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Running Licensing Diagnosis on a Terminal Server

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The Licensing Diagnosis tool is now integrated into the Terminal Services Configuration MMC snap-in (TSConfig.msc). This tool on the terminal server, in conjunction with the TS Licensing Manager’s Review Configuration option on the License Server, can be useful in finding problems arising because of a misconfigured TS Licensing setup. The Diagnostic tool does not report all possible problems in all possible scenarios during diagnosis. However, it collates the entire TS Licensing information of Terminal Services and the License Servers at a single place and identifies common licensing configuration errors.

Upon launch of the Licensing Diagnosis tool, it first makes up a list of License Servers that the terminal server can discover via auto-discovery and also those that can be discovered via manual specification by using either the Use The Specified License Servers option in TSConfig.msc (registry-by-pass) or the Use The Specified Terminal Services License Servers Group Policy. It then contacts each License Server in turn to gather its configuration details, such as the activation state, License Key Pack information, relevant Group Policies, and so on. For this to work properly, we need to make sure that the Licensing Diagnosis tool has been launched with credentials that have administrator privileges on the License Servers. If needed, use the Provide Credentials option to specify appropriate credentials for each License Server individually at run time. Then the terminal server’s licensing settings-such as the licensing mode, Group Policies, and so on- are analyzed and compared, together with the License Servers information, to summarize common TS Licensing problems. A summary of diagnostic messages, with the possible resolution steps, is provided by this tool at the end of diagnosis.

We can understand how the tool can be used by considering some sample scenarios.

The terminal server has just been set up, and the licensing mode of the server has remained in Not Yet Configured mode. No other Licensing settings have been done on the TS, and a License Server has not been set up. Within the grace period of 120 days, TS has allowed connection to clients.

Past the grace period, the administrator observes that the clients are no longer able to connect. The administrator launches the diagnostic tool and finds that two diagnostic messages are reported. One message is that the TS mode needs to be configured to either Per-User or Per-Device mode, and the other is that no License Servers have been discovered on the terminal server. The administrator now sets the TS licensing mode to Per-Device mode using TSConfig.msc. (If the TS licensing mode is set up using the Set The Terminal Services Licensing Mode Group Policy, the Licensing tab in TSConfig.msc is disabled.) A License Server is also set up by the administrator in the domain. When rerunning the tool, it now reports that the License Server needs to be activated and License Key Packs of the required TS mode need to be installed on the License Server. And so on.

Case 2: Advanced Diagnosis Cases
The Terminal Services License Server Security Group Policy has been enforced on the domain. The administrator has not added the TS computer name into the Terminal Server Computers local group on the License Server. When the Licensing Diagnosis tool is launched, it displays a diagnostic message indicating that licenses cannot be issued to the given terminal server because of the Group Policy setting. This can be corrected by using the Review Configuration option in TS Licensing Manager to create the TSC group, and TS can be added to the group using the Local Users And Groups MMC snap-in.
If the License Server computer name is not a member of the Terminal Server License Servers local group in the Active Directory Domain Controller of the TS’s domain, peruser licensing and per-user license reporting will not work. In such case, when the Licensing Diagnosis tool is opened on TS, the Per-User Reporting And Tracking field in the License Server Configuration Details panel indicates that per-user tracking is not available. This can be corrected by using the Review Configuration option in TS Licensing Manager to add the License Server computer name into the Terminal Server License Servers group.

Case 3: License Server Discovery Diagnosis on the Terminal Server
During License Server setup, the administrator selected to install the License Server in the Forest Discovery Scope. But as the administrator ran the installation without the required Active Directory privileges, the License Server did not get published in the Active Directory licensing object. When the Licensing Diagnosis tool is launched on the TS, it is unable to discover the License Server. For diagnosing discovery problems, the administrator can initially specify the License Server by manually configuring it in the Use The Specified License Servers option in TSConfig.msc so that the License Server shows up in the diagnostic tool. When rerunning the Licensing Diagnosis tool, the administrator notices that the License Server’s discovery scope is visible in the License Server Configuration Details section. The discovery scope shows up as Domain Scope, instead of Forest Scope. This can be corrected by using the Review Configuration option in TS Licensing Manager and exercising the Change Scope option to set the License Server discovery scope to Forest Scope.

Case 4: Licensing Mode Mismatch Diagnosis
The terminal server is configured in Per-Device licensing mode, but the administrator has installed Per-User licenses on the License Server. On launching the Licensing Diagnosis tool, a diagnostic message shows that the appropriate type of licenses are not installed on the License Server, indicating a potential mode mismatch problem.

Source of Information : Introducing Windows Server 2008

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