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Windows Server 2016 Essentials Help please RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've purchased Windows Server 2016 Essentials based on the 25 Users /50 Devices marketing by Microsoft.

    Subsequent to purchasing I've learned that you can only have 2 Remote Desktop Connections and only

    2 Concurrent users. Is this true? How can it be called a Server if only 2 Concurrent users are allowed - very confusing data on the web?

    So, I need to set this up for a friend's business - he has 6 staff, plus 3 users who Remote Desktop into the Server. 

    All of the 9 above really only use the Server as a File Server, maintenance by a true Server Administrator is done outside business hours by only 1 person.

    So, what software (Windows 2016 Server Standard or Essentials) do I need to be able to support 6 office staff and

    3 Remote Desktop users?

    Assistance greatly appreciated!!!

    Thanks,

    Gerry Steer

    Friday, February 9, 2018 5:16 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

    I recommend you return Essentials to your reseller and exchange it for Windows Server 2016 Standard plus 9 Windows Server User CALs and 3 RDS User CALs.  That way you will be properly licensed to allow the 3 people to run the application via Remote Desktop.  If you want Essentials-specific features you may install the Windows Server Essentials Experience on Standard.

    Even if you use a third-party software (instead of RDS) to view/interact with graphical programs running on Windows Server you still need RDS CALs.

    I agree the marketing documentation doesn't make it clear that Essentials isn't meant to be a RD Session Host (aka Terminal Server).  There is a feature comparison chart for Server 2012 R2 that shows No for Terminal Services Application Sharing for Essentials, but I don't think they have a similar chart for Server 2016 Essentials even though the same limitation applies.

    Thanks.

    -TP

    • Proposed as answer by Amy Wang_ Monday, February 12, 2018 3:07 AM
    • Marked as answer by TP []MVP Sunday, December 23, 2018 7:39 AM
    Saturday, February 10, 2018 6:14 PM
  • TP (Amy Wang),

    Is it not possible to keep W2016 Server Essentials and just use a VPN to connect,

    either 'Anywhere Access' or OpenVPN or similar?

    Thanks!

    Hi,

    Without knowing detailed specifics I still recommend you return Essentials and go with Standard.  More explanation below.

    Yes, you could use a VPN to connect and have the application installed on the remote PCs (similar to how they are installed on PCs on LAN), however, there is a very good chance this will not perform well.  I would strongly recommend extensive testing before counting on using VPN in this way.  In the past this has been a common failed technique that has lead people to implement RDS (and in some cases replacing their outside IT company).

    Whether or not it will perform acceptably depends on the specific app(s), available bandwidth/latency/quality of office Internet connection, bandwidth/latency/quality of each remote location's Internet connection, distance from office of each remote location, size of app data, usage patterns of remote users, and other factors I may not be remembering at the moment.

    If office and remote locations all have high-bandwidth symmetric Internet connections and are located in (relatively) close physical proximity I would say there is good chance it will work fine, but still test before committing.

    -TP

    • Proposed as answer by Amy Wang_ Thursday, February 15, 2018 8:21 AM
    • Marked as answer by TP []MVP Sunday, December 23, 2018 7:39 AM
    Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:28 PM

All replies

  • Do a quick Internet search for a program named "WSE RemoteApp" and check it out. It's a Windows Server Solutions add-in that was written specifically for use with Windows Server Essentials (or Windows Server Standard with the Windows Server Essentials Experience server role installed). You can use it to do what you are after without having to move away from using Essentials (which is a perfect server for small businesses with 25 or fewer users).
    Friday, February 9, 2018 4:12 PM
  • Thanks so much - wish Microsoft would be clearer in their product marketing.

    Doing all of this for a friend and it seems 'no good deed goes unpunished' - lol.

    I'll give it a go with the trial version.

    Thanks so much.

    Gerry Steer

    grsteer@outlook.com

    (Canberra, Australia) 

    Friday, February 9, 2018 11:57 PM
  • Your WSE RemoteApp looks good. 

    Working out what I'd need to buy.  The 6 office staff wouldn't need to be included as they'd run the app(s) from their Client machines, but, the 3 x Remote users would need to be catered for.  However, if Servers essentials already allows 2 Remote users, then wouldn't I only need 1 user?  I'd purchase an additional 2 anyways as my friend is going to add two (2) more remote users in the near future.

    So, what version (# of Users) do I need to purchase (noting there will be 6 office staff and 5 RDP).

    Thanks.


    • Edited by Gerry Steer Saturday, February 10, 2018 1:15 AM
    Saturday, February 10, 2018 1:14 AM
  • Since this is a Microsoft support forum, it would be better if you post your questions about the 3rd party WSE RemoteApp add-in over on its support Q&A forum instead (you can post your questions over there as a guest, or optionally, as a registered user).

    That being said... You would need at least the 3-user "Starter Edition", but the 5-user "Basic Edition" would probably match your requirements a bit better. However, you can always start off with a lower edition and then move up to a higher edition at any time.

    Saturday, February 10, 2018 2:11 PM
  • Hi,

    I recommend you return Essentials to your reseller and exchange it for Windows Server 2016 Standard plus 9 Windows Server User CALs and 3 RDS User CALs.  That way you will be properly licensed to allow the 3 people to run the application via Remote Desktop.  If you want Essentials-specific features you may install the Windows Server Essentials Experience on Standard.

    Even if you use a third-party software (instead of RDS) to view/interact with graphical programs running on Windows Server you still need RDS CALs.

    I agree the marketing documentation doesn't make it clear that Essentials isn't meant to be a RD Session Host (aka Terminal Server).  There is a feature comparison chart for Server 2012 R2 that shows No for Terminal Services Application Sharing for Essentials, but I don't think they have a similar chart for Server 2016 Essentials even though the same limitation applies.

    Thanks.

    -TP

    • Proposed as answer by Amy Wang_ Monday, February 12, 2018 3:07 AM
    • Marked as answer by TP []MVP Sunday, December 23, 2018 7:39 AM
    Saturday, February 10, 2018 6:14 PM
  • TP (Amy Wang),

    Is it not possible to keep W2016 Server Essentials and just use a VPN to connect,

    either 'Anywhere Access' or OpenVPN or similar?

    Thanks!

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:23 AM
  • TP (Amy Wang),

    Is it not possible to keep W2016 Server Essentials and just use a VPN to connect,

    either 'Anywhere Access' or OpenVPN or similar?

    Thanks!

    Hi,

    Without knowing detailed specifics I still recommend you return Essentials and go with Standard.  More explanation below.

    Yes, you could use a VPN to connect and have the application installed on the remote PCs (similar to how they are installed on PCs on LAN), however, there is a very good chance this will not perform well.  I would strongly recommend extensive testing before counting on using VPN in this way.  In the past this has been a common failed technique that has lead people to implement RDS (and in some cases replacing their outside IT company).

    Whether or not it will perform acceptably depends on the specific app(s), available bandwidth/latency/quality of office Internet connection, bandwidth/latency/quality of each remote location's Internet connection, distance from office of each remote location, size of app data, usage patterns of remote users, and other factors I may not be remembering at the moment.

    If office and remote locations all have high-bandwidth symmetric Internet connections and are located in (relatively) close physical proximity I would say there is good chance it will work fine, but still test before committing.

    -TP

    • Proposed as answer by Amy Wang_ Thursday, February 15, 2018 8:21 AM
    • Marked as answer by TP []MVP Sunday, December 23, 2018 7:39 AM
    Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:28 PM
  • Hi,

     

    Please remember to mark useful reply as answer, which would be much more efficient for other forum community members to find useful information.

     

    Best Regards,

     

    William


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.
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    Wednesday, February 28, 2018 9:48 AM