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  • Unlimited Terminal Server licenses

    I took over a network from a customer that had issues with their previous IT guy. They have a Server 2003 DC with an error that it is running out of licenses. In the licensing widow it shows 9 connections.

    They are running two Server 2003 Enterprise VMs in ESXi 4.0. One of the VM's is a terminal server and this is the backbone for their ThinNet. There are about 10 users here including local and remote users.

    When I check the Terminal Server licensing server on the DC (and the TS), it shows an activated Windows 2000 (not 2003) Terminal Server with 'unlimited users'. I have never heard of an 'unlimited' TS, especially for a little company like this unless it was a hacked server. Am I correct?

    There is a discrepancy with the previous IT support guy over money. If he put the network together, and none of it is OEM equipment, should he not provide Microsoft License Agreements for the licenses he purchased?

    I also notice is has Office 2003 installed on the VM TS. My understanding is that there should be one purchased copy of Office for each user of Office on the TS whether it is volume licence or retail purchase.

    I have not approached the customer with my finding until I have some feebback from my peers.

    Thanks,
    Last edited by RobW; 22nd January 2010, 00:23.
    Network Engineers do IT under the desk

  • #2
    Re: Unlimited Terminal Server licenses

    If I'm remembering correctly Windows 2000 and Windows XP clients have a built in Terminal Services client access license so when you activate a Windows 2000 Terminal Services License Server the licenses are listed as unlimited because no additional TS CAL's are required, unlike Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 Terminal Services. Terminal Services clients other than Windows 2000 or Windows XP (Win9x, WinNT) do require additional TS CAL's when connecting to a Windows 2000 Terminal Server.

    That being said, TS licenses in a Windows 2000 environent are not "tracked" and the license shortfall you're seeing on the DC is most likely Windows CAL's, not TS CAL's.

    As far as Office is concerned, you don't need a separate physical copy of Office for each user running Office on a TS and you don't need a separate license certificate but you do need an Office CAL for each user. It is possible that a Volume License was purchased for Office and so therefore there will only be one license certificate and one copy of Office.

    MS Licensing is notoriously difficult to understand IMHO and your best bet would be to contact a Microsoft licensing specialist.

    http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/default.aspx

    Click the Contact a Specialist link on the right hand side of the page.

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    • #3
      Re: Unlimited Terminal Server licenses

      Another source of licensing information will be the account rep for your VAR. As Joe mentioned, Microsoft licensing is rather murky waters and as such, not even Microsoft's own licensing people always agree on some of the finer points of licensing.
      Wesley David
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      • #4
        Re: Unlimited Terminal Server licenses

        The network is not using Windows Server 2000. The DC and the TS are Server 2003. The TS Server Licensing manager (in Server 2003) says Product=Existing Windows 2000 Server -Terminal Services CAL Token (per device) Type+Built-in Total=Unlimited Available=Unlimited Issued=0
        Network Engineers do IT under the desk

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        • #5
          Re: Unlimited Terminal Server licenses

          Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
          That being said, TS licenses in a Windows 2000 environent are not "tracked" and the license shortfall you're seeing on the DC is most likely Windows CAL's, not TS CAL's.
          Windows CALs show up under 'Licensing' in Control Panel. I am looking at 'Terminal Server Licensing' in Administrative Tools'.
          Network Engineers do IT under the desk

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          • #6
            Re: Unlimited Terminal Server licenses

            Well I believe that's normal. Prior to Windows 2003, any Windows 2000 or Windows XP client included a Windows 2000 Terminal Services CAL, so essentially you have an unlimited number of Windows 2000 Terminal Server CAL's as they are built-in CAL's and are free. The fact that they show up as unlimited is a function of the TS Licensing Server activation and are included for backwards compatibility with W2K TS servers. I have the same thing in my W2K3 TS environment. The 2000 CAL's your seeing would be valid for any Windows 2000 or Windows XP client connecting to a Windows 2000 Terminal Server. If you have Windows 2000 or XP clients connecting to a Windows 2003 TS, then you need user or device CAL's for each of those clients (which you've stated that you have). You also need a Windows CAL for each user or device connecting to the TS, so in essence you need two CAL's when connecting to a Windows 2003 TS: a Windows CAL and a TS CAL.

            Here's a link to an in depth article about licensing in W2K3 TS:

            http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/bri...licensing.aspx
            Last edited by joeqwerty; 22nd January 2010, 04:02.

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