Deploy Windows-based applications for remote access by thin-client PCs using Microsoft Terminal Services to secure and streamline the network.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

February 23, 2007

4 Min Read

Ingredients: Software

Microsoft Terminal Server 2003: The software to run Microsoft Terminal Services is already included with the Windows Server 2003 OS software. If this component was not installed at the time the OS was originally set up, you can add it by following these four steps:

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add or Remove Programs.

  2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.

  3. In the dialog box, select Terminal Server.

  4. Follow the instructions in the Windows Components Wizard.

Licenses: Client Access Licenses (CALs) for Microsoft Windows Terminal Server 2003 come in two types: Device CALs and User CALs. Which type of license should the system builder recommend for their customer? To help you decide, here's my rule of thumb: If the customer's organization has more users than devices, then propose Device CALs. That scenario would exist if you have multiple shifts of employees in an office using the same computers, for instance, or maybe a factory floor with a handful of computers used by a group of workers (each with their own user ID). On the other hand, if your customer's organization has more devices than users, then go for User CALs.

System builders can get up-to-date pricing on CALs from their authorized Microsoft distributor. Also check with your distributor for information to help with preparing a quote for your customer.

Here's how to install both Device CALs and User CALs:

  1. On the computer running Terminal Server Licensing, click Start, then Programs, Administrative Tools, and Terminal Server Licensing.

  2. Select the license server in the right pane. Then, on the Action menu, click Install, Licenses.

  3. Follow the steps in the Wizard for a successful installation of the CALs.

Technically speaking, the licenses for a Terminal Server are loaded onto what Microsoft calls a "License Server." In practical terms, it is generally OK to install the License Server service onto the same machine as the Terminal Services. But when the number of licenses installed becomes very large, you'll need a dedicated machine for the License Server.

Microsoft instructs users to install the License Server by performing the following four tasks:

  1. Click Start, then Control Panel. Double-click Add or Remove Programs.

  2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.

  3. In the dialog box, select Terminal Server Licensing.

  4. Follow the instructions in the Windows Components Wizard.

Your License Server won't be ready until it is activated. You can activate it during the installation process, or you can go back and activate it later.

Here are the five steps for activating a License Server that's already been installed:

  1. On the computer running Terminal Server License Server, click Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, and then Terminal Server Licensing.

  2. If the License Server has not been activated, in the console tree, right-click the Terminal Server License Server you want to activate.

  3. Click Activate Server to start the Activation Wizard.

  4. In the Activation method list, select Automatic connection (recommended). Then click Next.

  5. Follow the instructions in the Wizard.

Make sure your Terminal Server can detect your License Server, especially if it's a separate machine on the network. Now you should be ready to go.

One nice feature included with Terminal Services 2003 is the ability to support licenses from Windows 2000 Terminal Server and Windows 2003 Terminal Server. This will help if you need to migrate a network from older software.

System builders can also offer consulting services to potential clients, delivering proposals outlining the benefits and requirements of deploying a centralized network with Microsoft Terminal Services. For customers that do not have appropriate dedicated IT staff, the system builder might also fill this void with personnel who can travel to the customer's site and log billable hours for periodic maintenance and administration tasks.

For More Help: Helpful Microsoft Resources

Here are some related links for additional reading, and some support resources from Microsoft in the event you have a problem:

  • Microsoft Help and Support: If you need help and support from Microsoft, here's the official starting point. Microsoft Terminal Services: This is the main page for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services. Here, you can get access to related downloads, introductory overviews and licensing information. Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services Technology Center: Find help and support for Microsoft Terminal Services 2003. Microsoft Terminal Services Community: Find answers in newsgroups, locate Microsoft Terminal Services communities, join chats, and share tips with peers. If you need help with activating a License Server or installing and re-installing licenses, try calling the Microsoft Clearinghouse: tel. +1-888-571-2048. Be sure to call during U.S. weekday business hours, and have your license purchase agreement information on hand.

DAVID GILBERT is the owner of Appalachian Computer Systems, a West Virginia system builder that specializes in multiprocessor SCSI RAID servers.

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