Seeking guidance on existing Windows RDS CALs on an ailing W2019 server.


My organization has two Windows Server 2019 VMware VM's running Remote Desktop Services. These servers are used by our remote users to access resources within our internal network. Our internal network is a Windows Active Directory environment which operates 100% independent from the company intranet. Each RDS server is configured with 25 per-user RD CALs, which were purchased and activated about 2 years ago. Both RDS servers are dual-homed between our internal network environment and the company intranet, both are joined to our internal Active Directory, and both are connected to the internet through the company intranet. Because they are networked like this, each RDS server acts as its own RD License Server.

Over the last month or so, one of the servers has begun experiencing issues where it becomes EXTREMELY slow to respond to logins, keystrokes, and mouse clicks. Launching tools and applications can take several minutes. It gets to the point where the Remote Desktop session (as well as VMware remote console sessions) becomes unusable. The only way to remedy the problem is to reboot (sometimes with a HARD reboot). After reboot, the server seems to run fine for a few days, but eventually the problem crops up again. After wading through countless events in Event Viewer, I haven't seen anything obvious that might be the cause. Oddly enough, Remote Desktop Gateway sessions seem to be completely unaffected when the server is experiencing these difficulties.

When I run into serious problems with Windows, I do not typically spend a lot of time troubleshooting. If I can't find a solution in a timely manner, I usually find it simpler to just rebuild Windows (depending on what the server is hosting of course). But, this is the first time I have used Remote Desktop CALs, so I'm not entirely sure how to handle this. RD CALs are not activated with a key like the OS and Office is. So I'm not sure what the best practice is for handling the CALs if I end up recreating the server from scratch.

If I end up needing to rebuild the server, my question is, should I migrate the 25 RD CALs to the other RD server before rebuilding, and then migrate them back when the rebuilt server is back up? Is this even necessary? Is there a better way I should handle the CALs?

Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2019
A Microsoft server operating system that supports enterprise-level management updated to data storage.
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Remote Desktop
Remote Desktop
A Microsoft app that connects remotely to computers and to virtual apps and desktops.
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  1. Dave Patrick 426.4K Reputation points MVP

    Some options discussed here to migrate the RDS Cals to the new license host.

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