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Combine both Per device and Per User RDS CALs on the same remote desktop session host

    Question

  • Hello, I am trying to configure a very simple remote desktop environment wit a single server on a single IP that uses both per user and per device RDS CALs.   I have already purchased the CALS and was able to install them on the same licensingmanager.  however i do not see how to get the RD Sesion Host to accept both types of connections.  According to the MS Sales documentation it is possible to use both types of licenses on the same server:

    "You may choose to use a combination of RDS Device CALs and RDS User CALs simultaneously with the server software."

    From http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/licensing-rds.aspx

    However the technet documentation does not specify a way to do this and i do not see a way for the server to be configured with access for both per device and per user CALS.  

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754487.aspx

    Does anyone have any ideas about how to set this up on a server 2008 R2 box?  

    Tuesday, March 08, 2011 10:01 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    If you want to use Per Device and Per User RDS licensing on a single RDSH server, then you must set the License mode to Per user in RD Session Host Configuration (tsconfig.msc).  You will need to manually keep track of your license compliance and/or make an automated system to help you track licenses.

    For example, here is a basic scheme for tracking it:

    - First decide which devices you want to license under RDS Per Device licensing.  Write down the computer names for these devices

    - Set a script/program to run when a user logs on.  This script will append to to a csv file the username, clientname, and date/time

    - At month-end, rename the log file, and then pull it into Excel/Access/etc.  What you want to do is remove all rows with clientnames that match the list of licensed devices.  Then count the number of unique usernames left.

    If the number of unique usernames left is less than or equal to the total number of Per User RDS CALs you own, then you have enough puchased Per User RDS CALs.  If not, then you need to purchase more RDS CALs.

    -TP

    Wednesday, March 09, 2011 6:16 AM
  • Hi,

    The server is only capable of being in one RDS licensing mode, which means that if you are mixing both licenses on a single server it has no way of properly tracking things.  You need to have it in Per User mode because Per User mode is tracked but not enforced.  If you had the server in Per Device mode it would not work because it would enforce per device licenses and you would not have enough for all of your devices.

    If you were only using Per User then you could use the built-in Per User tracking report to check whether or not you are compliant with licensing.  Conversely if you were only using Per Device you could use the built-in Per Device enforcement/tracking to help you comply with the license agreement.

    There is no built-in method to track/enforce a mixture of Per Device and Per User being used on a single server.  You are basically on the honor system.

    The reason I gave you an example of a way to track things is that it is easier to make a mistake using mixed licensing and not be compliant.  If you are audited it would likely be easy for the auditor to show that you do not have enough RDS CALs based on your usage.

    -TP

    Wednesday, March 09, 2011 8:35 PM
  • Hi,

    Your approach may work.  Thinking about it for a moment I think the downside is that you still do not have an easy method to track whether or not you are in compliance.  For example, you know which devices you decided to assign the Per Device RDS CALs to, but how do you track whether or not you have purchased enough Per User RDS CALs?  If you use the Per User report built-in to RD Licensing, it will over state the total number of Per User RDS CALs issued since it will not take into account if a user logged on to a device that has a Per Device CAL.

    Something I can tell you from experience over the years is that it common to over/under estimate actual license usage.  Needs change frequently, users follow different patterns, users that you did not anticipate use your RDS server, etc.

    Are you 100% certain that only the designated users will use the machines that have the Per Device CALs and these same users will not connect to your server from a non Per Device CAL machine?

    Of course I recommend you do what makes you feel comfortable for your situation.  It is my preference to have a positive method for determining license usage.  You know your environment best.

    -TP

    Monday, March 14, 2011 9:27 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    If you want to use Per Device and Per User RDS licensing on a single RDSH server, then you must set the License mode to Per user in RD Session Host Configuration (tsconfig.msc).  You will need to manually keep track of your license compliance and/or make an automated system to help you track licenses.

    For example, here is a basic scheme for tracking it:

    - First decide which devices you want to license under RDS Per Device licensing.  Write down the computer names for these devices

    - Set a script/program to run when a user logs on.  This script will append to to a csv file the username, clientname, and date/time

    - At month-end, rename the log file, and then pull it into Excel/Access/etc.  What you want to do is remove all rows with clientnames that match the list of licensed devices.  Then count the number of unique usernames left.

    If the number of unique usernames left is less than or equal to the total number of Per User RDS CALs you own, then you have enough puchased Per User RDS CALs.  If not, then you need to purchase more RDS CALs.

    -TP

    Wednesday, March 09, 2011 6:16 AM
  • TP, thanks for the response.  However i am not so concerned with tracking the licenses.  I already know which users I want to use for per user liccense and which users I want to use for per device.  Is there any way to specify which users/computers i want to use which licensing scheme?  This machine is not AD integrated BTW.   Thanks again

     

    Wednesday, March 09, 2011 4:09 PM
  • Hi,

    The server is only capable of being in one RDS licensing mode, which means that if you are mixing both licenses on a single server it has no way of properly tracking things.  You need to have it in Per User mode because Per User mode is tracked but not enforced.  If you had the server in Per Device mode it would not work because it would enforce per device licenses and you would not have enough for all of your devices.

    If you were only using Per User then you could use the built-in Per User tracking report to check whether or not you are compliant with licensing.  Conversely if you were only using Per Device you could use the built-in Per Device enforcement/tracking to help you comply with the license agreement.

    There is no built-in method to track/enforce a mixture of Per Device and Per User being used on a single server.  You are basically on the honor system.

    The reason I gave you an example of a way to track things is that it is easier to make a mistake using mixed licensing and not be compliant.  If you are audited it would likely be easy for the auditor to show that you do not have enough RDS CALs based on your usage.

    -TP

    Wednesday, March 09, 2011 8:35 PM
  • OK thanks for the info.  I amthinking I could switch to per device Mode, have someone log in from each device I want to add to the per device license and then change the server type to Per-User.  This way an auditor could see which computers I intended for Per device and audit the security logs to verify. 

    This saves me the effort of having a script and the maintenence overhead of managing those logs.   This is meant to be the most simplistic possible and i basically want to set it up and have it just run.

    Any reason why this would not be appropriate?

    Friday, March 11, 2011 3:19 PM
  • Hi,

    Your approach may work.  Thinking about it for a moment I think the downside is that you still do not have an easy method to track whether or not you are in compliance.  For example, you know which devices you decided to assign the Per Device RDS CALs to, but how do you track whether or not you have purchased enough Per User RDS CALs?  If you use the Per User report built-in to RD Licensing, it will over state the total number of Per User RDS CALs issued since it will not take into account if a user logged on to a device that has a Per Device CAL.

    Something I can tell you from experience over the years is that it common to over/under estimate actual license usage.  Needs change frequently, users follow different patterns, users that you did not anticipate use your RDS server, etc.

    Are you 100% certain that only the designated users will use the machines that have the Per Device CALs and these same users will not connect to your server from a non Per Device CAL machine?

    Of course I recommend you do what makes you feel comfortable for your situation.  It is my preference to have a positive method for determining license usage.  You know your environment best.

    -TP

    Monday, March 14, 2011 9:27 AM