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Microsoft Licensing

Posted on 2012-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-08-29
Hi All,
Microsoft Licensing is either really complicated or i don't understand their language.

We are a office of 30 users.

- We want to setup three new Windows 2008 r2 servers
- One as Domain controller
- One with exchange server 2010
- One as a file server

At any giving point of time there wont be more than 5 terminal sessions required on each server.


Questions:

1) Do we need cals on windows 2008 to use it as DC for 30 users ?

2) Do we need cals for windows 2008 to use it as a file server for 30 users?

3) When i get 30 user cals on exchange server 2010 do i again need 30 cals on the windows 2008 (on which exchange server 2010 is installed) ?

4) Do i need separate terminal licenses for each server 2008 r2 ?


Many thanks
RD
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Question by:Clement P
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by:Joseph Moody
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It is really complicated!

1. yes


For your other questions, just contact a vendor or two. We use CDW. They are always good about explaining the licensing.
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by:Raquero
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As you see, CALs get a little confusing. Exchange, User (AD and Fileserver), and TS CALs are separate.

Rather than go into the gory details here, I highly recommend calling a reseller that specializes in MS products such as CDW. They will know exactly what is required and should you desire, can put together a package of products (licenses) for what you need. They will also keep records of your licenses so as your needs change you can add and change things without inadvertantly re-purchasing something.
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by:DrDave242
DrDave242 earned 125 total points
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This is quite useful, and it's where I'm getting a lot of my information:
Server 2008 R2 Licensing Guide

Licensing can be very complex, but your situation isn't too bad.  First, we'll get the server licenses out of the way, because that's the easy part: you need three, one for each server.  Those give you the right to install the operating system on each server.

Now for the CALs, which is where things get trickier.  Unless you've got users sharing devices (e.g., 30 users working in three different shifts and all logging into the same ten computers), it's almost always simpler and cheaper to purchase user CALs than device CALs.  When determining the number of user CALs you need, remember this: you don't have to purchase separate user CALs for every server.  If you've got 30 users accessing three servers, you need 30 user CALs, not 90.  (Refer to the bottom of page 19 in the licensing guide, in the "Per User or Per Device Mode" box.)

Exchange CALs are separate from the CALs we've already discussed.  In the simplest case, if all 30 of your employees will be using Exchange, you need 30 Exchange user CALs.  There are Standard and Enterprise Exchange CALs, the difference being that Enterprise CALs allow access to certain advanced features not covered by Standard CALs.  More info is here, although it's very likely that Standard CALs are all you'll need.

You mentioned terminal licenses but weren't clear on whether any of these servers will be terminal (Remote Desktop) servers.  Terminal/Remote Desktop Services CALs are also separate from the CALs mentioned above, but they're only needed on terminal servers (Remote Desktop Session Host servers in 2008 R2), which are servers that users establish RDP connections to in order to run applications.  (You can have up to two concurrent RDP sessions on a server for the purpose of remote administration, and these do not require CALs.)

Let me know if you have any questions.
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Lee W, MVP earned 125 total points
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To offer another perspective (I think similar to DrDave242):

1) Do we need cals on windows 2008 to use it as DC for 30 users ?
2) Do we need cals for windows 2008 to use it as a file server for 30 users?


Yes, BUT you don't need 30 for each, you need 30 TOTAL; one Standard Windows CAL covers one User or Device (depending on the type of CAL you get) allowing the client to access ALL servers running Server 2008 R2 or earlier for basic Windows Services (Domain Controller authentication, RAS, DHCP, DNS, File Sharing, Print Sharing, Sharepoint Services - basically all the roles and features that are included with Windows server EXCEPT Remote Desktop Services (RDS)/Terminal Services (TS).

3) When i get 30 user cals on exchange server 2010 do i again need 30 cals on the windows 2008 (on which exchange server 2010 is installed) ?
Think of Exchange CALs as ADDITIVE to any existing CAL you might have - the CAL grants the right for the client to access Exchange and needed Exchange services, depending on which CAL (Standard or Enterprise) you get.  So the Windows CALs (which you would already have for the other servers) ADD the Exchange CAL and are now licensed to use both Windows and Exchange (you cannot use Exchange without a Windows CAL).

At any giving point of time there wont be more than 5 terminal sessions required on each server.
4) Do i need separate terminal licenses for each server 2008 r2 ?

It is VERY UNWISE to run an RDS/TS server that is ALSO a Domain Controller.  And I would dare say WORSE to run such a server that is ALSO an Exchange server.  Running a file server, while not the best idea, if it must be done would be the lesser of three evils.  If you need a terminal server and refuse to install a forth server, then make the file server the RDS/TS server.  

As for licensing, it's important to understand (and this applies to regular windows CALs as well as RDS/TS CALs), Microsoft does NOT license by concurrent connection.  Microsoft licenses by named HUMAN user or NAMED physical device.  While the CALs can be moved (reassigned), they can only legally be moved if the device fails or is permanently retired OR the device has been in use for at least 90 days and is being taken offline (or in the case of users, has been fired and/or is leaving the company for an extended period - sabbatical/medical leave/etc..

So, that said, if you expect ALL your users to connect to the RDS/TS server, you NEED 30 RDS/TS CALs.  Otherwise, decide who gets RDS/TS access and buy licenses only for them.  (While you COULD license by device, it's USUALLY a more cost effective move to license by user; ALL devices that would authenticate/be used by the user (in a device license plan) to connect to the server would require a CAL, including the computer at the public library*, the user's cell phone*, the user's tablet*, the user's laptop*, the office computer, the home computer*, the computer at the employee's parent's home*, the computer at the employee's best friend's home*.  That means if you get the user a USER CAL, you need one.  If you decide for Device CALs, you could need 8 or more.  Device CALs are best used for environments where multiple users connect from one or a few systems and they NEVER, EVER, connect from outside that one (or small group of) systems.
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by:Clement P
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thanks for that detaied information, i did read a lot before on licensing and everything made it more confusing. However your description here is perfect and now i have couple of more questions.

I am upgrading sbs 2003 threfore
1) Can i reuse my user calls from sbs 2003?
2) Since we are only 30 users, instead of three servers as discussed above if we just get two
        A) sbs 2011 as both dc and exch srvr
        B) windows 2008 for file server

-  am i right in thinking
1) sbs 2011 comes with 5 user cals and therefore i only need 25 more user calls
2) once i have 30 user cals for sbs i dnt need any cals for the file server.

And finally about rdc/ts licenses,

We have all these servers virtualized and therefore we can only manage them on rdc,
Thats all we need for rdc and we are happy with two conncurrent connections, and we wnt need more.

Thanks a lot for all the help.
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by:Raquero
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If you had software assurance with your 2003 sbs, there was a "made whole" arrangement to go to 2008, but it does not look like there is a path from 2003 sbs to 2011 sbs. You will very likely have to purchase 2011 cals for the additional users.

As to number of servers, technically you could easily do everything you want with one SBS server but 2 is better for a) DC redundancy, and b) avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Do make the 2nd server a DC as well:

SBS 2011: DC, exchange
2K8R2: DC, file server

Before purchasing anything and to get accurate answers on all of these questions, please speak to a MS licensing specialist. You can call MS directly at 1-800-426-9400 (select option 4) and go over your scenario with a specialist.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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I am upgrading sbs 2003 threfore
1) Can i reuse my user calls from sbs 2003?

No - CALs apply to the version of Windows and below and CALs for SBS are not applicable to Standard Server/Exchange.  Even if you get a new version of SBS, the existing CALs are SBS 2003 and would only apply to SBS 2003 and older operating systems.  You need new CALs if you're going to use Server 2008 R2/SBS 2011.

2) Since we are only 30 users, instead of three servers as discussed above if we just get two
        A) sbs 2011 as both dc and exch srvr
        B) windows 2008 for file server

-  am i right in thinking
1) sbs 2011 comes with 5 user cals and therefore i only need 25 more user calls
2) once i have 30 user cals for sbs i dnt need any cals for the file server.


There is no reason to get a separate file server.  File services* do not take significant resources, nor does Active Directory, especially for a 30 user environment. (*COULD use significant Disk and network bandwidth, but network bandwidth would be an exceptional case and disk utilization can be mitigated by getting fast 15K RPM disks; CPU and RAM are really not going to be impacted sharing files between 30 users).  If you want a separate server, get a Remote Desktop Server (RDS).

Yes, SBS 2011 should come with 5 CALs and you would only need 25 more.  DO NOT buy OEM; Buy Volume License.  Especially if you were going to get 3 servers to begin with (cost of which would be at least $2400 in licensing), then you have a few hundred extra to get things like a Volume license for SBS 2011 and 5 RDS CALs to use on a terminal server.

SBS CALs cover access to all basic Windows services (as standard Windows CALs would) for all servers running the base OS version and below.  Meaning, in an SBS 2003 domain, they cover your access to Server 2003 and Server 2000 and NT4 systems.  In an SBS 2008 domain, they cover your access to Server 2008, Server 2003, Server 2000, and NT4 systems.  (SBS 2011 uses 2008R2, so they'll cover all 2008 and earlier as well).

We have all these servers virtualized and therefore we can only manage them on rdc,
Thats all we need for rdc and we are happy with two conncurrent connections, and we wnt need more.


Just to be clear, the two concurrent connections for Windows Server are ADMINISTRATIVE connections.  You're licensed to use them to manage the server, NOT to allow users to work remotely.  If you're JUST managing the servers, then this is fine.

As a note, for the hardware on a system like this, for this user count, I would get a RAID 10 or Multiple RAID 1s running 15K RPM drives to handle the virtual machines.  I would also say NOT LESS than 16 GB of RAM and considering RAM prices and the quantity of licenses you were (seemingly) prepared to buy, get enough RAM to allocate 32 GB of RAM to he SBS 2011 server (which is the max).  Also, if using Hyper-V do not enable Dynamic Memory - this is not appropriate for an SBS system.  If you later implement a separate file server (again, I see no need here), separate RDS server, or possibly another application server, you can use Dynamic RAM on those.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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If you get a second server, I agree, make it a DC PROVIDED you don't make it a Remote Desktop server.  And I agree about contacting Microsoft.  My standard licensing disclaimer is below:

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:Raquero
Raquero earned 125 total points
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I agree with  leew that one server is more than enough for your 30-user environment.

Adding a second server will provide a place to spread services out, but the costs go up dramatically.

For example, if you wanted high availability then a two-server 2K8R2 failover cluster with SBS2011 installed as a VM would do the trick but keep in mind that failover clustering requires Enterprise licenses $$$ (or DataCenter but that is not applicable here) and a cluster requires shared (read: external) storage. This is well into a 5-digit price tag.

The more I think about it, I do not see it worth the extra money for a small environment. Spend the cash on one well-configured server with at least what leew recommended. Be sure to include disaster recovery in your planning (e.g. tape drive, Carbonite, etc.). I have no ties to HP other than using their servers for well over a decade (starting with Compaq), but their "Smart Buy" preconfigured ML 330/350/370 servers are great IMO. The line you choose will depend on your budget.

A single 2K8R2 server running Hyper-V with SBS 2011 as a VM is the only additional expense I would consider to allow flexibility if needs change. Then you just purchase another server OS license later for whatever service you need to run on a "separate" server (plus service-related CALs). However, your SBS cals will not cover 2K8R2 user CALs so it is a catch-22.

Whatever you wind up purchasing spend the extra bucks for software assurance and follow up to make sure you take advantage of it before it expires. Here is a link where you can play around with different licensing configurations: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/mla/default.aspx
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by:BlueDiver
BlueDiver earned 125 total points
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Quick answers…
      1) Yes
      2) Yes
      3) Yes
      4) No (If I understand what you mean by 'terminal')
      
Long Answers…
Microsoft Client Access Licenses are required for each user or device that connects to a service. These are either per User or Per device.

If you license per device, then any user using the device (PC, Laptop, Mobile, etc) can connect to any windows Server. This is not a concurrent license.
If you license per User, then the user can use any device to connect to any server.

Windows Needs a CAL for each user or device that users services on a server.  On your three servers, DC, Exchange and File Services require a windows CAL

Exchange also needs a separate CAL

If you have less tan 30 PCs, Laptops and mobile devices, I would recommend the following…
3 x Windows Server 2008 R2 licenses
1 x Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 License
30 x Windows Client Access License - Per Device (one for each PC, Laptop or mobile device)

If you have more than 30 devices that will connect, go with the user model…
3 x Windows Server 2008 R2 licenses
1 x Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 License
30 x Windows Client Access License - Per User(one for each employee)

Purchase these licenses through an Open volume agreement (available from any Microsoft Partner). This is the easiest to manage and provides all the media, keys and reports through an online portal.

Terminal Licenses - this depends on what you mean by terminal licenses. If, by terminal, you mean PC, then this is all you need. If, by terminal, you mean remote access, remote desktop. Then you will need additional 'Remote Desktop Services Client Access Licenses (Per User)'


Hope this helps
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by:Clement P
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Very good suggestions by everyone i will save this question in my favourites
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