Very simple: License Remote Desktop Services with CALs from Wiresoft
The Microsoft licensing model for the various server software and access to the respective available services and functions is a complex and sometimes confusing matter: Each software is often available in different editions in the respective versions, the use of which is in turn regulated by so-called access licenses.
For buyers the correct licensing of the Remote Desktop Services for Windows servers often become a challenge. With the following FAQs, Wiresoft answers the most frequently asked questions and explains the options available to you with client-based licensing for RDS. All CALs required for correct licensing for your Remote Desktop Services can be found in the Wiresoft online shop - including the corresponding server licenses - from the still widely used 2008 version to the current 2019 version.
FAQs about licensing Microsoft Remote Desktop Services with CALs
The Remote Desktop Serviceswhich control remote access to Microsoft server-based functions and programs, are only available via client access licenses - unlike other server programs, which can also be available in a core-based form depending on the edition. There are also options for CAL-based licensing, which are discussed in the following FAQs.
What are the terms of the Microsoft licensing model with CALs?
Microsoft's license management basically separates between the licensing of a server that provides services and programs and the licensing of the users who use them. These receive differentiated rights of use for the Remote Desktop Services via so-called Client Access Licenses. It is not without reason that Microsoft speaks of activation by means of a license key, since this activates not only the server access but also the defined services.
The prerequisite for client-based access is always the previous implementation of a server license of the same software. The CALs themselves do not contain any of the typical functions of a software, so that they themselves do not have to be installed. Usually this license combination is also called server/CAL licensing.
Are there different CALs for different editions of Windows Server?
While some other Windows Server software has different CALs for each edition-usually a Standard and a Business edition-this difference does not exist for client access licenses for RDS. The Remote Desktop Services are only about providing the server services remotely as such.
What does version compatibility of CALs for Remote Desktop Services mean?
Each CAL primarily applies to a particular version of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, but it also includes the right to use an older version of the same software, provided the server is available. This is also referred to as backward compatibility or downgrade. For example, with a 2019 Remote Desktop Services 2019 Client Access License, you can also use 2016 or 2010 versions, provided that the corresponding server software is implemented.
The reverse is not possible, with one exception: While you can use
with a CAL for the Remote Desktop Services 2008 cannot use version 2012 or higher, it is therefore possible to use the next higher version 2008 R2, although this is a separate release despite the similar designation.
What types of CALs are available for Microsoft Remote Desktop Services?
The Client Access License is a usage authorization that is either valid for a very specific end device that is Windows and has access to the Internet, or for a very specific user. This division into two license types means on the one hand that they are not variable, on the other hand they cannot be subsequently transferred to another end device or another user after allocation.
The only exception is the resale of the CAL, see below for more information. These restrictions prevent misuse of the access license, they also provide protection because unauthorized persons - whether inside or outside a company - cannot access the server or data stored there via Remote Desktop Services.
What is the difference between a Device CAL and a User CAL?
In principle, both client access licenses have the same scope of functions, provided the versions are identical. The only difference is that a person's access options are different from those of a device. In addition, a user is licensed via the Active Directory, whereas a computer or other end device is physically licensed.
Device CAL or User CAL for RDS - or can both be used?
As already indicated, the choice between the different types of CAL leaves a certain amount of leeway to provide Remote Desktop Services in the best possible way according to actual needs. However, while access licenses for other Microsoft server software also allow the combination of Device CALs and User CALs, this is technically difficult to implement for Remote Desktop Services, and Microsoft advises against it. The reason for this is that the license is provided in different ways; for a computer or similar, this is done physically, whereas for a user it is done via the Active Directory.
If you are not sure which type of CAL is the right one for your purposes and the majority of your users, simply contact us for an individual license consultation on the optimal use of Remote Desktop Services in your company.
What advantages does User CAL have for RDS?
The User Access Licence has the advantage, due to the person-bound licensing, that the user equipped with it can use the Remote Desktop Services with any end device that is Windows and from anywhere with an Internet connection.
This makes User CAL particularly practical for those employees who constantly access a Windows server via RDS, both inside and outside their company, e.g. at a customer's premises, on a business trip or in the home office, and with the computer that is currently available to them.
What are the advantages of Device CAL for RDS?
The advantages of a Device CAL become particularly clear in those companies where employees do not have their own computer because their work does not require it, or because they only use it in shift work or for limited projects. In this case, an exclusively device-related license makes sense.
Every Windows terminal device can be equipped with Device CAL. This can also be a portable device such as a laptop or tablet etc.
The device access license is therefore more advantageous if the Remote Desktop Services on a computer are used alternately by different people, so that it would be uneconomical to provide them with a personalized User CAL.
Summary overview - what you should bear in mind when purchasing CALs for Remote Desktop Services
The following overview summarizes once again everything that is important when purchasing CALs for Windows Remote Desktop Services:
- The starting point for using Microsoft RDS is a valid server license. The Remote Desktop Services provide appropriate options for using the Remote Desktop session host via remote access.
- Each employee requires a Client Access License or CAL to use Remote Desktop Services and features.
- These access licenses are available in two forms: as a User CAL - valid for an individual - and as a Device CAL - valid for a specific end device.
- This CAL type cannot be changed, so a User CAL cannot be used to license a terminal device - or vice versa.
- CALs are assigned once and cannot be transferred to another person or terminal device afterwards.
- The combination of User and Device CALs for Remote Desktop Services is technically difficult to realize. The RDS Device CAL is always physically assigned to a terminal device, whereas the User CAL is assigned to a user in the Active Directory.
- The client access license must have either the same or a higher version number than the licensed Windows server (downgrade).
- An exception is the CAL for Remote Desktop Services 2008: this also entitles you to access Windows Server 2008 R2 via RDS.
For which Remote Desktop Services can you find CALs in the Wiresoft Online-Shop?
You can buy CALs from Wiresoft for all Remote Desktop Services editions listed below:
Your license purchase including consulting for Remote Desktop Services CALs at Wiresoft
In the Wiresoft Software Shop you will find CALs for users and devices for the Remote Desktop Services - from the latest version 2019 to 2008, and of course the corresponding Windows Server licenses!
All CALs are available as single licenses, which gives you a big advantage over buying volume licenses as offered by most other resellers. So you only buy as many CALs as you really need. In addition, Wiresoft's CALs are particularly favourable, because you profit from the price advantage with unused single licenses, which originate from volume licenses of European companies - however, you can use them without any restrictions in terms of duration or functions, so that you can cover your license needs particularly economically.
All CALs available in the Wiresoft Shop are original Microsoft products, so there is no legal risk when you buy software with Wiresoft. If you have any questions about the right, tailor-made licensing with RDS for your server system, you can benefit from our expert advice - just contact us by phone, e-mail or directly in the chat.