Managing Applications over Terminal Services

Managing Applications over Terminal Services

No doubt If you have adopted to run an Office App over Terminal Services (Now Remote Desktop Services) you are concerned that you are compliant and you have the right App licenses and CALs in place for your scenario.

Office (as are all Microsoft Desktop Applications) is licensed per “Device”. RDS technology makes it possible for Office to be shared out to multiple Devices. Therefore a license must be applied to each Device that the end user will interact with the software.

Microsoft doesn’t provide any technology (that I’m aware of) to “lock” the application to a licensed device. The Customer needs to be mindful of this when using Remote Desktop Services.

However, a Microsoft partner called AppSense makes a product called Application Manager that can be used to help the Customer be compliant with the licensing terms.

The only “blocking” Microsoft officially accept is the blocking of the DEVICE, not the User, as the User could then go to any other device and log on, when the device is blocked, no access can take place, that’s why AD (Active Directory) and blocking by user profiles is not sufficient. Providing reassignment of the device license does not occur <90 days, then the customer can reassign licenses from one device to another. Microsoft licensing does not support “Roaming User Profiles” for access to Apps over Terminal Services.

Optional Resources

  1. Applications and OS Licensing: Remote Access and Roaming Use
  2. Licensing Guide for iPAD
  3. Qualified Desktop Definition and Portable Use Rights

How do I determine what CALs I need for Remote Desktop Services?

The Remote Desktop licensing mode configured on a Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server must match the type of RDS CALs available on the license server. There are two types of CAL, RDS Device CAL and RDS User CAL and both have different licensing implications.

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

An RDS Per User CAL gives one user the right to access an RD Session Host server from an unlimited number of client computers or devices. RDS Per User CALs are not enforced by RD Licensing. As a result, client connections can occur regardless of the number of RDS Per User CALs installed on the license server. This does not absolve administrators from Microsoft Software License Terms requirements to have a valid RDS Per User CAL for each user. Failure to have an RDS Per User CAL for each user, if Per User licensing mode is being used, is a violation of the license terms.

To ensure that you are in compliance with the license terms, make sure that you track the number of RDS Per User CALs being used in your organization and that you have a sufficient number of RDS Per User CALs installed on the license server to provide an RDS Per User CAL for each user that needs to connect to the RD Session Host server.

You can use the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager (RD Licensing Manager) tool to track and generate reports on the issuance of RDS Per User CALs. For more information, see Track the Issuance of Remote Desktop Services Per User Client Access Licenses.

When do you need an RDS CAL?

RDS CALs are required if customer uses Windows Server and any RDS functionality (includes RDS Gateway, RDS Web Access, etc) for their VDI solution.

The Product Use Rights stipulate that it is the indirect or direct access to host a Graphical User Interface.

Regardless of the mode in which you use the server software, the following apply.

•             Windows Remote Desktop Services CALs.  In addition to a Windows Server CAL, Windows EBS CAL, Core CAL Suite or Enterprise CAL Suite, you must acquire a Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services CAL or Windows Server 2008 Remote Desktop Services CAL for each user or device that directly or indirectly accesses the server software to host a graphical user interface (using the Windows Server 2008 Remote Desktop Services functionality or other technology).

— Product Use Rights, December 2010, Page 43 of 138

Do I need Remote Desktop Services CAL if I am not running a multiple user environment but use functionality in Remote Desktop Services — RDS Gateway?

Yes. A RDS  CAL is required for the use of any functionality included in the Remote Desktop Services role in Windows Server. For example, if you are using RDS Gateway and/or Web Access to provide access to a Windows Client operating system on an individual PC, both a RDS CAL and Windows Server CAL are required.

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One thought on “Managing Applications over Terminal Services

  1. Pingback: The roundup: here’s what you may have missed « Microsoft License Review

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