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Help determining number of CALS for Server 2008 R2 DataCenter?

Posted on 2010-09-13
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I've tried to go through two different reps and read a website talking about CAL's. I understand what a CAL is but not how to determine how many I need in our environment.

For example, I want to buy three copies of Server 2008 R2 DataCenter Edition with two proc licensing for use in our virtual environment. Inititally I'll have about 4 servers virtualized and 100 end users. Over the span of the next 3-12 months that will increase to roughly 40 VM's once conversion is finished.

Right now these virtual servers will be used for things like SQL, Mail Archiving, Accounting Software, File Server, etc. In the 3-12 months this will include domain controllers, exchange, print server, an all the other software departments use.
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Will Szymkowski earned 1600 total points
ID: 33661928
Sounds like you are unsure about exact numbers?

For every server you need a Server License. For every user/device you will need a CAL. For SQL (everything other then SQL Express) you will need a CAL for every user. If you will be using Terminal Services you will need the number of users that will be using Terminal Services.

Personally I would recommend using User CALS. This will allow 1 user to use multiple devices to connect to the server. Device CALS are tied to the client machine and are generally used more for Call Centers.

Example below...

40 VM Server 2008 Data Center = 40 Server Licenses

40 User connecting to Server 2008 Data Center = 40 User CALS (you will not need to get 40 CALs per server, you will only need 40 total if you have 40 users This is because 1 User can connect to multiple servers).

40 Users accessing SQL 2008 = 40 SQL CALS

40 Users using Exchange = 40 Exchange CALS

For example if you are going to install "exchange 2007" in your environment always purchase the latest CALS. So you if you were installed Exchange 2007 then purcahse Excange 2010 User CALS.

You want to do this because if/when you decide to upgrade to Excahange 2010 you have the CALS available. Latest CALS and backward compatible with older versions of the same software. This only applies to same software path.

Hope this helps~!
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by:Kini pradeep
Kini pradeep earned 300 total points
ID: 33663013
I would also want to add that if the server edition is data center then you may run an unlimited number of windows datacenter or any other edition of windows in a virtual environment on that server hardware. datacentre edition is one which is licensed on a per processor basis (similar to sql ) and not on a server lic. so if you have 2 physical processors ( could be any number of cores) you would need 2 proc licenses for the server + cals. The above cal explanation is quite detailed.
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by:Darius Ghassem
Darius Ghassem earned 100 total points
ID: 33663647
Here is the problem anyone on EE giving you CAL advice is giving you wrong information. CAL information can NOT be provided by experts on EE since we are not the licenser of the software like MS. If someone on EE gives you information on CALS then MS will laugh at you when the audit you and you say well I got the CAL information from an expert on EE. Advice when it comes to licensing is bad advice you should call MS or an authorized dealer of MS to get CAL infomation no ONE on EE is qualified to give you this information.

Please call MS.
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Author Closing Comment

by:First Last
ID: 33664098
Dariusg - Yes, I do understand that no one on EE is authorized by MS to give accurate information. I needed someone to give me a basic overview to get through the sales confusion. Now I understand what my reseller and the MS website is telling me.

Spec01 - I totally respect the information you gave me. You took what MS gives on their website and lowered it to my knowledge level regarding CALS. Now the MS website and reseller quotes I have I understand. They aren't exactly what we need so I will rework everything with them.

kprad - Thanks for your input. I did understand the benefits on Datacenter in a VM environment, but i'm sure people out there won't know this and will appreciate your input.
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