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I've got a Citrix XenApp 6.5 Farm running on Win 2008 R2 Servers. I purchased 200 Device RDP/Remote App Licenses for ~200 users. We went with Device licenses, because most of the end users use the same machines.

After 1 month of operating, we started to run out of licenses. It turns out the licensing service is consuming multiple licenses for the same machine.

I can revoke licenses, but there is a limit to how many I can do. Is this operating correctly? The only explanation I can come up with is that the Licensing service is giving a license to a device for every server it connects to in our Citrix farm.

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@johngardeniers this is not a duplicate because this isn't a question about "is my use case compliant" but a technical question as to why remote desktop is mis counting clients. – longneck Dec 8 '12 at 1:39
@JohnGardeniers this really isn't about licensing in the sense that's off-topic. It's about the function of the RDS license management role, which is very on-topic, in my opinion. – MDMarra Dec 8 '12 at 1:39
@neerpatel can you post something that shows the licenses being mis counted? – longneck Dec 8 '12 at 1:40
@John sorry, but I'm really going to have to disagree with you there. It's about how the terminal services license management function operates and it's a technical question about license revocation. This is totally on topic. – MDMarra Dec 8 '12 at 14:15
I can see this as on-topic as long as the answers stay along the lines of the technical issue (when licenses get released back to the pool) - I do agree with @JohnGardeniers though: This is probably a better question for the vendor (if for no other reasom then their lousy software is consuming more licenses than it logically should: If nobody complains they just collect the cash for "extra" licenses people are buying to make it work) – voretaq7 Dec 8 '12 at 16:23

I have to admit I borrowed this answer but this is basically the same behavior I have seen before. The one thing most people forget is that TS/RD licenses do not get released back to the pool when the user disconnects, instead they are assigned for a period of time and eventually released back to the pool at which point the client either gets a new license or gets a temporary license for 90 days.

Releasing Licenses:

You can't really do this, and it shouldn't be necessary either.

TS CALs have an expiration date of 52-89 days after issueing. Licenses that are not used (because the client does not connect to the TS anymore) will automatically be returned to the LS after the expiration date. In the meantime, your new clients will get a temporary TS CAL, which is valid for 90 days.

Note that these time periods are choosen to make sure that your temporary license lasts long enough for the old license to become available again. So replacing one client with another can never cause you to run out of TS CALs. If you are reaching the end of the 90 day temporary license period without having TS CALs available, it means that you have been connecting with more clients than you have licenses and you have to buy extra TS CALs.

Revoking Licenses

Trouble Shooting:

I would first make sure that your Citrix farm is properly using the same license server, or that your license servers are set up in a pool. If they aren't, you will get this round-robin type crap. The problem you list here sounds like your TS endpoints (Citrix) are not properly assigning a single license. Either way, you may end up having to call up Microsoft and possibly Citrix to understand what the issue is here.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Looks like there is a bug with the licensing service. :

Microsoft is currently investigating this issue and advised that Per User CALS should be used instead of Per Device RDS CALS.

Also listed on their site :


Microsoft RDS CALS can be revoked manually from the RDS Licensing Manager (20 percent at a time). More Information

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