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Visitor 1

How to Activate CALs distributed through CSP?

We are struggling to support customers who are trying to activate CALs distributed through CSP. There is no option for viewing key or any authentication code for the customer and could not find it as a Partner either. Also, during the activation Wizard, there is no drop down option for customers to choose CSP as their licensing platform, so we have been advising them to choose Retail License Pack, but without the key, cannot get this enabled. 


Does anyone have any insights that can help? 

Visitor 1

Good Afternoon Sir!

I am sure that you got the answer that you needed by now, but just in case you did not - I just spent a bunch of time figuring this out too.


The only type of per user CALs that I knew existed are the Remote Desktop Services per-user Client Access Licenses.  =


I looked in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, under Your Products - and I saw that there were (a specified number) of "Windows Server 2022 - 1 User CAL)"


It turns out that these are not actually RDS CALs.  They are what @KunalJade was saying.  Which I did not know was a thing.


For us it turned out that someone had ordered the wrong type of CALs, and we did not actually have RDS CALs in the portal.

@MrSmith87 : Yes, to access a Windows Sever, you need a Windows Server CAL. If you need to access RDS services on the server (or any other technology for hosting graphical user interface for remote users) you need a RDS CAL on top.  This requirements was just introduced in 2003/2004 with the release of Windows Server 2003 back then.

See here for whitepapers on common licensing scenarios Licensing Documents (microsoft.com) and here for the product terms for Windows Server: Microsoft Product Terms

Kind regards, Janosch
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Visitor 1

I am facing same problem. We had purchased Windows Server 2022 user cals through CSP. In 365 Admin Center - your products i can see my purchased windows server 2022 cals but no license key can be seen. Since its purchased through Cloud there has been no license no & authorization no for it. Please help how do i activate those cals on my Win Svr 2022 std.




For Windows Server CALs there is no key provided since in Windows Server there is no place to enter any key for CALs since Windows Server 2003, and there is no technical tracking of CALs. A Windows CAL is only something that the customer needs to have from a licensing perspective, the only time somebody would look for it would be in case of a license audit, where the customer then can show they own this product.


@SRamaswami1 Since you refer to an activation wizard - the only place where such a wizard appears is with regards to RDS CALs. While what I said above is true for Windows CALs, for Windows RDS CALs it is required to enter the key in the RD licensing manager and activate it (RDS User CALs are still not tracked from technical perspective though). 

However, it sounds that you did obtain only Windows CAL while you should have obtained Windows RDS CALS - I can confirm that for RDS CALS there are keys made available, both in Partner Center and in the M365 Admin Center of the customer. Choosing "Retail" pack for the RDS CAL key in CSP is the right option, this is something I can confirm as well.

Kind regards, Janosch
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Visitor 1


Thankyou for your inputs sir. Will explain you in details we had Windows Server 2022 - 1 User CAL - License 17 Purchased for Ncomputing Devices L300(17Nos). When installing vSpace Pro Enterprise 12 version software on a standalone Windows Server 2022 Std (not belonging to Active Directory domain) the Remote Desktop Services will be automatically enabled during vSpace Server installation. Now after installing RDS its showing 120 days grace period popup when ever i restart the server. Now want to know what do i need to do to activate RDS. DO i need to purchase RDS cals (17Qty) extra and activate in RD License Manager. Then what will be the role of User cal (17Qty) purchased as you said we can't activate it.