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Windows Server 2012 Essentials - Remote Desktop Services

    Question

  • Hi Experts,

    I was hoping someone would be able to provide me with some guidance.

    We have recently purchased Windows Server 2012 Essentials as well as 5 RDP user CALS.

    We do not have a domain or any other servers. We only require 5 people from various locations to be able to remotely log into the server and work on a program that is installed on it.

    However, the setup and configuration of the Remote Desktop Services did not go as planned. After many attempts and various configuration settings, it still doesn't work.

    What I am lead to believe is that the Essentials version of Server 2012 doesn't support being the RDP Gateway and License Server and Host. However, nowhere can I confirm this, I have searched many forums where people are experiencing the same problems, but nowhere can I find answers.

    If there is anyone out there that might be able to shed some light and maybe point me in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks and Regards,

    Wynand.

    Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:44 AM

Answers

  • Hi Wynand,

    Essentials only supports 2 Active sessions, regardless of how many RDS CALs you own.

    In order to use Server 2012 RDS the way it was intended, you need to have a 2012 server joined to a domain (not a DC).  This implies a minimum of two servers, one for a DC, and one for RDS, which both can be VMs.

    You could install Server 2012 Standard and install the RD Session Host and RD Licensing Role Services without joining it to a domain, but you will not be able to use the Server Manager RDS gui to manage it, or publish RemoteApps, or have collections, as well as some other features will not work.  You will need to use a combination of local group policy, wmi, registry edits, etc., to configure settings.  In this scenario there is no need for hyper-v to be installed.

    A single Server 2012 Standard license would allow you to install it on the physical server, install Hyper-V, and then create two VMs, both running Server 2012 Standard.  That way one of the VMs could be a DC, and the second VM could have RDS with your 5 users running within.

    Setting up your servers as VMs is generally (not always) the preferred way and has many benefits.  For example, say you need a more powerful server in the future.  If you have your servers as VMs it is quick and easy to purchase a new server and export/import the VMs to it--no need to reinstall applications.

    -TP

    Friday, June 21, 2013 2:35 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Wynand,

    Windows Server 2012 Essentials only supports a maximum of two Active sessions, including someone logged on to the physical console.  For example, you could have two Active users connected remotely via rdp, but no one logged on to the physical console, or one remote user and one at the console.  These two sessions are used for administration purposes.  Additionally, you cannot have the RD Connection Broker Role Service installed on your Essentials server since it is a AD domain controller.

    You may use the Remote Web Access feature to access PCs on your internal network (including the server) via Remote Desktop from outside of the office.

    If you need to have 5 users logged on to the server via Remote Desktop then you will need to have a separate Server 2012 (not Essentials) for this purpose.  This does not need to be a separate physical machine.  For example, you could have Server 2012 Standard with Hyper-V installed on the physical box, with two VMs:  one VM running Essentials and a second VM running Server 2012 Standard with RDS Role Services.  A single Server 2012 Standard license would allow the above since it allows two virtual instances plus physical for hyper-v only.

    -TP

    • Proposed as answer by Tomas Hidalgo Sunday, June 23, 2013 11:04 AM
    Thursday, June 20, 2013 1:45 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Wynand,

    Windows Server 2012 Essentials only supports a maximum of two Active sessions, including someone logged on to the physical console.  For example, you could have two Active users connected remotely via rdp, but no one logged on to the physical console, or one remote user and one at the console.  These two sessions are used for administration purposes.  Additionally, you cannot have the RD Connection Broker Role Service installed on your Essentials server since it is a AD domain controller.

    You may use the Remote Web Access feature to access PCs on your internal network (including the server) via Remote Desktop from outside of the office.

    If you need to have 5 users logged on to the server via Remote Desktop then you will need to have a separate Server 2012 (not Essentials) for this purpose.  This does not need to be a separate physical machine.  For example, you could have Server 2012 Standard with Hyper-V installed on the physical box, with two VMs:  one VM running Essentials and a second VM running Server 2012 Standard with RDS Role Services.  A single Server 2012 Standard license would allow the above since it allows two virtual instances plus physical for hyper-v only.

    -TP

    Hi TP,

    Thank you for your response.

    just a few more questions;

    You say that I cannot have the RD Connection broker installed because it is an AD domain controller? What if it is not the domain controller, wouldn't that work? Or is it just as simple as to say that the Essential 2012 version doesn't support more that 2 RDP connections even when you have licenses for it?

    My second question is, To have Server 2012 (Not essentials) with Hyper V installed, would I still need to have two VM's running just to het 5 people connected? Or can I have just that, and install my program directly on there so users can log in and use it?

    The actual end result we are looking for is simply to have 5 people connected concurrently, doesn't matter what OS they log onto, but it still needs to be onto the same machine. We are obviously also looking to save costs wherever possible. I do not want to go and buy Server 2012 Standard if there is another way of doing this. Even if there is maybe different software out there that allows this.

    Thanks again,

    Wynand.

    Friday, June 21, 2013 9:49 AM
  • Hi Wynand,

    Essentials only supports 2 Active sessions, regardless of how many RDS CALs you own.

    In order to use Server 2012 RDS the way it was intended, you need to have a 2012 server joined to a domain (not a DC).  This implies a minimum of two servers, one for a DC, and one for RDS, which both can be VMs.

    You could install Server 2012 Standard and install the RD Session Host and RD Licensing Role Services without joining it to a domain, but you will not be able to use the Server Manager RDS gui to manage it, or publish RemoteApps, or have collections, as well as some other features will not work.  You will need to use a combination of local group policy, wmi, registry edits, etc., to configure settings.  In this scenario there is no need for hyper-v to be installed.

    A single Server 2012 Standard license would allow you to install it on the physical server, install Hyper-V, and then create two VMs, both running Server 2012 Standard.  That way one of the VMs could be a DC, and the second VM could have RDS with your 5 users running within.

    Setting up your servers as VMs is generally (not always) the preferred way and has many benefits.  For example, say you need a more powerful server in the future.  If you have your servers as VMs it is quick and easy to purchase a new server and export/import the VMs to it--no need to reinstall applications.

    -TP

    Friday, June 21, 2013 2:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi TP,

    Thanks for the detailed explanation. Your help was very useful!

    Thanks,

    Wynand.

    Monday, June 24, 2013 7:18 AM
  • Hy Wynand,

    So... what did you do?

    If you need to have 5 users logged on to the server via Remote Desktop then you will need to have a separate Server 2012 (not Essentials) for this purpose.  This does not need to be a separate physical machine.  For example, you could have Server 2012 Standard with Hyper-V installed on the physical box, with two VMs:  one VM running Essentials and a second VM running Server 2012 Standard with RDS Role Services.  A single Server 2012 Standard license would allow the above since it allows two virtual instances plus physical for hyper-v only.

    The moderator in thread suggested buying a single Server 2012 Standard to install on bare Server?  Then create 2 VM's - one running Essentials, the second running Standard with RDS CALs (so, buy THREE Server 2012 licenses? 2 Standard and 1 Essentials?)

    Sounds expensive.  Look forward to learning about what you did.  

    Note to Moderator:  Any change(s) now that Windows Server 2012 R2 is available for trial?


    • Edited by Steve.Schultz Monday, July 08, 2013 5:11 PM clarification
    Monday, July 08, 2013 5:05 PM
  • Steve.Schultz,

    In my example I am only suggesting that a single Server 2012 Standard license be purchased, which covers the bare server and the 2 VMs.

    -TP

    Tuesday, July 09, 2013 3:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Why would anyone want Essentials or Foundation then?  Oh boy, you get 25 or 15 cal's, but look what you give up.
    NO RDP, NO HYPER-V with either product.  If you want to use those CAL's, you have to format your server, because
    they only come OEM.  Cal's are $27 each at Dell.   IMHO, both products are scams.  You purchase Foundation or Essentials because you think its a deal and are hypnotized by all the 0365 and "The Drive", {formerly known as skydrive, Microsoft stole the name and has to give it back} it is supposed to tie into.  Only to find out you have to purchase 2012 Standard anyhow so you can have your RDP server.  So the "deal" is Microsoft gets to sell you two licenses.  A worthless Essentials or Foundation License, and a genuine copy of Server 2012 Standard.   Why we are at it, why would any one want 2012 anyhow?  They stripped the 5 CALS that always came with the server product, so its $136 more than 2008R2. 
    Here are the gotcha's with 2012... BEWARE:

    1.) You cannot install RDP services or gateway on a 2012 Domain Controller
    2.) You cannot install Exchange on a 2012 Domain Controller
    3.) You cannot install RDP on the same server with Exchange
    4.) Your new $700 server Download (there are no CDs anymore)  does not come with any CAL's.  They cost extra.

    So, with 2012 you need THREE servers or server instances.  (can we say needless complexity of setting up three VM's and a hyperV host?)
    When all these roles and services would install and play in perfect harmony on a single 2008R2 computer.  Thats right, one box.

    Now MS says, "we never supported that".  Of course, they are in the business of selling licenses.   "Its a security risk".  No, its not because with OU's and policies you can lock the terminal server RDP role down so tight as to not be a risk....   Uh... you could have a -man-in-the-middle attack if you do that.   Yes, that is true, but only a man-in-the middle, inside your own office.   For 96% of SOHO offices with 25 or less users, this is no real concern.

    I will use 2008R2 until MS comes up with a real deal that is not 3X the complexity and 2X the licensing fees as is 2012.  Maybe in 2016 they will get it right!


    • Edited by RickkeeC Monday, August 05, 2013 7:13 PM who cares
    Monday, August 05, 2013 7:11 PM
  • Why would anyone want Essentials or Foundation then?  Oh boy, you get 25 or 15 cal's, but look what you give up.
    NO RDP, NO HYPER-V with either product.  If you want to use those CAL's, you have to format your server, because
    they only come OEM.  Cal's are $27 each at Dell.   IMHO, both products are scams.  You purchase Foundation or Essentials because you think its a deal and are hypnotized by all the 0365 and "The Drive", {formerly known as skydrive, Microsoft stole the name and has to give it back} it is supposed to tie into.  Only to find out you have to purchase 2012 Standard anyhow so you can have your RDP server.  So the "deal" is Microsoft gets to sell you two licenses.  A worthless Essentials or Foundation License, and a genuine copy of Server 2012 Standard.   Why we are at it, why would any one want 2012 anyhow?  They stripped the 5 CALS that always came with the server product, so its $136 more than 2008R2. 
    Here are the gotcha's with 2012... BEWARE:

    1.) You cannot install RDP services or gateway on a 2012 Domain Controller
    2.) You cannot install Exchange on a 2012 Domain Controller
    3.) You cannot install RDP on the same server with Exchange
    4.) Your new $700 server Download (there are no CDs anymore)  does not come with any CAL's.  They cost extra.

    So, with 2012 you need THREE servers or server instances.  (can we say needless complexity of setting up three VM's and a hyperV host?)
    When all these roles and services would install and play in perfect harmony on a single 2008R2 computer.  Thats right, one box.

    Now MS says, "we never supported that".  Of course, they are in the business of selling licenses.   "Its a security risk".  No, its not because with OU's and policies you can lock the terminal server RDP role down so tight as to not be a risk....   Uh... you could have a -man-in-the-middle attack if you do that.   Yes, that is true, but only a man-in-the middle, inside your own office.   For 96% of SOHO offices with 25 or less users, this is no real concern.

    I will use 2008R2 until MS comes up with a real deal that is not 3X the complexity and 2X the licensing fees as is 2012.  Maybe in 2016 they will get it right!


    I Agree,

    I cannot express in words the frustration I had to go through in setting up the 3 instances of Server 2012 Standard. And that for a company that has 12 users, and only 4 wants to be able to log in remotely to do their work. My biggest problem with MS is the fact that no-where, and I mean NO-WHERE is it properly documented what the exact requirements are to set up a very basic Remote Access Server. I am still battling with the 3 instances and I followed all the online forums available.

    It sucks that Microsoft has to complicate things that was working perfectly in previous versions!!

    Tuesday, August 06, 2013 6:47 AM
  • Wow, such hostility! I know this thread is a few months old, but I wanted to give a second opinion to the previous two posts, for those of you who get here by searching (as I just did.)

    With Server 2012 you have the downgrade right to a previous version or a lesser version. I am not a certified Microsoft licensing expert, but the way I see it, you can utilize your 1+2 benefits thusly:

    Purchase a Server 2012 Standard license (OEM, Volume Licensing or FPP) and use it to create a Hyper-V host. Then, use one of your 2 virtual licenses to stand up a Server 2012 Essentials VM. Use your second virtual license to create another Server 2012 Standard with the RDS role enabled.

    When the system is configured, the RDS server should be accessible through the Essentials dashboard/front end via Remote Web Access, just like a desktop PC would be. You will have to purchase RDS CALs to access the RDS server (I still want to call it a terminal server), but you should also be able to host Remote App and all of the other goodies that come with RDS.

    (Another thread I saw mentioned that you may have to purchase separate user CALs for the second server, but I don't think that is the case.)

    As an added twist, with Server 2012 R2, MS changed the licensing with Essentials. You are now allowed to create a physical Hyper-V host on which to locate a virtualized Essentials server. In my previous scenario, I don't see where this would be a benefit, but if you just want the benefit of virtualization, now you will have it for no extra cost with the 2012 R2 version.

    I still think Microsoft "screwed the pooch" by cancelling Small Business Server Standard, but it is now a moot point. The Essentials product gives customers the main feature they wanted in SBS which is a robust remote access to their desktops and with RWA being built from the core of RDS, it actually give a user or consultant a lot of latitude in what they can configure with this inexpensive server.

    Just my $.02.

    Sunday, February 02, 2014 8:07 PM
  • Hi!

    RDP is avaiable on Foundation up to 50 connections, not available on Essentials.

    Both versions are made for small business (like us) where only 1 server is needed with no hyper-v, exchange, domain controller, or something else, just to serve local applications and as a file and printer server, so the cost goes minimal, actually foundation is the 25% of standard :)

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 10:13 PM
  • This would be true if you do not make your Foundation server a Domain Controller.
    My understanding is that Remote Desktop Services (RDS) cannot be installed on a server with the DC role.
    That's what all the fuss is about.  With Server 2008 and R2, you can do it (not recommended), but it works like a dream come true.  With Server 2012 it will give you and error.  You can force the role down its pipes, but it breaks other stuff, as described elsewhere in this thread.   With Foundation, you can have two Administrator accounts that can access RDS at the same time, but that's it.  Two, and they have to be admins.  I am guessing you have not tried to install the role or licensing server, or activate Remote Web Apps, or you would be crying like the rest of us as we expend our valuable time setting up VM's for RDS.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 6:50 PM
  • Well Said RickkeeC!

    I LITERALLY spent months trying to get it to work without having to purchase the standard version of Server 2012. Even though Microsoft claims that Essentials work with RDS they don't specify that you need a second server (DC) to manage it all. I eventually bought the Standard version, and even with that, you need at least one VM together with the actual machine in order to setup a proper RDS environment.

    Thursday, April 17, 2014 5:46 AM
  • This is depressing. Our group of small offices ran SBS 2000 and 2003 many years with terminal servers joined to the domains. After the usual issues with hardware failures and viruses, we moved our email, SharePoint, and website to Microsoft cloud, which is great and economical (and took a load off my mind). All I have left is to run our QB accounting through terminal services and now I find out the Essentials we just bought is worthless for that. The datasheet on it seems misleading: " for accessing applications and data from virtually anywhere you have an Internet connection and using almost any device." Essentials sounds like a watered down version of SBS. But if 70+% of small businesses are moving to the cloud, what the heck use is this?

    I need terminal services for four offices and 2-3 concurrent users. I avoided Foundation as all my machines are dual processor. The essential should really have a disclaimer that it's worthless for terminal services. I didn't wipe off my SBS 2003 and simplify with cloud services to deploy 3 virtual machines. What a cluster.

    Saturday, May 03, 2014 4:26 AM
  • This is depressing. Our group of small offices ran SBS 2000 and 2003 many years with terminal servers joined to the domains. After the usual issues with hardware failures and viruses, we moved our email, SharePoint, and website to Microsoft cloud, which is great and economical (and took a load off my mind). All I have left is to run our QB accounting through terminal services and now I find out the Essentials we just bought is worthless for that. The datasheet on it seems misleading: " for accessing applications and data from virtually anywhere you have an Internet connection and using almost any device." Essentials sounds like a watered down version of SBS. But if 70+% of small businesses are moving to the cloud, what the heck use is this?

    I need terminal services for four offices and 2-3 concurrent users. I avoided Foundation as all my machines are dual processor. The essential should really have a disclaimer that it's worthless for terminal services. I didn't wipe off my SBS 2003 and simplify with cloud services to deploy 3 virtual machines. What a cluster.

    Well, with the recent announcement of Azure RemoteApp, I think that Microsoft is aiming to even get rid of the whole Small Businesses needing an on-premises server idea since you can do Office 365 and get Exchange, Lync, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, and even Office Desktop licenses, plus Azure RemoteApp for those times where you need your users to access apps through RDP like this scenario.

    It's not a perfect idea or implementation yet, but they're certainly making moves toward that direction.

    Friday, May 23, 2014 6:02 PM
  • Once you get past the extra cost, extra Windows server licence for $700 + 1 day setup if you have hyper v experience, ($1,000 to a consultant, a little less for a good one :)   Do it your self in three days if so inclined it works very well and you figure out how to publish an app and run FX its nice.  Of course, you can make all the stuff work on Server 2008R2, Domain controller by adding the sever to the Terminal Server group.  We had 15 servers running this way, and the largest one with 30 users.  (Dual Quad Core Xeon and 32 GB Ram)
    Not a single hickup under this scenario.  The only blasphemy in Mother Microsoft's eyes is the remote possibility someone INSIDE your organization with login credentials and a computer hacker degree could possibly....maybe.....be able hack the server and gain unauthorized access.   Surfing the web on a remote desktop domain controller represents a real risk.  If they compromise the users remote desktop, they're on the DC and could have their way with it.  Not to say they couldn't anyhow.....they just got into E-bay.  Again. So its best to bite the bullet, spend the extra $1700 you have laying around for software and setup fees.  Pay homage to Mother Microsoft because she knows what is best for us, and let the stock soar as Mother wishes with ever increasing software sales and licensing fees. The whining and screams of the masses as the software gamma knife exactingly strikes bone and vacuums out the marrow will not be heard in the Redmond ivory towers.  She never take all the marrow so you can regenerate and serve again in a few years.  Go ye willing into the Borg.  You will be absorbed the easy way or the hard way.  Resistance is futile. Embrace your Mother, its much easier this way.

     
    Friday, May 23, 2014 11:11 PM
  • Hello,

    Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 Essentials Edition do not supports the terminal Services Gateway for installing applications and remotely Access. Windows Server 2012 Essentials only supports a maximum of two Active sessions for admins.

    with Foundation Edition, you can using RDS cals to have Access to terminal Server for Maximum 15 users.

    If you purchase the Standard Edition, you can also downgrade to essentials as a virtual machine than you can install RDS on th estandard Edition on the essentials Domain Controller.

    thanks

    diramoh   

    Tuesday, June 03, 2014 1:49 PM
  • I'm not sure if it's clear to everyone as some of the terminology seems to have been interchanged here.

    • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is a role that needs to be added to a server, and which allows remote users to RDP in to a server that is running essentially as a shared desktop. Multiple individuals can log into a single server and use the applications that are installed on that server. By default RDS listens on port 3389 which is the standard RDP port. You cannot install the RDS role on a Server 2012/R2 Essentials server, nor would you ever want to as the security risk is unacceptably high.
    • Remote Desktop Gateway (formerly Terminal Services Gateway) is a service that runs on a server in order to act as a connection broker or relay between a remote user and another system that they are trying to RDP into that is inside the network. It allows remote users to connect to their own desktops or other systems inside the network that otherwise would require port redirection through the company firewall or some other way of reaching those systems. By default RD Gateway listens on port 443 and thus provides secure communication using the SSL protocol. RD Gateway is installed on Server 2012/R2 Essentials by default and is very useful technology.

    Just wanted to add hopefully a little clarity as to what these two technologies are designed to do as they are really quite different from each other.

    Thursday, August 07, 2014 3:59 AM
  • Hi Warren-G2,

    I appreciate your attempt at clarity, but to me - a complete dinosaur re: server OS's - the clarification is still somewhat muddy.  This, of course is no surprise since after 55 years in IT, I suddenly feel like I've never even seen a computer before, let alone manage one.  All these initials and acronyms completely mystify me, and attempts to find out what they mean are met with just more initials and acronyms; a vicious circle.  I'll be taking a course in "Administering Windows Server 2012" in January, so hopefully I'll understand more by next spring (provided that my aging gray matter can still absorb new information - I have a very sever case of Chronic CRS [Cant Remember Squat]).

    Could you please elaborate on your post above?  I'm still quite confused.  I currently have a server with Server 2008 R2 Foundation, and am considering upgrading to 2012 R2 (either essentials or foundation), but now I'm reading about sever limitations to the upgrade.  I'd prefer Essentials because it's less expensive, and is advertised to be easier to manage, while Foundation can (supposedly) only be purchased with new hardware, and I'm neither inclined nor in a position to do that, nor do I need additional hardware.

    My server is NOT in a domain; it's in a Workgroup, and I have two RDS CALs for remote users (I'm in Georgia, they're in Florida), and my wife AND I are still able to concurrently log into it from workstations in my local network, and directly into the server when necessary for management.  The CAL users are not administrator accounts, I have a static IP address and my modem set to forward port 3389.  Everything works great in that scenario.  My users are ONLY able to execute their application and nothing else, and neither can see or access the other's data.  Any attempt by an RDS user to execute anything else causes their session to terminate.

    In your first paragraph above, you indicate that can't be done in 2012 R2 Essentials, and poses unacceptable risks.  This is a major surprise to me, because I was led to believe that those are secure connections, and they are authenticated by my server.  Please explain what those risks are.  However the fact that 2012 R2 Essentials won't permit that environment, and ONLY allows two concurrent RDS sessions, is a deal breaker.  I'm still somewhat confused, however, because everything I've read states "... only two concurrent ADMINISTRATOR sessions".  Does that imply that Essentials will allow MORE THAN TWO concurrent sessions if all but two ARE NOT ADMINISTRATORS?

    Your second paragraph, however, indicates that the RD Gateway installs by default in Essentials, and thereby would provide the multiple session capability that I need.  This seems contradictory to what everyone else has been saying.  Please 'splain at me whether or not the RD Gateway service in 2012 R2 Essentials will allow multiple concurrent remote AND local users, since that would then make Essentials feasible to me - I'm assuming that I'd be able to set my router to forward port 443 instead of 3389 in order to accomplish this.

     


    Capt. Dinosaur

    Monday, September 01, 2014 4:52 PM
  • Capt. Dinosaur,

    I think you're confusing two different products - remote desktop services (formerly terminal services) and remote desktop gateway. 

    Remote Desktop Services for administrative use - this is built-in to EVERY version of Windows server.  It allows two administrators at a time to log into the server for administrative use.  It does not require RDS licenses and is meant to be for administrative purposes only - not for regular users to run applications.

    Remote Desktop Services allows multiple non-admin users to connect to a server and do what they want.  It requires the role be installed on the server and you purchase RDS CALs for each user that uses the service.  Also it allows you to publish apps that are installed on the server that licensed remote desktop users can access from anywhere without logging into a desktop session on the server first.  This is -not- supported on Essentials.

    Remote Desktop Gateway allows the server to be a gateway for users to connect to OTHER computers/servers on your network.  It is installed by default on Essentials.  It can be installed as a role on other flavors of Windows Server as well. It does not require RDS CALs.  The advantage is you only need to open port 443 on your router and point it to the server without having to open different ports for the different PC's to be accessed remotely.  Basically they connect to the server with a web browser and choose their desktop PC off the list and it handles the connection from there.  (or you can configure the native Remote Desktop application to use it)

    Hope that helps.

    Thursday, September 04, 2014 5:44 PM
  • Hi Craig,

    Thanks for the clarification about Remote Desktop Gateway.  I looked into it and realized it isn't what I thought it was.

    However, re: RDS,

    "Remote Desktop Services allows multiple non-admin users to connect to a server and do what they want.  It requires the role be installed on the server and you purchase RDS CALs for each user that uses the service.  Also it allows you to publish apps that are installed on the server that licensed remote desktop users can access from anywhere without logging into a desktop session on the server first.  This is -not- supported on Essentials."

    I get so many confusing, conflicting and apparent contradictory answers that I'm still in the dark about whether or not Essentials will allow multiple, NON-Administrator account users; i.e. multiple "Standard User" accounts in addition to the 1 or 2 "Administrator" account users logged in concurrently.  From your post above, this appears to be true, based on whether your last sentence above applies ONLY to the publishing of apps, or to RDS as well.  I'd be very grateful if you'd 'splain that at me.

    Thank you.


    Capt. Dinosaur

    Thursday, September 04, 2014 6:11 PM
  • Capt'n Dino:
    I so feel your pain.  In three years, they will shuffle the menus and remove more valuable features and add in some no one will use.  Its called a new version, and you always get less functionality and more complication.  This is why my clients are moving to MAC in droves, they just want to get their work done and go home.  Not be the Windows doctor every day, then forget everything they know when the new version comes out.  Mac is Mac, boring and plain but it gets the job done with minimal resources.  I just had a dentist office covert to Mac, 20 users running on a cigar-box sized server for $999 and and Mac-mini workstations for $599.  It is basically a simple web server with Icloud backup.  The solution was $20,000 less than my Windows-Hog proposal and it is ZERO maintenance.  If something goes wrong, they just call Mac...... Nonetheless......
    You never know until the rubber hits the road.  You can download a trial of Essentials and other products at : http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-2012-essentials .

    Sometimes, calling MS is the fastest solution, just ask for licensing and they will give you the definitive answer.  As a veteran with 30 years of experience in this god-forsaken Microsoft abyss, I've thrown in the towel and only sell 2012R2 full version, CAL's then load up a two copies 2008R2 and have my way with it.

    Its simply not worth the cost savings to spend time with the crippled editions, only to discover what you really need has been removed, or no longer 'supported'.

     
    Thursday, September 04, 2014 7:36 PM
  • Has anyone looked at Microsoft Multipoint server as a solution for this problem. You don't hear much about it. It is sold mostly through education channels, but it is my understanding the it might be just the ticket - supports both RDP and VDI as will as client less USB appliances. 
    Friday, September 19, 2014 12:42 AM
  • Hi Bill, thanks for the response.

    Yup, I have been looking at Multipoint, however the licensing is a nightmare.  According to several TechNet articles that I've read, each and every user, both local and remote, must have not one but two CALs.  With Foundation I'd only need licenses for the remote users - which are fewer than my local users.  I'm currently using 2008 R2 Foundation, and I thought I'd like to upgrade to the 2012 R2 version.  That appears, at least for now, to be out of the question.

    My dilemma is this:

    Foundation is an OEM version that must be purchased pre-installed on new server hardware, and even though I've seen some ROK (Reseller Options Kit) versions on eBay (I am sort of a reseller), they're all BIOS locked to either IBM, Fujitsu or HP, and I use all Dell branded products.

    On the other hand, to purchase a new entry level server (which is what I have) with Foundation installed would cost in excess of $1,200 plus CALs, for a new ($425) OS, on hardware that that would be almost exactly the same as what I currently have.  And yes, I could then sell my existing server on eBay, but I'd have to recover $775+ to break even, and from what I've seen of the prices for my Dell PowerEdge T110, it's unlikely that would happen.

    All this is because I'm going to be taking a server administrator course (Sever 2012) in January - I'm very light on server technology - and since Foundation is a scaled down version of Standard, I thought it might be a good idea to upgrade my OS to the latest level.

    So, unless I can find a legal copy of 2012 R2 Foundation (an ROK or whatever) that's not BIOS locked, or possibly BIOS locked to Dell, I'll just have to stay with what I have.  Just in case I have to accept that alternative, I've downloaded an evaluation copy of 2012 R2 Standard, which I'll install on a separate disk to use - when my server's offline - during the course.

    Well, that's my story, and I'm stuck with it.  Thank you all for your concern and the help you've offered.  If anyone has an idea about where I can obtain a legal copy of 2012 R2 Foundation without having to buy a new server, PULLLLEEEEEEZZZZZE let me know.  I'd be eternally grateful.


    Capt. Dinosaur


    • Edited by Capt. Dinosaur Friday, September 19, 2014 3:48 PM Make corrections
    Friday, September 19, 2014 3:45 PM
  • Hi Capt. Dinosaur,

    If you have a PC/laptop running 64-bit Windows 8/8.1 Pro you could install Client Hyper-V, create a VM, and install Server 2012 R2 Evaluation within the VM.  I recommend an SSD drive and at least 12GB RAM, however, you can still do a lot with a normal hard drive and 8GB RAM.

    Having a set up like I describe above will allow you to learn and experiment with virtualization, install/configure multiple servers for evaluation/learning purposes, etc., all in a controlled environment.

    -TP

    Friday, September 19, 2014 4:31 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello Captin' Dino:  If you are running a business and RDP is a tool to facilitate productivity and cost savings, I don't really understand the problem with INVESTING money on getting the right software for the job.  With every edition that is "less than" the standard edition, you are giving something up.  With 2012 you must have a DC on one box (virtual or physical), and RDP on another instance if you are going to have a DC.  Remote web workplace is a good workaround if you have shared desktops they can remote into to use the desktops instead of the server.  You could give up the domain and use the server as a workgroup server, but you still need CALS.  For roughly $679 you can purchase Server 2012 with downgrade rights to Server 2008R2.  Server 2012 comes with two licenses, so that is an additional $679 value.  Cal's are around $50 each, and TS licenses are around $100 each.  A 10 user shop, setup professionally with all the features for DC and RDP would run you $1429 or less for the software.  Now since you are somewhat a dealer and planning to take some classes, you might consider the Microsoft Action Pack which includes all this and more for $475.  You get 10 users for Office Professional (INTERNAL USE ONLY) and I believe Office365 hosted Exchange is included for 10 users as well.  Don't get me wrong, I am all about cutting costs and trying to work around the licensing issues to get the best value for the money but experience has taught me the hard way that its not worth the time and energy to save a few hundred dollars.  You are giving up valuable time and features that are not worth it in the long run.  Don't forget that you will need Open License products for Office for those users, and they are not cheap.  The retail version will not install on RDP server, and Office Standard 2013 is running around $329 per user.  The office licenses are the real money hit in my opinion and there is no real viable alternative other than Open Office and again, you will be giving something up if you go that route.   O365 will not work on a server.  I've learned the hard way and once you get past the the money part it smooth sailing with the right software. Buy the right stuff, and it hurts harder, but only once every 5 or 6 years.  Buy the wrong stuff and the pain is less, but it will hurt for a longer time, then you may have to buy the right stuff later on anyhow and the cost is more. Hope this helps. 

    Friday, September 19, 2014 5:01 PM
  • Hi Rickee, thanks for the input.  I do have some questions, however.

    "You could give up the domain and use the server as a workgroup server, but you still need CALS."

    Actually that's EXACTLY what I have now with my 2008 R2 Foundation.  My server has been in a Workgroup environment since I bought it in 2011.

    "For roughly $679 you can purchase Server 2012 with downgrade rights to Server 2008R2. "

    Are you referring to plain 2012, or does that apply to 2012 R2, which is the version I've been looking at?  But I don't know why I'd need to use the downgrade since '08 R2 is what I have, and the course I'll be taking is for 2012.  The price would be a real strain on my resources, but if the CALs don't eat me up otherwise, MAYBE I could swing it by the time the class is over - I'll be using the evaluation version during the class.  The Foundation edition doesn't require CALs for local network (LAN) users, only for RDS users.  I currently have two CALS for that, and at least for my current OS, additional CALs are only $85 each.

    "Microsoft Action Pack which includes all this and more for $475.  You get 10 users for Office Professional (INTERNAL USE ONLY) and I believe Office365 hosted Exchange is included for 10 users as well."

    Does that "all this and more" mean that it includes the server OS, or is that just for Office? If so, PUHLEEZE give me more information about it, and/or where I can buy it.  As for Office, I already have sufficient internal for Office 2010, and had been considering sticking with that, at least until I'm better fixed financially.  Since my remote users are clients, not employees, they have their own Office software.  Truly, if you're saying that the Action Pack includes the server OS, then the $475 isn't a problem - although it's about the limit of my current budget - since that's what I had expected to pay for 2012 R2 Foundation, if I can even buy a legal copy (ROK) that isn't BIOS locked, or if it is, locked for Dell.


    Capt. Dinosaur

    Friday, September 19, 2014 6:37 PM
  • Hi Capt. Dinosaur,

    If you have a PC/laptop running 64-bit Windows 8/8.1 Pro you could install Client Hyper-V, create a VM, and install Server 2012 R2 Evaluation within the VM.  I recommend an SSD drive and at least 12GB RAM, however, you can still do a lot with a normal hard drive and 8GB RAM.

    Having a set up like I describe above will allow you to learn and experiment with virtualization, install/configure multiple servers for evaluation/learning purposes, etc., all in a controlled environment.

    -TP

    Thanks for your input TP.  Actually ALL my computers are running Windows 7 64-bit Professional and Ultimate.  The most powerful is a Dell OptiPlex 755 with only 6 GB of RAM but a pair of large HDDs.  Would that work in the environment you mentioned?  I have ONLY ONE SERVER box, and was planning to do a "Ten-Finger Swap, Dual Boot" setup; i.e. install the 2012 R2 Standard on a separate disk and during off hours simply swap the production drive for the test drive, then vice versa.

    Capt. Dinosaur

    Friday, September 19, 2014 6:44 PM
  • "You could give up the domain and use the server as a workgroup server, but you still need CALS."

    Actually that's EXACTLY what I have now with my 2008 R2 Foundation.  My server has been in a Workgroup environment since I bought it in 2011.

    >>> It depends on how many CALs you need.  2008R2 Foundation came with 15 or 25 ?.    So, you think you need, or want a domain controller.  Purchase a standard 2012R2 license With downgrade rights to 2008R2.
    You can use your existing CAL's with your new 2008R2 domain controller.  IMHO, you are not missing much with 2012R2, except the metro interface (yuck) and shuffling / hiding/ redesigning of where the management tools are.   Since you want to learn 2012, use your 2012R2 as a playstation on another machine.

    "For roughly $679 you can purchase Server 2012 with downgrade rights to Server 2008R2. "

    Are you referring to plain 2012, or does that apply to 2012 R2, which is the version I've been looking at?  But I don't know why I'd need to use the downgrade since '08 R2 is what I have, and the course I'll be taking is for 2012.  The price would be a real strain on my resources, but if the CALs don't eat me up otherwise, MAYBE I could swing it by the time the class is over - I'll be using the evaluation version during the class.  The Foundation edition doesn't require CALs for local network (LAN) users, only for RDS users.  I currently have two CALS for that, and at least for my current OS, additional CALs are only $85 each.

    >>> You downgrade to 2008R2 so you do not have to repurchase the CAL's.  The Cal's carry through the 2008R2 Domain, but do not cover the 2012RX server.

    "Microsoft Action Pack which includes all this and more for $475.  You get 10 users for Office Professional (INTERNAL USE ONLY) and I believe Office365 hosted Exchange is included for 10 users as well."

    Does that "all this and more" mean that it includes the server OS, or is that just for Office? If so,PUHLEEZE give me more information about it, and/or where I can buy it.  As for Office, I already have sufficient internal for Office 2010, and had been considering sticking with that, at least until I'm better fixed financially.  Since my remote users are clients, not employees, they have their own Office software.  Truly, if you're saying that the Action Pack includes the server OS, then the $475 isn't a problem - although it's about the limit of my current budget - since that's what I had expected to pay for 2012 R2 Foundation, if I can even buy a legal copy (ROK) that isn't BIOS locked, or if it is, locked for Dell.

    >>>>   You get enough fully functional software to keep you busy for the next three years.  It is a $475 per year subscription, so you can play with all that stuff for a year.  If you decide not to renew, you need to remove it from your machines and delete the installers.  Welcome aboard, Captin' er.. hum. Partner :) and may the wind be at your back and the sailing smooth.  https://mspartner.microsoft.com/en/us/Pages/Membership/action-pack.aspx


    Capt. Dinosaur

    Friday, September 19, 2014 8:40 PM