When using XenDesktop 7.0 with a hosted shared desktop or app publishing scenario you will have to install a vda-agent onto the Windows Server to be able to publish apps or shared desktops.
During the install there is no check for existence of a RDS licensing server. In theory you can use the 120 day evaluation period to test with. But what when you’re done testing and want to make it permanent by adding RDS licensing?
Using Windows Server 2008 R2 or earlier is pretty straightforward. Because the Windows Server 2008 R2 RDS licensing in my case already existed, even with older Windows Terminal services licensing, there was no need for a evaluation period.
Windows Server 2012 RDS is another story, this gives some extra headaches. Because we’re using Citrix as a connection broker we don’t have a complete Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Deployment in place.
First we need to add a RD licensing server role because this is the first Windows Server 2012 RDSH in the environment. So far so good.
Second we need to activate the license server, this succeeded too.
Next we need to assign the license server to the RDSH server and make sure the right licensing mode is used (we use PerUser licensing).
This is where the problems arise. Microsoft assumes you use a complete Remote Desktop Services deployment including a RD broker. Therefor you cannot set the properties of a RDSH via the GUI (with Server Manager) or through command line (with PowerShell) as shown in the screenshots below.
How to solve it?
To set the correct license server and the mode it is operating in, we need to use a (local) group policy or change it directly in the registry.
The group policy setting the Remote Desktop licensing mode is located in:
Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Licensing
This can be configured by using either the Local Group Policy editor or the Group Policy Management console.