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How many users can connect to Windows Server 2003?

Posted on 2004-10-12
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
i.e. i know with the small business server there's a limit of 75 users...

are there any limits in win2k3 standard editoin?

Also - there's technical limits and licensing limits.... if there are no technical limits - how many CALs do I get when i purchase win2k3 standard edition?

I want to deploy it on a network with about 30 machines mainly doing file serving print serving and acting as a internet gateway.  I'll also be running an email server on it for those roughly 30 users.  Next year we'll be joining a much larger active directory setup - so thats why i'm not going for small business server - b/c as i understand it it hs to be the root of the active directory tree it belongs to.  Is that right?
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Question by:kenshaw
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rhandels earned 1500 total points
ID: 12292330
Hi,

If you use the standard edition (or enterprise or higher version) the amount of users will be unlimited (technically speaking that is). Normally, if you purchase W2K3 server you receive 5 CAL's. You will need to purchase extra CAL's for more users or computers (depends on the fact if you are going to use user or device CAL's) that need to join the domain and contact the W2K3 server.

Just a small note. CAL's on the standard edition are nothing more than a piece of paper. If you don't have the proper licenses, you will still be able to work (only if the coming for a license check, then you have a problem). So just keep in mind that these licenses can be bought fairly easy, you don't need to have them to be able to work...
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by:kenshaw
ID: 12292442
right - so when i get the pc i'll have 5 CAL's and then i'll have to purchase enough to support 30 users - is that right?

does a user connecting to a network'd shared drive count as a user?  i.e. do they need a CAL?
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by:What90
ID: 12292917
Hi kenshaw,

Basically, any Machine/User that connects to a Windows service on a server (in your domain) needs a license. So a user accessing a network shared drive in a domain structure would require a CAL.
The 30 licenses will cover your needs. Just as rhandels mentioned, just buy the other 25 CAL for the folks you got the server cd from or any other supplier.
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by:rhandels
ID: 12295068
Hi,

Totally agree with What90 on this one... A lot of people tend to forget that you need CAL's to connect to the server...
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by:nalanbar
ID: 12303143
But it is connection based. The CAL is used when you are activly using a resource. If you have 30 people on the network with a network drive mapped, but not activly open, you are using 0 cals. If you have on open the directory, and one print to a printer served from the server, you are using two licenses. ONce the print job is done, you are back down to one license used.
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by:rhandels
ID: 12305527
Hi nalanbar,

Maybe i'm wrong cause Microsoft licenses are a bit tricky, but i disagree with you.

If you set up the license on your server as per seat, you will need to have CAL's for either a specified amoun of users or computers. If they are going to connect to the server (at any given time) they will need to have a CAL. Second of all, if you use per seat and you bought a CAL you can connect to as many servers as you please with this one CAL.
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by:nalanbar
ID: 12306653
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/howtobuy/licensing/caloverview.mspx
They have changed the way CALS work since Server 2k
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