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Explaining Windows 2003 Terminal Server Licensing

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When it comes to licensing your Windows 2003 Terminal server environment most people can never remember what is needed and the Microsoft documentation seems to go on a bit:) Here I try to make it simple for you…

 9 times out of 10 it’s just a matter of the following: 

2003 server license – The standard 2003 license for whatever server version you are running ie standard, enterprise, datacentre.

Windows server client access licenses – Users accessing the server will require a Windows Server Client Access License. 

Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server Client Access License – You have a choice of these. You can either select per user or per device. If you have users who move about, connect from different locations on different devices then per user is probably best. If on the other hand you have three computers that access applications or desktops via Terminal services but 9 users that use these machines at different times it becomes obvious that per device is the way to go.

As I said, 9 times out of 10….

There is one more option available. If you wish to give access to your systems to business partners or customers then there is something called the External Connector License. This license is per server and alows unlimted connections. The licensing is strictly for users who are not employees of the company. The license is also not available for companies providing hosted solutions.

If you are using Citrix then Citrix licenses are required on top of the above. It is a common misconception that if you have Citrix then you don’t need Terminal server licenses or vice versa. This is not the case. All of the above AND the Citrix licenses would be required.

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