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User CAL confusion

Posted on 2006-11-12
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Last Modified: 2008-03-10
I am confused about simultaneous logins with USER CALS (Server 2003).   If a user logs in twice to a server from two different workstations, does that count as two users?  If a company has 5 users and 20 computers and the users will be logged into the server from different computers simultaneously, do they need more then 5 USER CALS?
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Question by:pbadra
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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 17927832
There are user CAL's and devices CAL's. If you are using device CAL's and you have 20 computers you will need 20 CAL's, if you are using user CAL's and you have 5 users you only need 5 CAL's. They can log on to multiple computers, and even simultaneously. However, to do so on multiple systems to try to avoid licensing requirements is still a licensing violation. Much of Microsoft licensing is an honor system and finding ways around it does not eliminate your liability.
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by:pbadra
ID: 17933942
I was specifically referring to USER CALS.  So, if John Doe is logged in twice from two different computers to the same server, is that considered a licensing violation?  
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 17934044
That will work fine and I see no licensing violation there. Often you will have a desktop user connect his laptop or similar situation. It is a pretty gray area, but some folks have tried using the same user name for all workers with the idea that that is only 1 user CAL. That is obviously not staying within the intent of the licensing.
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Author Comment

by:pbadra
ID: 17934149
You certainly have answered my question.  Therefore, I accepted your intial answer, thank you very much.  This brings me to another question, if a second server is added and joined to the domain and per user/device mode is chosen and there are still 5 users and 20 computers and If all 5 users are logged into the domain and utilizing resources from both servers, is that still considered 5 USER CALS?  
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 17934590
If in per user/per device mode (formerly per seat) you are still OK. Only if you had chosen per server mode would you need additional CAL's to access the second server. This is so long as it is a similar type of server. An Exchange, Terminal, BizTalk or other server requires different CAL's.

Thanks pbadra,
--Rob
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