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RDS CAL on 2019 Essential

Copper Contributor

Hello everyone, 


I have a question regarding licensing requirements.


I want to install Windows Server (it doesn't matter which version), to be used as a "remote desktop" for my users. I have an application that will be installed on this server, and it will host a file that acts like a database.


What I am looking for:

1- a couple of users will use remote desktop to the server (4-5 users). all accounts are created locally.

2- more than 2 users will be connected at the same time.

3- no active directory or any other service besides RDS.



I noticed that 2019 Essential for $501 doesn't require CALs. does this mean that 5 users can use the server using "remote desktop at the same time, without the need to buy RDS CALs? and all i need to pay is the 501 for the 2019 Essential license?



All the best

4 Replies

Remote Administration mode should only be used by administrators who need to perform administrative actions on the server appliance. If you are having regular users connect to the RDS environment to do their day-to-day job you should not use Remote Administration Mode, instead buy RDS cals.




Thanks @Dave Patrick 


So i will need : 
1- Windows Server Standard license

2- 5 CAL for users 

3- 5 RDS CALs 


Is this right? or i don't need the users' CALs

You're welcome. Legal licensing questions are better directed towards your reseller's trained licensing specialist or ask microsoft directly. Any anonymous forums replies (including my own) are opinions at best and in no way legally binding.

That being said these ones may also help.
or email volume licensing service.




Server 2019 essentials only allow 2 users at the same time , so you need the server 2019 standard or datacenter version , and get the windows server 2019 RDS Users , you can get both the server and RDS user cal from Microsoft partner online store, then you will have all your problems resolved