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Windows Server 2003 licensing question - CALs

Posted on 2011-02-26
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I just took over six Windows 2003 Server boxes and have a question about licensing.

We have two boxes that are running as Domain Controllers, DHCP, and DNS.  Two servers running as file servers.  One server running as a TS server.  One server running as an "update" server for our AV solution.

I'm assuming we should have one user CAL for each AD user.  What I'm not sure of is do we need one user CAL per user for the entire domain, or one CAL for each user per machine?

For example, we have 30 users and they all access all six machines in some way or another.  So we need only 30 CAL licenses for the domain or do we need 180 CALs (30 users accessing 6 different servers).

Any help is appreciated.
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Question by:ClayShooter
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Lee W, MVP earned 167 total points
ID: 34990296
It should be one per USER, period.  In 2000 and NT4, you had licensing per server and per seat... per seat was USER or Device, server was, well server.

I don't THINK 2003 and later supports per server licensing.  But in your case, you should be good with one CAL per user.

That said... 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:kevinhsieh
kevinhsieh earned 167 total points
ID: 34990474
Per server mode licensing is still available, but it's a pretty unique situation where it makes more sense to do per server instead of per user and/or per device.

In this case, per user Windows CALs would be 30. The Terminal Server also requires CALs. The default licensing for TS Server is per device, but per user is also available and may be cheaper becasue you could have 30 users accessing from 60 different devices (30 computers in the office and everyone from a personal computer would be 60 devices).

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/client-licensing.aspx
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by:Toxacon
Toxacon earned 166 total points
ID: 34990629
The amount and type of CALs (Client Access Licenses) depends on how the users will be accessing the servers.

If you have one workstation for each user and they might use home workstations as well, then 30 per user CALs is the choice for you. If you have 10 workstations for 30 users and there aren't any additional workstations accessing the services, then 10 per device CALs is suitable for you.

Briefly:
- With User CALs, the amount of users is fixed but they can use as many devices they wish.
- With Device CALs, the amount of devices is fixed, but they can be used by as many users as needed.

One Windows Server User CAL per user is sufficient for entire domain for accessing all domain members for authentication + network and file services. If you have other services like Exchange, SQL or Terminal/Remote Desktop, you need to buy their own CALs. For example, SQL Server is licensed Per User or Per (Physical) Processor.
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