none
RDS License Server Migration RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    It's been suggested by MS that I rebuild my RDS License DB (2008 R2 with 2008 R2 Device CALs) or migrate to a new License server as a means to clean out/bulk revoke stale licenses.

    If I provision a new 2012 R2 RDS License server with 2012(R2) Device CALs, will my 2008 R2 Session Hosts have CALs issued to them WITHOUT the need to downgrade the 2012 CALs?

    Regards

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 1:03 AM

Answers

  • If I provision a new 2012 R2 RDS License server with 2012(R2) Device CALs, will my 2008 R2 Session Hosts have CALs issued to them WITHOUT the need to downgrade the 2012 CALs?

    Hi,

    Yes, that is correct.  Just install the licenses as 2012 version and make sure your 2008 R2 RDSH servers are pointing to your new 2012 R2 RD Licensing server.

    I recommend you gather information (agreement number, auth number, retail product keys) about your existing licenses as well as record the 35-character License Server ID (LSID) of your existing 2008 R2 RD Licensing server.  The LSID can be found in RD Licensing Manager -- Properties at bottom--please note the last digit is usually cut off so make sure you click into the box and arrow over to see it.

    I'm recommending you gather the above information primarily for your records and to assist you when installing the RDS CALs fresh on your 2012 R2 server.

    Thanks.

    -TP

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 1:13 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Splitting licenses doesn't make licensing HA.  Nor does having one with all CALs and the second server none.  Being able to issue temporary Per Device CALs only helps for new devices that don't already have a license.

    There isn't really a HA solution for Per Device RD Licensing except perhaps to have double the needed licenses split between two servers, with 50% sitting unused.  Even then it can be a bit of a challenge to guarantee HA since it is possible CALs could be issued from the "backup" RD Licensing server.

    In a Per Device environment where the devices are used regularly, and therefore their licenses are auto-renewed regularly, a brief outage of the "primary" RD Licensing server (the one that has purchased CALs) will not prevent users from connecting.  Where you can run into an issue is devices that have an expired license because they haven't been used regularly.  For example, someone returned from being out on leave for a month, and coincidently their device's license expired during that time, and coincidently the primary RDL is down.

    Another strategy to consider is to react quickly upon failure of RD Licensing server.  For example, you could immediately switch to Per User mode, restore primary RDL server from backup or install RDS CALs to secondary RDL server, and then switch back to Per Device mode.  Switching to Per User mode only takes seconds and would prevent anyone being denied while you fix the primary RDL server.  Additionally, installing the RDS CALs on the backup RDL server can be completed in as little as seconds.

    I'm not sure I understand your question.  If you want to have a second RD Licensing server you can simply add a new one to your RDS deployment via Server Manager.

    -TP

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 3:04 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    I think the definition of High Availability and each person's expectations vary.  As long as you understand the tradeoffs of how you configure things you should be fine.

    It is fairly common for people to think that if they have multiple RD Licensing servers, split licenses between them and/or purchase additional licenses (as described in that article), that the end result will be that connections will not be denied in the event of an outage.  Whether or not this will be true depends on many different factors.  You don't have fine-grained control over how licenses are issued.

    Bottom line is to monitor health and if a RD Licensing server fails you should correct the situation relatively quickly to avoid problems.

    -TP

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 4:17 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • If I provision a new 2012 R2 RDS License server with 2012(R2) Device CALs, will my 2008 R2 Session Hosts have CALs issued to them WITHOUT the need to downgrade the 2012 CALs?

    Hi,

    Yes, that is correct.  Just install the licenses as 2012 version and make sure your 2008 R2 RDSH servers are pointing to your new 2012 R2 RD Licensing server.

    I recommend you gather information (agreement number, auth number, retail product keys) about your existing licenses as well as record the 35-character License Server ID (LSID) of your existing 2008 R2 RD Licensing server.  The LSID can be found in RD Licensing Manager -- Properties at bottom--please note the last digit is usually cut off so make sure you click into the box and arrow over to see it.

    I'm recommending you gather the above information primarily for your records and to assist you when installing the RDS CALs fresh on your 2012 R2 server.

    Thanks.

    -TP

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 1:13 AM
    Moderator
  • Great.  Since I want the licensing to be HA, the recommendation from MS is to split the CALs between 2 license servers.  There a pros and cons to doing this.

    Much like my current environment (2 servers - 1 active with ALL CALs installed and another on 'standby' ready to issue temporary CALs), I wish to do the same with the 2012 R2 license servers.

    As far as RDS is concerned, all I need is the licensing component to configure a pool with both of my servers - 1 will be the primary (all CALs), the other will be secondary (temporary CALs).  Do I still need to go through the 'Remote Desktop Services Installation' process on both servers so I can create an RDS Licensing pool?  I don't need the web access, gateway or broker features, just licensing.

    Cheers

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 1:46 AM
  • Hi,

    Splitting licenses doesn't make licensing HA.  Nor does having one with all CALs and the second server none.  Being able to issue temporary Per Device CALs only helps for new devices that don't already have a license.

    There isn't really a HA solution for Per Device RD Licensing except perhaps to have double the needed licenses split between two servers, with 50% sitting unused.  Even then it can be a bit of a challenge to guarantee HA since it is possible CALs could be issued from the "backup" RD Licensing server.

    In a Per Device environment where the devices are used regularly, and therefore their licenses are auto-renewed regularly, a brief outage of the "primary" RD Licensing server (the one that has purchased CALs) will not prevent users from connecting.  Where you can run into an issue is devices that have an expired license because they haven't been used regularly.  For example, someone returned from being out on leave for a month, and coincidently their device's license expired during that time, and coincidently the primary RDL is down.

    Another strategy to consider is to react quickly upon failure of RD Licensing server.  For example, you could immediately switch to Per User mode, restore primary RDL server from backup or install RDS CALs to secondary RDL server, and then switch back to Per Device mode.  Switching to Per User mode only takes seconds and would prevent anyone being denied while you fix the primary RDL server.  Additionally, installing the RDS CALs on the backup RDL server can be completed in as little as seconds.

    I'm not sure I understand your question.  If you want to have a second RD Licensing server you can simply add a new one to your RDS deployment via Server Manager.

    -TP

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 3:04 AM
    Moderator
  • The idea was from https://www.microsoftpressstore.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2346349&seqNum=4

    "The simplest way to configure high availability for the RD Licensing role service when using Per Device licensing is to put all RDS Device CALs on a single RD Licensing server. The second RD Licensing server has no CALs installed and issues only temporary licenses. In this configuration, failure of the RD Licensing server with CALs has no effect on devices with a permanent or temporary license, which typically are the majority of devices. Devices connecting for the first time are issued a temporary license from the remaining RD Licensing server without CALs. The only clients unable to connect are devices with an expired license, which should be a small number of devices."

    Obviously, there would be costs associated with the amount of CALs to purchase regarding the CAL split between 2 servers, so the above scenario of a Primary (Purchased CALs) and Secondary (Temp CALs).

    The guide then goes onto mention:

    "When you have multiple RD Licensing servers, it is critical that you configure the RDS deployment to use the RD Licensing server you have configured with the CALs as the primary RD Licensing server."

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 3:45 AM
  • Hi,

    I think the definition of High Availability and each person's expectations vary.  As long as you understand the tradeoffs of how you configure things you should be fine.

    It is fairly common for people to think that if they have multiple RD Licensing servers, split licenses between them and/or purchase additional licenses (as described in that article), that the end result will be that connections will not be denied in the event of an outage.  Whether or not this will be true depends on many different factors.  You don't have fine-grained control over how licenses are issued.

    Bottom line is to monitor health and if a RD Licensing server fails you should correct the situation relatively quickly to avoid problems.

    -TP

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 4:17 AM
    Moderator
  • In that case, I guess it would be easier to keep things simple by provisioning 2 2012 R2 servers with only the RDS Licensing role installed.  1 server will be activated with the Paid CALS installed, the other server will also be activated with only the built-in temporary CALs available.  All session hosts will have access to both servers, which would suggest that the Active Paid for CALs and/or temporary CALs are assigned UNLESS this server is offline for whatever reason.

    Regards

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 4:26 AM
  • Hi,

    As an aside if you upgrade to Server 2016 RDS the enforcement is "soft".  Upon logon the users get a message regarding the licensing issue and are disconnected in an hour, after which they can reconnect.  In this way an outage doesn't completely prevent connections.

    Please mark my posts above as answer.

    Thanks.

    -TP

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 4:45 AM
    Moderator
  • As long as a 2016 RDS CAL will issue to 2008 R2 Clients, I might give this a go in my lab.

    Regards

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 4:48 AM
  • As long as a 2016 RDS CAL will issue to 2008 R2 Clients, I might give this a go in my lab.

    Regards

    Hi,

    To be clear, the RDSH servers must be 2016 for the soft enforcement.  A 2016 RD Licensing server will issue Per Device RDS CALs through 2008 R2 RDSH servers, but the enforcement will be "hard" as in previous versions.

    -TP

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 4:51 AM
    Moderator
  • I'll stick with 2012 R2 then :)
    Thursday, March 9, 2017 5:04 AM
  • Hi,

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

    Best Regards,

    Amy


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

    Monday, March 13, 2017 9:35 AM
    Moderator