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Working with Terminal Services Licensing

An important aspect of providing Terminal Services to clients is licensing. Each client that connects to the terminal server must have a license. Whether you install the TS Licensing service on the terminal server (as we did in the previous section) or on another server in the domain, you need to configure TS licensing and add licenses to the TS Licensing service. Terminal Services licenses are not the same as the licenses that are used to license your Windows Server 2008 network clients. When a Terminal Services client requests a connection to the terminal server, it is provided a license by the license server. As discussed during installation of the sample terminal server, the licensing mode can be per device or per user.

If you did not select a licensing mode (meaning you set licensing for the 120-day evaluation), during the installation of the TS Licensing service you can set the mode in the Terminal Services Configuration snap-in. In the Server Manager, expand the Terminal Services node (expand the Roles node first) and then select the Terminal Services Configuration node. In the Details pane is an Edit Settings area, and a subset of this Edit Settings area is designated as Licensing (see Figure 19.3).

Figure 19.3. The Licensing settings in the Terminal Services Configuration Details pane.

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By the Way

Terminal servers that are not supported by a terminal server license server do not provide connections to clients beyond the 120-day evaluation period. So, you must configure a license server on the network (and purchase licenses) if you really plan to use a terminal server as a network connectivity option.

Right-click the Terminal Services licensing mode and then select Properties. On the Licensing tab of the Properties dialog box, select Device or Per User. You can also specify the license server discovery mode on the Licensing tab. Select Automatically Discover a License Server if you want the terminal server to find a TS license server automatically. Or you can use the Use the Specified License Servers option. Selecting this option requires you to specify the name or names of the TS Licensing servers you will use.

When you have completed configuring the license mode, click OK. You will be returned to the Terminal Services Configuration snap-in.

Now you need to activate the TS Licensing server and then add licenses to the server. To activate the TS Licensing server, open the TS Licensing Manager as shown in Figure 19.4 (Start, Administrative Tools, Terminal Services, TS Licensing Manager).

Figure 19.4. Open the TS Licensing Manager.

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Right-click the server (your Licensing server) in the Details pane and select Active Server. The Active Server Wizard opens.

Click Next to bypass the first wizard page. On the next page, select the connection for license server activation. This connection mode is also used to contact the Microsoft Clearing House where TS licenses are stored. The connection possibilities are Automatic Connection, Web Browser, and Telephone. The Automatic Connection option is the recommended connection mode.

Select a connection (such as Automatic) and then click Next. On the next screen provide your name, company information, and country (or region). Then click Next. On the next page, you can provide optional information such as an email address and company address. Click Next. The server is activated.

When activation is complete, the Activate Server Wizard supplies a summary screen letting you know that the license server has been activated. It also provides you with the option of starting the Install Licenses Wizard (by default). Let’s go ahead and look at how a TS license is installed. Click Next.

You can bypass the first wizard page by clicking Next. On the next page, select a license program in the drop-down list box provided (see Figure 19.5).

Figure 19.5. Select the license program.

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Click Next. On the next page provide your license code and add the code to the License Codes Entered box. Click Next. On the next screen, you are asked to supply the product version for the license (such as Windows Server 2008) and whether the licenses are per device or per user. You also are asked to supply the number of licenses that you have purchased. After you supply this information, click Next to continue; the licenses are installed. Click Finish to close the wizard.

You are returned to the Terminal Server Licensing snap-in. You can add additional licenses at any time by right-clicking the Licensing Server icon and then selecting Install Licenses.

By the Way

A new utility provided by the Terminal Server Configuration snap-in is the Licensing Diagnosis tool. You can click the Licensing Diagnosis node in the Terminal Server Configuration snap-in (in the MMC or the Server Manager). Any warnings related to problems with the Licensing server are displayed in the Details pane. Other information provided includes the licensing mode and the connection mode for the TS Licensing server.

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