If you have deployed Terminal Server Licensing and are running into any issues with it, most likely they will be due to Client connection failures, license server activation failures, license issuance and upgrade problems. In this article, we discuss some of the categories of problems that could occur in your Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services deployment, and how you can diagnose or fix them.
For detailed information on TS Licensing, you can refer the new TS Licensing Tech Center
Some of the categories of problems that could occur in your Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services deployment are
- 1. Discovery Problems
- 2. Mode-mismatch Problems
- 3. Monitoring CALs
- 4. CAL Migration
- 5. Setting up for redundancy and fallback
- 6. Restricting which TSes can get a License from this License Server
The process of a Terminal Server automatically locating a license server is called license server discovery. If you open Terminal Server Licensing and are prompted for the name of the license server, license server discovery is most probably not working.
More information on how to solve this situation can be found here
When there is a mismatch between the Terminal Server Licensing mode configuration on the terminal server and the configuration on the license server, remote sessions can be disconnected prematurely.
You can resolve this problem by either
a) Making sure that the Terminal Server licensing mode on the terminal server matches the type of licenses installed on the license server. For more information, see Change the Terminal Server Licensing mode .
b) Installing the right type of licenses on the License Server. For example, if your Terminal Server is set to Per-Device mode, install Per-Device licenses on the License Server.
If your TS connections that used to work before are now getting denied then most probably this is because your License Server has run out of CALs.
You can use Terminal Server Licensing to monitor licenses installed and issued. To get this tool, click Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, and then Terminal Server Licensing on the computer running Terminal Server Licensing. You can also use Terminal Services Licensing Reporter (Lsreport.exe) to create a report with information about the CALs that are installed on license servers.
For more information on lsreport.exe refer to Configuring a computer for troubleshooting TS Licensing and this Knowledge Base article
If you earlier had a LS setup with CALs installed and now want to move this to another license server, you need to go through the process of Migration.
For this you must call Microsoft Clearinghouse to move licenses from one computer to another and to get the keypacks that go with the new server ID. Each activated license server is unique and is identified with a certificate provided during activation. Simply moving the licensing database from one computer to another does not complete the process. You actually need to reinstall licenses on the new computer as a part of moving the licenses. You can find the correct local phone number to call the Microsoft Clearinghouse using Terminal Server Licensing.
To get this tool, click Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, and then Terminal Server Licensing on the computer running Terminal Server Licensing.
To ensure high availability you want to have a fallback License Server in your environment. The recommended method to configure Terminal Service Licensing servers for high availability is to install at least two Terminal Services Licensing servers in Enterprise Mode with available Terminal Services CALs. Each server will then advertise in Active Directory as enterprise license servers with regard to the following Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) path: //CN=TS-Enterprise-License-Server,CN=site name,CN=sites,CN=configuration-container.
To get more details on how to setup your License Server environment for redundancy and fallback, go over the “Configuring License Servers for High Availability” section in the Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server Licensing whitepaper
If you want to control which Terminal Servers use up CALs from your License Server, there is a Group Policy Setting that you can enable. This will cause the License Server to give access to only those Terminal Servers that are present in the “Terminal Server Computers” security group on the License Server.
More information on this can be found here
Here are some other frequently asked questions on Terminal Services Licensing
1. How do I know if the per user licenses that I bought are being used properly?
We do not track or enforce user licensing in Windows 2003. With Windows Server codename ‘Longhorn’ we will be adding per user tracking to help you manage your Longhorn Terminal Services per user CALs. Longhorn TS per device CALs will work in the same way as Windows Server 2003 – they will be tracked and enforced.
More information on TS per user CALs in Windows Server 2003 can be found here
2. How do I make my Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server point to a specific Windows Server 2003 License Server?
If your terminal server is running Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), you can do this by using Group Policy settings or Terminal Services Configuration, or you can use the registry or a Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) script. If your terminal server is running Windows 2000, or Windows Server 2003 without SP1, you must use the registry or a WMI script.
For more information on how to specify a particular License Server, click here
3. How do I revoke my licenses?
There is no way to revoke licenses that have been issued to a client. Licenses are revoked automatically within a period of 52-89 days when the license expires and gets returned to the license pool.
4. How do I move my CALs from one machine to the other?
You must call Microsoft Clearinghouse to move licenses from one computer to another and to get the keypacks that go with the new server ID. For more information, click here
Good resources to read up if you are setting up or trouble shooting a TS Licensing environment
The following documents contain some good information on TS Licensing, issues that you could run into and how you could potentially find and fix them. I am listing them down here for reference.
- 1. TS Licensing Tech Center
- 2. Quick Fixes for Terminal Server Licensing – This section provides a summary of the most common Terminal Server Licensing problems and the solutions to those problems. You can use the information in this section to resolve problems in the same way you would use a FAQ to find answers to common questions. Read this section before you begin any advanced troubleshooting.
- 3. The Quick start guide
- 4. Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server licensing issues and requirements for deployment http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823313
- 5. Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server Licensing whitepaper
Places where you can find help for your licensing problems
If you have any issues with your licensing environment that are not listed in this post, we have the following channels that you can use to get help.
- 1. You can post on the Terminal Services newsgroup microsoft.public.windows.terminal_services
- 2. You can look up the archives of the above mentioned newsgroup. Chances are someone might have faced the same problem you had earlier and a solution was provided in the newgroup.