Activating a Terminal Services License Server

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

A Terminal Services license server must be activated in order to certify the server and allow the license server to issue Terminal Services client access licenses (TS CALs). You can activate a license server by using the Activate Server Wizard in the TS Licensing Manager tool.

There are three methods by which you can activate your license server:

  • Internet (Automatic) This method requires Internet connectivity from the computer running TS Licensing Manager. Internet connectivity is not required from the license server itself. This method uses TCP/IP (TCP Port 443) to connect directly to the Microsoft Clearinghouse.

  • Web You can use the Web method when the computer running TS Licensing Manager does not have Internet connectivity, but you have access to the Web by means of a Web browser from another computer. The URL for the Web method is displayed in the Activate Server Wizard.

  • Telephone The telephone method allows you to talk to a Microsoft customer service representative to complete the activation process. The appropriate telephone number is determined by the country/region that you choose in the Activate Server Wizard and is displayed by the wizard.

When you activate the license server, Microsoft provides the server with a limited-use digital certificate that validates server ownership and identity. Microsoft uses an X.509 industry standard certificate for this purpose. By using this certificate, a license server can make subsequent transactions with Microsoft.

If a license server is not activated, the license server can only issue temporary TS Per Device CALs, which are valid for 90 days, or TS Per User CALs.

Additional references