How to license a server in a colo.

Posted on 2009-05-06
Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I want to put a Server in a colo that will hold some office documents such as word, excel etc. I also want an Exchange 2007 Server. I will have about 80 users accessing email either by VPN, RPC over HTTP or using 2x over Terminal Services.

How would I buy licenses? Could I take only the 5 that comes with the Server and license it via machine and that way I could have as many users as possible and then only have to buy terminal server licenses?

Also, could I just use an SBS2k8 machine and 1 Terminal Server. Then license it via machine so that I could have my 80 users and not but any more user or machine licenses and just buy TS licenses?

Question by:aando
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

OriNetworks earned 50 total points
ID: 24320222
Licensing in a colo is the same as if it were on your own network. It doesnt matter where the server is physically located.

Author Comment

ID: 24320326
Yes and no. If you license it via "Computer" and there are only two pc's on the physical network and 100 remote users then all I should need is the 5 licenses the server comes with. That is how it worked on SBS2k3. However, I have not done 2k8.
LVL 65

Accepted Solution

Mestha earned 150 total points
ID: 24320744
That was incorrect.
If you have 100 remote users then you need 100 CALs.
What you did before may have worked, but if you had been audited then you would have failed.

The above answer is as correct as anyone on this site can give you. The only people can provide you with an answer that you can base a business decision on is Microsoft. You will need to call them.

80 users is too much for SBS 2008, which is limited to 75.
If you have 80 users then you will need 80 WINDOWS CALs, 80 Exchange 2007 CALS and if they are all accessing via TS, 80 TS CALs. The only difference would be if they are not accessing at the same time, when you could use system CALs. However TS licensing is not done on the straight machine license. You are not valid for a single license of Office just because it is on TS (if you were, then everyone would be on TS servers and MS would be losing a lot of money).

Remember the rules on MS license.

1. Ask Microsoft for licensing information, and ask more than once.
2. Get it in writing.
3. The most expensive option will be the correct one.

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LVL 19

Assisted Solution

BLipman earned 300 total points
ID: 24321546
Mestha is correct, I have researched this many times over the years.  If you use SQL Server from a Terminal Server session, for example, you may say "only one machine connects to SQL, you can see that in the Activity Monitor...that is one SQL CAL".  That is not correct.  The use is at the user level which is where the CAL applies, not at the terminal server.  Here is a quote from Microsoft on Office Licensing:

Microsoft Office as a client on Windows Terminal Services
The terminal services technology of Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server and Microsoft Windows Server" 2003 can deliver the Windows desktop, as well as Microsoft Office 2003, to virtually any desktop computing device, including those that cannot run Windows. When a user runs Office 2003 through Windows Terminal Services, all of the application execution takes place on the server  only the keyboard, mouse, and display information are transmitted over the network to the client computer.

If you elect to deploy Office 2003 as a client on a Windows Terminal Servicesenabled computer, you will need to acquire one license for each client computer that makes use of the Microsoft Office System. For more information about Windows Terminal Services licensing, consult the following: Windows 2000 Terminal Services Licensing FAQ, or Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server Licensing.

Unfortunately Microsoft has thought this out well.  There are no loopholes here.  You can (and many do) get away with it but that is illegal plain and simple.  Trust me on this, I quote hundreds of thousands of dollars in Microsoft products every couple of weeks for the implementation of our software package.  User CALs are per user and Device CALs are counted where the keyboard plugs in.  

That said, I never tell anyone to actually listen to me.  I tell everyone what my opinion is, provide any documentation I can, and then refer everyone to Microsoft.  Sometimes these things are too complicated, you see, if it were simple you wouldn't be tempted to err on the side of caution and over-license yourselves willingly.  

Now one thing that can help is this, certain Office licensing provides for access via terminal services.  For example, I believe if you have an Open or Select license for MS Office on your desktop, you don't need a separate license to run it on a terminal server; it is an extension of your licensed use.  If you owned OEM or Retail Office you may not have this right Microsoft.  

Author Comment

ID: 24324701
Ok. One last comment and question and then I will concede. Why then do they allow you to license the SBS via device or user? How is this different from having a office with only 10 computers but have 30 users. 10 on each shift. I still have 30 people that can log in and use the system but I only had to buy for the 10 computers?

Thanks for the replies. I do not want to be illegal and this is why I have posted to make sure. Reading Microsofts licensing is like reading Blackmans Law book. Boring and difficult.
LVL 19

Assisted Solution

BLipman earned 300 total points
ID: 24327028
Let's take your Per Device example:
-you have one SBS server and 10 CALs plus 10 TCALs
-you buy one copy of Office, one copy of Acrobat Pro, and have everyone coming into the server via TS
-you also load SQL 2005 Standard and have Office connecting to SQL DBs

From the perspective of Office, there is one device that runs it, from the perspective of SQL, one device is making ODBC connections.  
-how are your users connecting to the terminal server though?  You probably have a bunch of Windows XP machines running RDP.  That is where the license is counted, not at the server.    

Same with IIS: you have a website that allows users to query a SQL DB and the SQL server is running SQL 2005 Standard (not express), how many SQL CALs do I need?  One for every web user, not just one device CAL for the web server.  

Your example of shift workers or developers is fine though:

10 developers wtih 4 PCs each, they have Per User licensing, fine, you buy 10 user CALs
100 workers on 4 shifts using 25 computers each shift, that is ok with 25 device CALs

110 users at the same time running Office on a single terminal server, you need 110 office licenses

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