I want to use a Windows Server 2016 instance as a Hyper-V host. This server should provide several Windows 10 VMs to users which connect via RDP onto the machines. Is this only possible with a RDS role configured on the server? And do I need a CAL for each connecting user (or respectively device) to be correctly licensed? Thank your for your answer.

  • You don't need the remote desktop role. If the Windows 10 virtual guests licenses are covered under software assurance, no additional licensing is required for the Windows 10 virtual guests. If not, 10 Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) licenses would be required. More information here: download.microsoft.com/download/1/1/4/… FYI - licensing questions are off-topic here, so this question may be closed.
    – Greg Askew
    Jul 8, 2018 at 17:38
  • @GregAskew thank you. Regarding the off-topic issue: where should such question be asked instead? Jul 8, 2018 at 17:56
  • 1
    The vendor. Microsoft has a toll free number to answer licensing questions. microsoft.com/Licensing/servicecenter/Help/Contact.aspx
    – Greg Askew
    Jul 8, 2018 at 18:02
  • @DavidArtmann I suggest too the toll number, or a re-seller. The problem with answer is that depending on the number of core/cpu, the number of license you need might change to license the server itself, and thus it's a hard to know answer versus what you project to buy. If you intend to use some Windows 10 on the host itself, you can fall in the VDA licensing model too, which make that again more complex.
    – yagmoth555
    Jul 9, 2018 at 16:14
  • Just as a note: currently I'm testing out Proxmox VE as a promising alternative to the VMware/Hyper-V hypervisors. Jul 24, 2018 at 5:53

1 Answer 1


With Server 2016 as Hyper-V host you have additional right to license 2 VMs per license running Server 2016 if you have Standard and unlimited VMs per license if you are running Datacenter edition. If you put Windows 10 in VM you must license it separately. Other thing is, Windows 10 is client OS meaning it can't be part of RDS farm. From what we have from information here, ii suggest you to use Windows Server 2016 as Hyper-V host, create needed VMs with Server 2016 image eliminating Windows 10 licensing, deploy farm and add CAL licenses depending on number of users/devices you have. Regarding licensing, you must license either each user or device you access RDS farm from.

BTW, you can make something like workaround scenario where you have VM running RDS roles except session host and edit policy to allow connection to your Windows 10 machine through RDP gateway, but again, in that case your Windows 10 machines are still not part of farm, so management and licensing for those machines are separated.

  • "(...) create needed VMs with Server 2016 image eliminating Windows 10 licensing (...)" Do you mean I have several MS Srv. 2016 VMs running which will then be served as a RD host to my users? Or can I make a Win 10 VM out of the Win Srv. 2016 image somehow? oO Jul 8, 2018 at 17:34
  • First one, you create WS2016 machines which will act as RD Session Hosts.
    – expx
    Jul 8, 2018 at 19:57

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