Terminal Server Licensing grace period

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Terminal Server Licensing grace period

To allow ample time for you to deploy a Terminal Server license server, Terminal Server provides a licensing grace period, during which no license server is required. During this grace period, a terminal server can accept connections from unlicensed clients without contacting a license server. The grace period begins the first time the terminal server accepts a client connection. It ends after you deploy a license server and that license server issues its first permanent client access license (CAL), or after 120 days, whichever comes first. For information about the client licenses that are supported by a license server that runs Windows Server 2003 family operating systems, see Required licenses.

The license server issues CALs to the terminal server, which in turn issues them to clients. In order for a license server to issue permanent CALs, you must activate the license server and then purchase and install the appropriate number of permanent CALs. For information about how to activate a license server, see Activate a Terminal Server License Server. For information about how to purchase CALs, see Purchase client access licenses. If a license server is not activated, it issues temporary licenses. These temporary licenses allow clients to connect to the terminal server for 90 days. There is no limit to the number of temporary licenses that a license server can issue, but a single client is only issued a temporary license once. After the temporary license expires, the client can only connect to the terminal server if the license server can issue a permanent CAL, or if the terminal server is still within its licensing grace period.

Terminal Server Licensing modes determine the type of CAL that a license server issues to a client. In Windows Server 2003, two types of CALs are available: Per User and Per Device. A Per Device CAL gives each client computer or device the right to access a terminal server that is running Windows Server 2003. A Per User CAL gives one user the right to access a terminal server from an unlimited number of devices. In this case, only one CAL is needed instead of a CAL for each device.

By default, when the Per Device licensing mode is used, after a client logs and authenticates to a terminal server for the first time, and after the terminal server locates a license server, the terminal server issues the client a temporary license. After a client logs on and authenticates to a terminal server for the second time, if the license server is activated and at least one Per Device CAL is installed on the license server and not yet issued, the terminal server issues the client a permanent, Per Device CAL. Per User CALs are not monitored by Terminal Server. This means that even though there is a Per User CAL in the license server database, the Per User CAL is not decremented when it is used. Additionally, if you use the Per User licensing mode, when a client logs on to a terminal server for the second time, the temporary license is not upgraded to a permanent CAL.

For each permanent Per Device CAL that is issued, an expiration period is applied. This expiration period is a random number of days between 52 to 89 days after the license is issued. The terminal server always attempts to renew these CALs seven days before they expire. This functionality facilitates the automatic recovery of Per Device CALs that are lost due to hardware failure, operating system reinstallation, and other, similar events. For more information about the expiration period for Per Device CALs and about recovering CALs, see Recovering client access licenses on a Terminal Server license server.

For more information about Terminal Server and Terminal Server Licensing, see Guidelines for Deploying Terminal Server (https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=34627) and Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server Licensing (https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=26220).