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basic CAl licensing question

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hi,

If per user  CAL mode is selected for Server 2008, can you have concurrent sessions from different devices of the same user, and if yes, what would be the maximum number of connections/sessions? Just wanted to know if I have 5 CALs in per user mode and have 5 AD user accounts, can 20 people connect to the server at the same time using the same user account?

Thanks!
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Question by:rookie_b
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by:kevinhsieh
kevinhsieh earned 600 total points
ID: 34957474
Yes the same person can establish concurrent connections from multiple devices, but having multiple people using the same credential requires a CAL for each person or device. So in your situation if you have 20 different people connecting from 20 different devices at the same time you need some combination of user and device CALs that adds up to 20. If you have 20 people but only 10 devices you could use 10 device CALs as long as nobody accessed the network from any additional devices (home, mobile phones, personal laptops, etc.)
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Lee W, MVP earned 1400 total points
ID: 34957612
Put another way:

With PER USER CALs, each NAMED (as in a person's REAL name) user needs a CAL - you can't create one account and have 5 people use it and still be legal.
With PER DEVICE CALs, each DEVICE - computer, cell phone (assuming it's being authenticated to the domain for some reason), or any other device that would require domain based authentication from it will require a CAL.  In a circumstance where you have 20 people but 10 computers and people are only able/allowed to connect to the server from those 10 computers (they don't get web mail or other access to the server from home or something), then 10 DEVICE CALs should be sufficient.

You CAN Mix the CALs so, for example, you have a workshop with 10 laborers who only handle machinery and two of the machines require computers that are storing files on your network, then you can get a Device CAL for each (two total) and your 10 laborers are covered provided they never access the systems through any other machines.  Meanwhile, your office staff could each have USER CALs since they might need to work from home, get e-mail on their cell phones, etc.

And still another way - licensing is NOT by concurrent connections, it's by PEOPLE - EMPLOYEES - not accounts.  

(I'm not trying yell at you or accuse you of anything, merely trying to be as clear as I can for you and anyone else who may stumble upon this question).

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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