Once you have an Remote Desktop Services [RDS] environment setup and want to continue using it past the 120 day trial period you will need to setup the RD Licensing role. This blog post will document how to setup the role, activate the license server with Microsoft, add a license key, then configure RDS with the license.
vBoring Blog Series:
- Setup Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012 R2
- Setup RD Licensing Role on Windows Server 2012 R2
- Setup RD Gateway Role on Windows Server 2012 R2
Installing the Remote Desktop Licensing Role:
First the licensing role needs to be installed. On your license server go to Manage -> Add Roles and Features
Select Role-base or feature-based installation and click Next
Select the license server from the server pool. Click Next
Scroll down and select Remote Desktop Services then click Next
Click Next without selecting a Feature
Select the Remote Desktop Licensing role
Click Add Features on the pop up
Select the Restart the destination server automatically if required then click Install
Once finished click Close.
Activate Licensing Server:
Now the RD Licensing role is installed we need to activate it with Microsoft. To do this we need to launch the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager.
Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Remote Desktop Services-> Remote Desktop Licensing Manager
Right click your server name then click Activate Server
If your computer is connected to the internet leave it on Automatic connection and click Next
Enter your information and click Next
[Optional] Enter additional information and click Next
Check the box to Start Install Licenses Wizard now then click Next
If you did not start the Install Licenses Wizard in the previous step it can be access by right clicking your server name in the RD Licensing Manager then click Install Licenses
Pick the type of license you want to install. I am installing a retail RDS Server 2012 license. Click Next
Enter your license click then click Add. It should populate the License Codes Entered section if the license key was correct. Click Next
Click Finish to complete the license install.
The license key you just added will show
Add license server to Activate Directory:
We can fix the yellow splat next to your license server name. Click on All servers then click Review
Since installing the license server we never moved it to the Terminal Server License Servers group in Active Directory. Click the Add to Group button for this to happen.
It will give you a pop up confirming the add. Click Ok
Now you should see all green. Click Ok
Configuration should now show green with a green check beside your server name.
To confirm the license server is added to the AD group you can check the computer account or the actual Terminal Server License Servers group.
Add License Server to your RDS Environment:
From one of your RDS servers open Server Manager. If the license server is on a different server you must first add it to the server pool by going to Manage -> Add Servers
Enter the name of your license server -> Click Find Now -> Select the server -> Click the right Arrow -> Click Ok
Now the license server is added to the server pool, Click Remote Desktop Services ->RD Licensing
Select the server you added above -> click the Arrow button -> then click Next
Once finished click Close
RD Licensing now has an icon!
An easy way to validate your RDS license is to open the RD Licensing Diagnoser. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Remote Desktop Services -> RD Licensing Diagnoser.
You can now see the number of licenses installed and available.
You should now have a licensed RDS environment!
Continue reading – Part 3: Setup RD Gateway Role on Windows Server 2012 R2
9 thoughts on “Setup RD Licensing Role on Windows Server 2012 R2”
Can the licensing server be the same as the RDS Server that you set up in part 1 or does it have to be a different machine? If it has to be different can I use my DC as the licensing server?
It’s best to use an other server for the licensing, specially if you are using more then one rds-server
If I have an RDS server with the licencing server on it and I want to add another RDS server to the same domain, is it simply a process of adding the existing licence server on the new RDS server to get the licences?
I am doing a POC , I have an existing licensed RDS TS farm with a Load balancer (LB)
I will be adding another TS farm with another LB . The new TS is temporary and wanted to know if I can use the the free trial period on the existing TS and then add the same servers to the exiting RDS farm at a later stage .
Yes You can Deepak 😀
We just purchased 100 RDS user CALs to be used on 2 different servers. Can we assign say 60 CALs to one server and the other 40 CALs to a different server? Can both servers be managed from one server or do we have to install the licensing role on each server?
what cause if the available is less than installed (see the last figure)
im uploading my settings https://imgur.com/a/0qB4s