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Setting up Remote Desktop Services for my small business RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Im cracking my head here to implement a remote desktop services in my small business for employees to open up session based desktop connections. On premises of course, all local connections. And i keep seeing this coming up on google suggestions saying that i can buy "Windows Server Remote Desktop Services CAL". Im just looking to operate my business locally without all that fancy features like desktopApp or licensing. I just need to create local users, have Windows load a remote desktop environment for that user to connect to, and voila my employee can use both client computer and host computer on their monitor(s).

    Is there a possibility for this without buying any extra licensing feature? I already have a legal copy of Windows Server 2019, i seriously don't think i need to purchase another $500 odd for this bull.

    And if this is the case, I also have Windows Server 2016 and does Server 2016 need to purchase this licensing thing?

    Cheers

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 7:10 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

    To do what you are describing, if you choose Per User option, requires that each unique human that will connect have a Windows Server CAL and an RDS User CAL.  If you choose Per Device option, then each unique endpoint device that is used by your users (to view/interact with remote session) needs to have a Windows Server CAL and an RDS Device CAL.

    For Per User option you must have a domain and use domain users when using Windows Server 2019 Remote Desktop Services.  If you try to use it with local accounts you will get a message at logon that says the session will be disconnected in 60 minutes.

    The above is true whether or not you need to use the more fancy features such as RemoteApp.

    Windows Server 2016 has the same licensing requirements in regards to RDS.

    I recommend purchasing RDS CALs via Microsoft volume license agreement instead of Retail key pak SKUs.  You don't need to purchase large quantities to purchase via volume agreement.

    -TP

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 11:58 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    >now im pretty much just sitting around trying to figure out how i can employ the remote desktop license to my server.
    There is a grace period of 120 days for you to use RDS deployment without RDS CALs. Valid RDS CALs must be issued for client before the grace period has been expired. 

    In general, when a user or a device connects to an RD Session Host server, the RD Session Host server determines if an RDS CAL is needed. The RD Session Host server then requests an RDS CAL from the Remote Desktop license server. If an appropriate RDS CAL is available from a license server, the RDS CAL is issued to the client, and the client is able to connect to the RD Session Host server and from there to the desktop or apps they're trying to use.

    Quote from “License your RDS deployment with client access licenses (CALs)”:
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/remote/remote-desktop-services/rds-client-access-license

    General steps to configure and deploy RD Licensing/RDS CALs:
    1. Install RD Licensing server role.
    2. Active RD Licensing server via RD Licensing Manager tool.
    3. Install RDS CALs on the RD licensing server.
    4. Specify RD Licensing server and RDS CALs Mode for your RDS deployment. Via GUI option or Group Policy.

    Step 2 &3, you can reference below links:
    Active -> https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/remote/remote-desktop-services/rds-activate-license-server

    Install RDS CALs -> https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/remote/remote-desktop-services/rds-install-cals

    Step 4, you can reference section “LICENSING” in below link:
    https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Ask-The-Performance-Team/Remote-Desktop-Services-RDS-2012-session-deployment-scenarios/ba-p/375596

    Best Regards,
    Eve Wang

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, December 3, 2019 6:42 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    To do what you are describing, if you choose Per User option, requires that each unique human that will connect have a Windows Server CAL and an RDS User CAL.  If you choose Per Device option, then each unique endpoint device that is used by your users (to view/interact with remote session) needs to have a Windows Server CAL and an RDS Device CAL.

    For Per User option you must have a domain and use domain users when using Windows Server 2019 Remote Desktop Services.  If you try to use it with local accounts you will get a message at logon that says the session will be disconnected in 60 minutes.

    The above is true whether or not you need to use the more fancy features such as RemoteApp.

    Windows Server 2016 has the same licensing requirements in regards to RDS.

    I recommend purchasing RDS CALs via Microsoft volume license agreement instead of Retail key pak SKUs.  You don't need to purchase large quantities to purchase via volume agreement.

    -TP

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 11:58 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi i appreciate your reply. Judging by your answer the only way for me to enable what im describing here is to purchase CALs. Im reading further into Microsoft's Volume Licensing Agreement and im not understanding quite a few of these terms that Microsoft is using.

    So im only wishing to enable remote desktop connection for less than 5 users among about 5 employees in total, is Server Standard too much for this situation or is Server Essential all i really need?

    Second, can you elaborate on the functions of a Windows Server CAL? Is it separate from a bare Windows Server 2019 Operating system?

    And im reading further into Core based and Processor based CALs which are driving me nuts. Would it be possible to summarize it for me? Do i even need this too?

    You say retail key pak SKUs, can you also elaborate on that?

    I have approval recently received from the company owner to purchase some CALs to which im researching here at the moment.

    Again appreciate your kind efforts

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 1:40 PM
  • Hi,

    >im only wishing to enable remote desktop connection for less than 5 users among about 5 employees in total, is Server Standard too much for this situation or is Server Essential all i really need?
    By default, both Windows Server and Windows client system allows two sessions at same time. With RDS deployment, we can establish more than two simultaneously sessions to Windows Server system. But, Windows client system does not support more than two simultaneously sessions even with RDS deployment. 

    If you want to provide remote desktop connection to Windows client system, less than 25 users environment, then, Windows Server Essentials is recommended. As its function named Remote Web Access, once it has been enabled, you can use your Web browser to log on to the Remote Web Access site to remotely access computers on your network, and Windows Server Essentials Dashboard, shared folders. And no necessary to purchased RDS CALs, as it is included with Windows Server license. 

    Remotely access your computer:
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-essentials/use/use-remote-web-access-in-windows-server-essentials#BKMK_1.5

    Configuring and Customizing Remote Web Access on Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials:
    https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/sbs/2014/05/07/configuring-and-customizing-remote-web-access-on-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials/

    If you want to establish more than two simultaneously sessions to Windows Server, then, RDS deployment with RDS CALs are necessary. And RDS CALs are not included with server license, you should purchase it additionally.

    >can you elaborate on the functions of a Windows Server CAL? Is it separate from a bare Windows Server 2019 Operating system?
    To access this server software legally, a Client Access License (CAL) may be required. A CAL is not a software product; rather, it is a license that gives a user the right to access the services of the server.

    In general, standalone Windows Server system license do not include CALs, and you need to purchase it based on your user/device number. Also, you can contact the Microsoft seller and confirm with them about the price and a more favorable way to buy the product. 

    Licensing Basics: What are CALs (Client Access Licenses):
    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/mssmallbiz/2007/11/06/licensing-basics-what-are-cals-client-access-licenses/

    >Would it be possible to summarize it for me? Do i even need this too?
    Windows Server 2019 is core-based licensing model. 

    About the produce purchase and pricing, I would recommend you to contact the Microsoft Volume Licensing Center, and relate expert will provide you more detail explanation -> select your country or region and find contact information: 
    https://www.microsoft.com/Licensing/servicecenter/Help/Contact.aspx

    Best Regards,
    Eve Wang

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, November 28, 2019 8:04 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    How things are going there on this issue?

    Please let me know if you would like further assistance.

    Best Regards,
    Eve Wang    

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Monday, December 2, 2019 7:05 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi! Thanks for making an effort to follow up on my issue! So ive gone ahead and bought a Remote Desktop services license for testing but i have not used it yet. Im preparing my testing lab here for experimentation and ive installed the necessary roles and features like AD DC, DNS, Remote Access, Remote Desktop Services and among others. So far ive started with creating two domain users, one Domain Admin, and another default domain user. Upon doing that and setting up the necessary settings like the usual setting up of static ip and dns ip for the server, ive then gone ahead and joined a client computer to the domain and its been going well so far apart from having to fiddle around with the dns ip settings on the client for a while because i was having trouble logging into the server prior to the final joining of the domain.

    But fret no further because its been solved, now im pretty much just sitting around trying to figure out how i can employ the remote desktop license to my server. Im currently following an ebook on "Mastering Windows Server 2019" and its been very detailed about windows server in and of itself but nothing outside of Server 2019, hence why i had to take to Google for my domain joining problem earlier.

    It would be of great service if you can provide other pre-requisite information or roles and settings that can help me achieve my goal of enabling remote desktop to a multi user environment.

    Regards

    Monday, December 2, 2019 7:47 AM
  • Hi,

    >now im pretty much just sitting around trying to figure out how i can employ the remote desktop license to my server.
    There is a grace period of 120 days for you to use RDS deployment without RDS CALs. Valid RDS CALs must be issued for client before the grace period has been expired. 

    In general, when a user or a device connects to an RD Session Host server, the RD Session Host server determines if an RDS CAL is needed. The RD Session Host server then requests an RDS CAL from the Remote Desktop license server. If an appropriate RDS CAL is available from a license server, the RDS CAL is issued to the client, and the client is able to connect to the RD Session Host server and from there to the desktop or apps they're trying to use.

    Quote from “License your RDS deployment with client access licenses (CALs)”:
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/remote/remote-desktop-services/rds-client-access-license

    General steps to configure and deploy RD Licensing/RDS CALs:
    1. Install RD Licensing server role.
    2. Active RD Licensing server via RD Licensing Manager tool.
    3. Install RDS CALs on the RD licensing server.
    4. Specify RD Licensing server and RDS CALs Mode for your RDS deployment. Via GUI option or Group Policy.

    Step 2 &3, you can reference below links:
    Active -> https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/remote/remote-desktop-services/rds-activate-license-server

    Install RDS CALs -> https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/remote/remote-desktop-services/rds-install-cals

    Step 4, you can reference section “LICENSING” in below link:
    https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Ask-The-Performance-Team/Remote-Desktop-Services-RDS-2012-session-deployment-scenarios/ba-p/375596

    Best Regards,
    Eve Wang

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, December 3, 2019 6:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Is there any update?

    Please click “Mark as answer” if any of above reply is helpful. It would make this reply to the top and easier to be found for other people who has the similar problem.

    Best Regards,
    Eve Wang

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, December 6, 2019 6:36 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Youve made my day as bright as the sun. Everything works like a charm and i cant thank you enough for the answers and replies youve provided. I hope your day is going very well too and happy holidays!

    Regards

    Friday, December 6, 2019 6:40 AM
  • Hi,

    I am pleased to know that the information is helpful to you. If there is anything else we can do for you, please feel free to post on the forum.

    Best Regards,
    Eve Wang

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, December 6, 2019 6:59 AM
    Moderator