CAL question

I have some more questions about server 2000/2003 CAL's.  Will not have enough user CAL's cause a connection problem to the server with file sharing and/or any database programs?  Or are CAL's just for legalities?  Also, If I buy server 2003 user CAL's for my server 2000, do I need to contact Microsoft or do anything special? Or do I just put the numbers into the 2000 server and it will work.
Sean RhudyPresidentAsked:
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PeteJThomasCommented:
Hi Sean,

The licenses are just for legalities as far as i'm aware... It's also worth noting that licenses are 'backwards compatible', so in my case we were installing Exchange 2003, but we purchased Exchange 2007 CALs, because they are ok to use with 2003, and it means you don't have to purchase 2007 licenses when it comes to upgrading again.

I've definitely exceeded my CALs briefly in the past, with no ill effects. I just purchased enough for legal reasons as soon as I noticed! :)
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aloyd18Commented:
You need one CAL per user.  Not sure what you're asking about file sharing and database programs.  You cannot use 2003 CALs with MS 2000.  MS 2000 is no longer supported I believe, you should defiantly update to 2003.
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PeteJThomasCommented:
Just to clarify my point before we get our wires crossed -

At the time we migrated to 2003, 2007 had only just been released. Hence we chose to go down a more 'proven' route. I was advised by our supplier (a very reliable source) that as it is not often that someone choses to upgrade to a version of software when an even later version has already been released, that there is an extra option -

This option was to purchase 2007 CALs, to use with Exchange 2003. Apparently this is perfectly legal, and saves you money in the long run, as when (or if) you should decide to upgrade again (to 2007) all you would need is the media pack and the server licenses.

I think in the case aloyd18 is talking about, you can't do this for versions of the software that MS no longer support. So it depends what version you are upgrading to...

Please ask if you need further clarification, i'm not brilliant at getting what I mean into words sometimes... :)
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aloyd18Commented:
Yeah, I've heard of CAL compatibility for 2003 / 2007.  I'm not sure if this requires software assurance or not.  CALs can be quite tricky, especially when taking over for someone who didn't manage them well.
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PeteJThomasCommented:
The way it was described to me, this option was instead of software assurance - Software assurance is more for use when a later version of the software hasn't yet been released... I'll see if I can find some online material to back this up...

And again, back to part of your original question, (hopefully if I explain it differently aloyd might be able to corroborate) - CALs are a legal issue only, and having too few of them for the actual amount of Exchange users would not cause any actual connection issues to the Exchange server.

So it would still run fine, but it would make you a target for the MS lawyers... :)
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