HOW TO: Configure a Remote Desktop Licensing Server on Windows 2012R2 for NComputing vSpace
Configuring a Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Licensing server is significantly different than configuring the same service on a Windows Server 2008 R2 system. Below are steps for configuring your Server 2012 RDS Licensing server within a workgroup environment where the RDS Licensing service must be setup on the system that is hosting your NComputing sessions When you first install Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft starts the clock on a 120-day grace period before the OS needs to have access to an activated RDS licensing server. This document will guide you through the necessary steps to create, activate, and use the RDS licensing server with vSpace for Windows. You need to be logged in as an administrator to perform these steps. First, install and activate your copy of Windows Server 2012 R2 and optionally install the latest version of vSpace for Windows. (You will only need ONE RDS licensing server in your environment to manage RDS CALs for all your vSpace hosts.)
Now launch the Windows Server Manager. If you have installed vSpace on this server, the vSpace installer will have already added the RDS role for you. Otherwise, you may need to manually add the Remote Desktop Services role to the server before you can perform the next step. If the RDS role has been installed on your server and you haven’t yet configured Remote Desktop Licensing, you’ll see a Microsoft bubble popup every time you reboot and each time someone logs into a vSpace virtual desktop session. The 120-days decrements every 24 hours until the grace period expires.
Configuration 1: Workgroups
Small network configurations that do not involve a domain controller require that the vSpace Server self-host its licensing. That is, each server should have the Remote Desktop Services Licensing Service installed in addition to the vSpace Server software. In this configuration, each vSpace Server manages the required Windows licenses for its own access devices. Read the following steps carefully to ensure this configuration is setup properly:
1. Install Remote Desktop Services Role (with License Server). This is done through the “Roles and Features” GUI.
- Click on Server Manager
- From Server Manager, select “Add Roles and Features.”
- Click Next
- Select “Role-based or feature-based installation.” *DO NOT* select the option labeled “Remote Desktop Services installation.”
- Select the local server on the next screen.
- For “Roles”, find “Remote Desktop Services” and click Next. Skip the following Features list by clicking Next again.
- From the Role Services menu, select “Remote Desktop Session Host” and “Remote Desktop Licensing.” Each will generate a Roles and Features Wizard popup menu. Simply click “Add Features” on each, without changing any of the default settings. Click Next to proceed.
- Click Next
- Click on Install
2. Configure local License Server component.
- Activate Remote Desktop License Server. To do this, open the Start screen and type “licensing manager” and select the “Remote Desktop Licensing Manager” icon.
- Right-click the local server and select “Activate Server”.
- Click Next
- Fill out appropriate information and click Next
- After the server is activated, click “Next” and the wizard will go away. If you wish to add RDS CALs now, make sure to select the “Start Install licensing wizard” checkbox – before clicking next.
- Notice that the Licensing server’s “Activation Status” has now changed to Activated
3. Configure the computer’s Remote Desktop Session Host service to talk to the computer’s own license server. This process will involve the use of Local Group Policy.
We need to assign the license server to the RDSH server and make sure the right licensing mode is used (we use PerUser licensing).
To set the correct license server and the mode it is operating in, we need to use a Local Group Policy
- Go to Run and type msc
- The Group Policy Editor
- The Group Policy setting for Remote Desktop licensing mode is located in:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Licensing
- Click on Use the specified Remote Desktop license servers
- Select Enable and provide the IP Address of the Remote Desktop License Server
- Click OK
- Click on Set the Remote Desktop Licensing mode
- Select Enable and select Per User
- Click OK
- Now close and Restart the Server