More than you ever wanted to know about Remote Desktop Licensing

Hey everyone, David here. Here in support, there are certain types of calls that we love to get – because they’re cool or interesting, and when we figure them out, we feel like we’re making the world a better place. These are the calls that prompt us to write long-winded blog posts with lots of pretty pictures because we’re proud of ourselves for figuring out the issue.

Sadly, calls about Remote Desktop Licensing (formerly known as Terminal Services Licensing) aren’t those kinds of calls. Instead, they’re often questions about things that we really should have written down on the Internet a long time ago, so that people wouldn’t have to call us. Things like “How do I migrate my license server to a new OS version?” and “How does licensing server discovery really work?” That’s not to say that we don’t still get some interesting RDS Licensing calls, but most of them are run-of-the-mill. And to tell you the truth, we don’t want you to have to call us for stuff that you could have figured out if only someone had bothered to document it for you.

So, we did something that probably should have happened years ago: we went around the team and collected every scrap of knowledge we could find about RDS Licensing. We then scrubbed it (some of it was very dusty), made sure it was accurate, and, using liberal amounts of leftover Halloween candy from the bowl on Ned’s desk, bribed the team of writers that manages TechNet to make it freely available to everyone in one easy place.

On November 11th, we published Troubleshooting Remote Desktop Licensing Issues on TechNet.

Click that link, and you can find all sorts of information about things like:

  • The different types of CALs and how they work
  • License Server Discovery and how it works
  • How the Grace Period really works
  • Installing or Migrating CALs
  • Lots more useful stuff

We hope that someday it saves you a support call. And if there’s something RDS-related that you don’t see there, tell us about it in a comment. (Ned still has more Halloween candy for those writers). Enjoy!

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No really… he does.

– David “Hydra” Beach