Are CAL's Needed for File Shareing....

Posted on 2011-10-05
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I'm Doing a fresh install of a server which has gone corrupt and need help figuring out something about the cals.  The way this server is being used... is that my clients on startup map a drive from a shared forlder on the server.  Ex. \\Server\folder is mapped to N: drive once the software is installed on the client computers we erase the shortcut to the software and we replace it with a shortcut that point to the same executable located ont he server (by way of this mapped drive).  So the software seems to be running on the client but being accessed from the server through the mapped drive.  Im this installation has only 5 cals and i have like 15 people using this software on their machines... Does file sharing require cals or are cal's specifically for when people log on to the system at the same time??

They all are on the domain and the main domain controller has more than enough calls to share... :) please EE share some light on me.  
Question by:Osram34
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    CAL's are Client Access Licenses - and refers to all kinds of access, including file server access.  CAL's are unfortunately not concurrent - and you need either the number of CAL's for each user that will access the system, or for each computer that will access the system.  The licenses are perpetual, so if you buy it now, you do not need to renew it unless you change the server operating system - you'll need new CAL's then.
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    I should probably mention that if you changed this file share to be sitting on a NAS - then you would not require a CAL for that.  Hint hint.
    LVL 41

    Expert Comment

    You can do licensing on a per server or per user or device basis. Licensing on a per user or device usually makes the most sense. Let us say that you have 25 people in the organization that logon to the domain. That is a need for 25 user CALs. They can access as many servers as you want with those same 25 CALs (as long as the version of the CALs are correct); adding more servers does not require more CALs. You could have 50 Windows file servers and you would still need only the 25 CALs. In the Windows 2003 setup it asks you what type of licensing to use, and the default is per server where the CALs are assigned to the server and not the users or devices. Switch that to the other and you are within the Microsoft licensing agreement as long as you have enough CALs for everyone.

    Author Comment

    kevinhsieh: So the cals that are installed on the domain controller are the most important??? I have about 60 cals on the main dc and all servers are on the domain as well as the clients.  When someone logs on to the domain (on the client) they lease a cal and are able to share files on whatever server needed without requiring another cal?  
    LVL 41

    Accepted Solution

    Yes, you are good as long as you have enough CALs for all users. Normally User CALs make the most sense. So, if you have <=60 PEOPLE (not login IDs, but actual humans) you are fine. If you have CALs "assigned" to various different servers, you can pool them all together if you change the licensing from per-server to per-seat. You should covert all licensing to per-seat.

    This article hopefully helps to explain the licensing

    How to change from Per Server licensing to Per Seat licensing

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