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Used Windows server licensing

Posted on 2009-07-13
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Last Modified: 2013-12-05
we have small business network with 25 or so users, running off of 3 Windows 2000 servers.  They are not ready to buy an all encompassing server solution to replace what they have, but disk space and other items are getting limited and 1 idea is to look for a used or refurbished windows server, probably 2003, and join it to the domain and set it up and then move certain programs and files to it as needed, but not replace any of the others yet.  What kind of software or licenses would they need to add this server, just the one for the server or would they need more cals for the users to access it?  Would it depend on what license package the previous owner had on it if they were to buy one from someone else?
thanks,
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Question by:IndyNCC
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 24846983
IT's going to be difficult to find used licenses - OEM licenses are legally locked to the hardware they came with.  Retail licenses aren't usually purchased.  Volume Licenses are locked to the company they are sold to.  Further, you would need new Client Access Licenses if you introduce a 2003 server - 25 of them (well, 20 since the server comes with 5).  A better solution might be to add new drives to an existing server.
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by:IndyNCC
ID: 24848943
That's what I was afraid of, so even if it is not the domain controller or exchange server we would still have to get a license for each user for that server if we were going to use it even if it was just to store files or run some programs, correct?
thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 24851516
If you were storing files, you would DEFINITELY need the CALs.  IF you were running some programs that did NOT get used by your users (for example, if the server "reached out" and picked up data from another server and then did something to "crunch" that data and spit it back out, then MAYBE you wouldn't need the CALs.  But, I need to be clear on this - THE LICENSING ADVICE I AM PROVIDING IS MY OPINION BASED ON MY UNDERSTANDING AND EXPERIENCE - YOU SHOULD CONTACT MICROSOFT'S LICENSING AND PRE-SALES SUPPORT TO VERIFY ANY LICENSING ADVICE I GIVE!
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Author Comment

by:IndyNCC
ID: 24851660
Thanks will do if our client decides they want to pursue this.  Do you know if it matters if they have server 2000 now (3 of them) if they were to get a used 2000 server to store files would they still need the cals or would it make a difference since they already run that OS? as opposed to 2003 which would be new to their network?
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 24851894
Depends on how they are licensed - MOST LIKELY they are licensed PER USER or PER DEVICE - if that were the case, they wouldn't need any additional licenses.  If they are licensed PER SERVER (not very common nowadays), then they would.
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by:IndyNCC
ID: 24851913
thanks we'll have to check thanks for your help.
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