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Buying Windows Server 2008 for a simple domain

Posted on 2008-10-20
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
Hello everyone,

I got a quick question as this will be my first actual purchase of a server OS from Microsoft.   We are currently running an older version of windows server and I have some money left in the budget to upgrade it.  (I work for the local government).

The machine this is going to be installed on is nothing more than a domain controller.   It does do things like DNS and DHCP but it does not do any kind of application hosting or anything fancy.

Its nothing more than a domain controller to where I can control what the individual workstations do on their computers from a central location.  

My question is regarding CALs.   I am looking at server 2008 that comes with 5 CALs.   We have about 65 computers in here.   Would I have to purchase more CALs?    Im confused because I think of CALs as something that is needed for application hosting or terminal services.   If this machine is just going to be a domain controller....do I need CALs for every computer connecting to the domain?

Also, how do printers fall into this?   We have 4 network printers (TCP/IP).   Could I use the windows server 2008 as a print server for the workstations or do I need to buy CALs for that too?


Ive administrated over Windows Domains for a few years now but I have never had to actually purchase a server OS and I want to make sure I get the right thing without wasting money.   There is a huge difference in price when you start adding CALs so if I dont need them for a simple domain controller, I dont want to purchase them until there is a need.  
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Question by:0_Glyph_0
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Lee W, MVP earned 172 total points
ID: 22757845
You need them.  The server is providing account information and management for the computers.  You need to decide if you will go per server or per seat and then if per user or per device.  If you have CAL/Licensing questions, call Microsoft licensing and presales support:
(800) 426-9400
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by:Darius Ghassem
Darius Ghassem earned 164 total points
ID: 22757918
You would need to purchase a CAL for everyone that is logging in. You can purchase device CALs or user CALs. The thing is that 2008 server doesn't have a licensing module anymore. You don't have to put the licensing into the 2008 server. You just need the paperwork for auditing if MS asks for it.
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by:0_Glyph_0
ID: 22758062
Ah that sucks...

So I can buy the 5 cal version and TECHNICALLY attach as many as I want to it but if Microsoft catches me then im in trouble right?  


Well this is government so I need to do things by the book.   Thanks for the help
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by:tigermatt
tigermatt earned 164 total points
ID: 22759364

The Standard Editions of Windows Server software do not track CAL usage, but you MUST have the piece of paper with the appropriate number of CALs safely stored in the event you were ever audited, by Microsoft or some other authority who wanted to check up.

Just for info, if you were running SBS, or Terminal Services, these DO actively track your usage of CALs. Not having enough will simply wind up in the server refusing logins.

-tigermatt
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