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SBS 2003 CALs

Posted on 2010-11-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We have a customer who has installed Standard SBS User CALs on a Premium installation of SBS 2003.
This is obviously not correct, and we're surprised it even worked, but does anyone have practical experience of the consequences?  
Should they expect difficulties?  What is the best resolution to this.
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Question by:SimonShaw
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by:Pete Long
ID: 34187246
>>What is the best resolution to this.

Speak to the clearinghouse at Microsoft Licencing they will have this sorted in no time - in fact you will wait in a phone queue longer than it will take to fix,
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Rob Williams earned 50 total points
ID: 34187390
There is no problems using premium CAL's, they are just more expensive. You can mix premium and regular CAL's. It is just that Premium CAL's are needed for users that also need to connect to the SQL database available with premium.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34188548
Rob, are you sure?  As I understood 2003 CALs, 2003 CALs must be all Premium on the Premium version.  That changes in 2008, but for 2003, I was pretty sure that's the case.  In which case, the only option is to buy the correct CALs and discard the incorrect ones.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34188592
I only recently learned of this but fairly sure. I would never say positive with Microsoft licensing :-)  You could install both on the same box and you had to have sufficient premium CAL's to cover SQL users. There is no difference in the SBS box of SBS std and premium, it is only the licensing and the add-ons.
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by:SimonShaw
ID: 34188785
Rob's solution sounds right because it is consistent with the facts as I understood them.
A bit of additional (but confusing) info has come to light - that these were bought as SBS 2008 CALs since they could no longer get SBS 2003 CALs, but they are downwardly compatible.  I now have a view of these on the VLSC and in fact they are not labelled either Premium or Standard.  Can this be confirmed in some other way?  (Should that be a separate question?)
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34188974
I try to post this with any licensing question I participate in:

DISCLAIMER: Licensing advice offered here is a "best effort" and based on the understanding of the respondents. Licenses can change and we may not be aware of these changes or may misunderstand them. Further, licenses can differ by country and/or region and what we understand to be true in our region could be false in your region. "they told me on Experts-Exchange" will not be a valid defense in a software audit.  All licensing questions should be confirmed with the appropriate licensing authority (the maker of the software/issuer of the license).  
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 34190362
I have to admit Lee a quick Google does not return any confirmation of being able to buy std 2003 CAL's for users that do not require SQL access. 2008 does state the following:  "customers who need CALs only to access the SBS 2008 Standard technologies can use the SBS CAL Suite. Customers who need CALs to access SBS 2008 Standard and SBS 2008 Premium technologies can mix and match the SBS CAL Suite and SBS CAL Suite for Premium Users or Devices to achieve the most cost-effective CAL package."
http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/faq.aspx

However:
-I have in SBS discussions seen this confirmed by SBS ITpros, which is not gospel
-if anything you are over licensed
-they install and activate
-therefore I would say in a Microsoft audit you have certainly made a reasonable attempt to be compliant

If you buy CAL's through volume licensing it will show the downgrade CAL's as well as current. It should also show std or premium. If there is no premium indication they are likely std CAL's.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34191481
If we were talking about 2008, we'd have no issue - I'd be confident you are correct - that you can mix and match.  But in 2003, I am fairly certain (but clearly not positive) the CALs had to match the version.
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