Monday, January 22, 2007

MS: Setting Up Fault Tolerant Terminal License Servers

One activated license server can serve many terminal servers and Terminal Server users simultaneously. In large implementations of Terminal Services, you might want to deploy at least two licensing servers for fault tolerance. Terminal Server Licensing is not cluster-aware. However, you can improve fault tolerance for the license server by deploying two license servers per domain.

Choose two host servers for licensing and install all licenses on one license server; do not install any licenses on the backup server. The full server functions as the primary license server and can service all license requests. If the primary license server becomes unavailable, the backup license server can issue 90-day temporary license tokens to clients that need them. When the primary license server is back online, it replaces the temporary license tokens the next time the clients connect.

You can configure a Terminal Server to use a specific license server via the Terminal Server’s registry. Be careful though, because this registry edit is not like most others. In this case, rather than specifying a new registry value and then entering data, you have to create a new registry key (or “folder”). To do this, browse to the following registry location:


Add a new key called “LicenseServers.” Underneath the new LicenseServers key, create another key with the NetBIOS name of the license server that you want this Terminal Server to use. You don’t need to add any values or data under this new key.

Add multiple keys for multiple servers if you wish, although the Terminal Server will only communicate with one license server at a time. Once you’re done, reboot the server for it to take affect.

More info: and

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