I want to set up an Azure VM that can be accessed by at least 5 users concurrently.

There is an OS-included Azure VM image option for "Windows Server 2016 Remote Desktop Session Host 2016".

When this RDSH image is used, does anyone know how many users can concurrently access the VM via RDP? Is it necessary to purchase CALs in addition to this image, or are a certain number of CALs included?


  • So I just spun one of these up. It looks like it has zero licenses for RDP, which is 2 less than most Windows VMs. :-(
    – user228546
    Nov 16 '18 at 3:55
  • i dont think any rds servers have free CAL licenses by default
    – 4c74356b41
    Nov 16 '18 at 7:45
  • The Azure Windows Server VMs let you have 2 concurrent RDP connections (though maybe that's not actually a CAL).
    – user228546
    Nov 16 '18 at 16:29
  • 1
    yeah, i dont think those are cals
    – 4c74356b41
    Nov 16 '18 at 16:34

As the comments state, no free CALs with this offer. You have three options to migrate your RDS CALs:

  1. Automatic connection method: This recommended method communicates via internet directly to the Microsoft Clearinghouse outbound over TCP port 443.
  2. Using a web browser: This method allows migration when the server running the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager tool does not have internet connectivity, but the administrator has internet connectivity on a separate device. The URL for the Web migration method is displayed in the Manage RDS CALs Wizard.
  3. Using a telephone: This method allows the administrator to complete the migration process over the phone with a Microsoft representative. The appropriate telephone number is determined by the country/region that you chose in the Activate Server Wizard and is displayed in the Manage RDS CALs Wizard.

Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/remote/remote-desktop-services/migrate-rds-cals

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