Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is the number one underreported SKU found in a compliance audit. It’s not deliberate, just misunderstood or simply bad licensing advice.
RDS is licensed by user (SAL) for SPLA customers. This means every user that HAS access would need a license. Let me provide an example. In the month of July you have a total of 150 users but only 100 of them actually logged in/used the software, so you report 100 users the first week of August. Makes sense, SPLA is pay as you go, month-month licensing. The problem is the other 50 users not reported. Since technically they have access (even though they didn’t use it) they would need to be reported. In the above example, you would be required to report 150 users. Imagine for a moment you went several years of reporting those that use the software instead of those that have access. Microsoft would more than likely require you to true up all underreported licenses! In a competitive market such as cloud computing, this could be detrimental to your business.
Make sure all applications that are installed using RDS is the same quantity reported. Office is a good example. One way they (Microsoft) checks compliance is verifying if service providers that report Office have the same amount of RDS licenses. In other words, if you report 10 Office licenses, you should report 10 RDS licenses. (don’t forget Windows server as well). Only exception would be if you install Office on a PC that you own, report Windows OS, and Office. Office in this example would be installed locally.
If you are new to the SPLA program and looking at RDS, remember to license all users that have access. Secondly, to install RDS, insert your SPLA agreement number in the licensing wizard, not a license key. To find your enrollment number, check out the acceptance notification email you would have received when you signed up. Your reseller also has this information.
Hope this helps, just my opinion