We have multiple geographically separate sites which each have their own ADDS site as expected. Each site is going to have it's own Terminal Server and I would like each site to have it's own RDS Licensing Server. However:

  • We only have one set of CALs that were bought to cover all users across all sites (stupid perhaps!).

So, my question is:

  • Can you split those CALs amongst multiple licensing servers - i.e. 120 CALs, 6 sites and 6 licensing servers, one in each site. Each Licensing server having 20 CALs each?

If not,

  • We would need to have one licensing server which would serve all the Terminal Servers in every site (it is one domain). However, if Site-to-Site VPNs went down, how would terminal servers service users if it was unable to speak to the central licensing server?

When you buy RDS CAL's you don't buy them for a particular RDS Licensing server, so you can split the CAL's across as many RDS Licensing servers as you need or want to.

  • So if I have 120 CALs in total as one purchase, as a Select Agreement and not an OPEN agreement, I can use that set of CALs split among my servers. So activate the CALs on multiple Licensing Servers as long as the total no. of CALs I activate doesn't go above my purchased number? – PnP Oct 16 '13 at 19:48
  • I've never seen any information that would lead me to believe that this isn't possible/legitimate. When you purchase the CAL's there's no server specific identification or configuration. You purchase the total number of CAL's you need and "install" them on as many RDS License servers as you need. We have 2 and have the CAL's split between the 2. – joeqwerty Oct 16 '13 at 19:57

Yes, I'm pretty sure you can assign a specific number of CALs to each RDS Licensing server.


In my experience, one time I activated over the phone since the environment wasn't connected to the internet. The MS support guy asked me how many licenses out of the total that I had purchased I would like to activate. I said "all of them." Then he gave me an activation code. I assume that the code would have been different had I said "half of them." That makes sense to me since the RD Licensing Server somehow derived the correct number of licenses that I should have based solely on the activation key that I typed in.

One thing that you lose though, if you split up the licenses, is centralized reporting.

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