Windows Server 2016 RDS Licensing Server

<![CDATA[Windows Server RDS works great for allowing thin clients to have a full desktop experience.  For RDS to work correctly, you must create a licensing server to hand out seats per client connection, whether that be per user or per device.  This guide will go step by step through the process of creating a licensing server to serve RDS seats.  We assume that you already have a Windows Server 2016 machine ready for this deployment.
In our environment, we use a separate virtual machines for each server role.  We use VMWare 6.5 as our host, and Windows Server 2016 as our VM client.  This server will only have this role installed.  Our base VM has any default roles that are installed out of the box, with an addition of the .NET 3.5 feature set.

Please make sure your server is set on the correct timezone, remote desktop is enabled, all Windows Updates have been installed, the server has been joined to your domain, and then restart the server.  When logging into the server, use a domain user account with Domain Admin privilege.

  1. Open Windows Server Manager and click Add roles and features
  2. Click next confirming that you have verified the tasks listed.
  3. Click next confirming that you are installing a role-based feature on the current server.
  4. Click next to confirm that the server highlighted is the correct server for the role to be installed.
  5. Select the Remote Desktop Services role and click next.
  6. Click next on the features list, without checking an additional feature other than the defaults.
  7. Click next to confirm that you want to install the Remote Desktop Services role.
  8. Select Remote Desktop Licensing to install the licensing host components.
  9. Click Next to install the role.  OPTIONAL: Check the Restart box and select yes to allow the server to restart after installation. (The server does not need to restart after installing this role.)
  10. After the role finishes installing, click close.
  11. Click on Tools > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Licensing Manager.
  12. Click Review on the server you just created.
  13. Click Add to Group.
  14. Click continue to add the server to its correct licensing group.
  15. This message will be received when you have completed the following step. Click ok to close the window.
  16. Click ok to close the window.
  17. Right click on the server you are trying to configure. Click activate server.
  18. Click Next to configure the licensing portion.
  19. Click next to use the automatic defaults.
  20. Complete the required information for your organization and then click next.
  21. Complete the required information for your organization and then click next.
  22. Click next to start the licensing wizard.
  23. Click next to confirm the settings are correct.
  24. Select the correct type of agreement for your organization.  In our case this would be School Agreement.
  25. Type the agreement number and select next.
  26. Select the correct product version, license type, and quantity of licenses. Then click next to finish the wizard. In our case, RDS per user CAL is the correct licensing type.
  27. Click Finish to close the wizard and activate your RDS licensing server.
  28. Your server is now activated if the green check mark is displayed.

This guide was to setup the licensing server portion of a remote desktop environment.  To setup the servers that clients/thin clients connect to, please see this post.]]>

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