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User CALs or Device CALs...which should I use?

Posted on 2012-03-31
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Last Modified: 2012-04-04
I have setup a Windows Server 2008 server with Terminal Services. I want to connect 8 thin clients to that server but they will all use the same username to log in? Which kind of CALs should I buy and how many? Can I just get 1 User CAL or do I need to buy 8 Device CALs?
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Question by:itadminnek
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9 Comments
 
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awaggoner earned 500 total points
ID: 37791884
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Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 37791910
If you will have different people sitting at those thin clients, device cals all day
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Author Comment

by:itadminnek
ID: 37791971
I already bought 5 Per User CALs...can I just install them as Per Device CALs? Or is that illegal?
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Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 37792050
If you have per user cals they are good for one username each. That user can login from anywhere on any device and how many users you have is entirely on the honor system.

Sharing usernames is not allowed.

Remember we are not Microsoft. If you want their opinion, they are happy to take your call (and money)
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 37792082
Microsoft does not charge for calls to verify the licensing you need. Microsoft only charges for technical support and then, at least if you ask, only if the solution was otherwise publicly available.

Microsoft does not license by concurrent connection or user name. User CALs are by named HUMAN user, regardless of user name you use.  As for switching to device, you have to activate alls RDS CALs and that requires a phone call. When you call, ask.
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Expert Comment

by:robdl
ID: 37792910
If you have Device CAL's, those licenses are tied to a particular machine for 56 to 89 days (basically 2-3 months). When all of your CAL's have been issued, no new connections can be made although with Server 2008 (both legacy RDP and TS Web Access), you can manually "reclaim" a certain amount of licenses. Depending on how much flexibility you need, meaning multiple users, you decision can go either way. From a security standpoint, per device is better. For remote users, per user is best.

Remember, per User CAL's are for concurrent users. Once a user logs off and is disconnected, that license is available immediately . This is much more flexible because you can have as many TS users as you need, but you only have to monitor how mny connect at a time.
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Expert Comment

by:awaggoner
ID: 37793236
User CALs are not concurrent.  That was true years ago, but no longer.  Each user needs a license.  For example, if you have 8 devices and three shifts you will need either 8 device licenses or 24 user licenses.  This assumes only one user per shift will ever need to log in.
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Expert Comment

by:awaggoner
ID: 37793237
Citrix user CALs are for concurrent users, but not TSCALs
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Author Comment

by:itadminnek
ID: 37807533
Thanks for all the info guys...I will be getting Per Device CALs
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