MS Office License requirements in RDP environment

Posted on 2011-04-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am looking for some help in understanding and clarifying license requirements for Office 2010. The scenario is as follows:

-      Company has 15 remote workers who will be connecting remotely to the office
-      Server is SBS 2011 and premium add on will be introduced to add RDS role
-      They have office presently on several desktops

In order to control access and use of company resources (software and resources) all remote users will remote in to the office. Is there a special Office version that needs to be purchased to allow for use on an RDP server? Or can regular office be used?

Are RDS CAL and Client Access CAL’s required for the users in a SBS 2011 Standard with RDP server solution?
Question by:sergio3986
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    The only version of Office that can be installed on a Terminal Server / Remote Desktop Server is a Volume License version.  It sounds like you'll likely need to purchase 15 copies of Office from a vendor capable of selling Volume Licenses.

    I would NOT purchase the SBS 2011 Premium Add-On UNLESS you expect to use Microsoft SQL server.  You can purchase a STANDARD copy of Windows Server 2008 R2 for about 35% less.

    RDS CALs are REQUIRED either by Device or by HUMAN User (doesn't matter if they would log in under the same account or not and it is NOT for concurrent users - even if only 5 would ever be connected at once, each of the 15 needs their own RDS CAL given the scenario you describe).

    Each user will also need an SBS 2011 Standard Client Acccess License.

    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).  
    LVL 24

    Assisted Solution

    by:Sekar Chinnakannu

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the replies. So it is exactly as I thought ti was, I just needed that reassurance and confirmation from the Experts here on Experts Exchange :)

    So the SBS 2011 Premium is only $400 when added to a  new server purchase from Dell that comes with SBS 2011 standard.

    Do you still think it is better to buy Win 2k8 R2 separate? or is adding the premium, drop in the box as they call it on the dell site, for $400.00 a good deal and option?
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    You don't say what server, but READ CAREFULLY.  If you want SBS - with Exchange - then READ CAREFULLY.  The following is cut-and-paste from the T110 II on Dell's web site:

    Microsoft®SBS2011 Premium Ed,Drop In the Box,Requires SBS2011 STD Domain [add $1,489.00]
    Windows Server® 2008 R2, Standard Edition, Includes 5 CALS [add $799.00]
    Microsoft® Small Business Server 2011, Standard Edition, Factory Installed [add $1,089.00]

    NOTE: "Requires SBS2011 STD Domain" - clarify with Dell, but I'm 99% certain this means it REQUIRES YOU ALREADY HAVE SBS 2011 Standard.  Which means, it's an additional $1500 (or so) vs. Standard Edition of regular Windows Server which is only $800.


    Author Comment

    Hmmm....very good point, it says you need SBS 2011 STD  but it does not give you the option to select it. i thought ti was just an add on drop in box install disc...going to contact our Dell rep, but yes I think you are correct. And if that is the case then for sure there is no need for the premium add-on for the RDSH role.

    We are looking at the T310. But I am now questioning if it will be enough seeing as it only has one CPU option. We where planning on 16gigs of RAM, and SBS 2011 in a VM and the RDSH in a VM. Not sure if that server will be powerful enough

    Thanks for pointing that out.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    I believe what dell is offering is to sell you the premium add-on and pre-install the "second server" for you.  They assume you already have SBS installed.

    Also, if you want to virtualize, you really need to purchase a volume license - Most (if not all) OEM licenses do not permit you to run them in virtual machines.  (I admit, I'm not 100% certain on the server sides, but when it's pre-installed, it's pre-installed) you really should check with MS on this.  Keep in mind my disclaimer

    Author Comment

    Thanks Savant

    Our Dell rep just clarified, and indeed it is a seperate purchase or it is assumed you have SBS 2011 STD already.

    This licensing clarification and understanding of all the various components is unbelievable. Thanksagain, I will clarify the VM issue now.

    Thanks again. Unreal, almsot a whole day spent trying to clarify, OS/Office and now Virtualization license requirememnts and the purchasing of

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