us on this issue.<strong><u>Note: Unable to delete the entries of the test macine in terminal server manager wizard</u></strong>Thanks for Sharing the infoAnand<strong><u></u></strong>


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