CALs SBS 2003

Posted on 2012-04-12
Last Modified: 2012-04-12
Does anyone know how the SBS 2003 CALS work - I know if a PC / Laptop is connected a CAL is used - how about a remote laptop connected by vpn or Outlook Web Access account being used / email address setup to divert to an external address.

In SBS 2003 you can look at licencing and see maximum used - is there anyway to see which devices have connected to give this figure.
Question by:driftwood9267
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 37838054
Forget what Windows tells you.  It's doing a poor job of accounting and it's what the license agreements state that matters.  In later versions of SBS, it doesn't even keep that kind of track anymore.

CALs work like this:

If a user or device is authenticated by the server, a CAL is needed.  Doesn't matter HOW they are authenticated, authenticated is what matters.  That means if, from ANY device - Laptop, Cell phone, desktop PC, tablet, via web or via logon screen, a CAL is needed.  In MOST cases, User CALs are best - a user CAL applies to the HUMAN (not the user account name) that is accessing the system.  A user who gets their e-mail on their tablet, cell phone, laptop, desktop, and (when the visit on the holidays) mom's computer via Outlook Web Access would need a DEVICE CAL for each of those items - FIVE CALs.  But if you got that user a USER CAL, then they are licensed to use ANY and ALL of those devices at any time.

Further, it's important to understand, Microsoft does NOT license by concurrent session - they license by HUMAN named user and physical device - your option.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 37838074
And because Microsoft doesn't license by concurrent connection, it's easy to count how many licenses you need.  Count every HUMAN working for your company that logs in to the server - doesn't matter if they share an account, again, it's HUMAN user, not user account.  (Device CALs can be mixed in, but GENERALLY you don't want to use them.  They are good for "classroom" environments and factory floors where, perhaps, you have 20 people using one computer connected to the network and but NEVER touch a computer (or have e-mail) outside of that connected computer... so rather than get 20 user CALs, you would want just one Device CAL there.  But for most users, since they get e-mail at home, on their phones and tablets, at work, and possibly on laptops, most users are FAR better off (from a licensing standpoint) having USER CALs.

Author Comment

ID: 37838129
Thanks , is there a way of checking within sbs how it is counting up the connected devices / users / humans please - we are showing - also can someone specifically answer the question regarding email forwards / outlook web access etc
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 37838222
First, as I said, FORGET that count.  That count is not important - you DO want to be properly licensed, right?  You're not trying to steal from Microsoft, right?  Assuming you're trying to do the right thing and be honest and I would never want to accuse anyone of being dishonest, then that count is USELESS.  Go look at your count of CALs and your count of users and devices that fit my descriptions.  THAT'S the number of CALs you need.

Honestly, why is this important to you if you understand what matters legally?  You should never have FEWER legal licenses than your count of users by SBS.

> how about a remote laptop connected by vpn or Outlook Web Access
> account being used / email address setup to divert to an external address.
>> also can someone specifically answer the question regarding email
>> forwards / outlook web access etc

I explicitly answered regarding OWA - quoting myself:
... and (when the visit on the holidays) mom's computer via Outlook Web Access would need a DEVICE CAL for each of those items. But if you got that user a USER CAL, then they are licensed to use ANY and ALL of those devices at any time.

As for forwarding accounts the answer should be no, but you shouldn't be using forwarding accounts anyway - create contacts and the contact should be configurable to forward to the other account.  

That said, I think it's important to include my disclaimer:
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).  

(It's a shame we live in a world where this isn't obvious and the statement must be made)

Author Comment

ID: 37840183
I must say I am more confused then when I first started - are the SBS cals user or device - if one user has an ipad, iphone, 2 PCs, tablet and logs on with the same account will this take up 5 cals - it is not obvious to me if the sbs cals are device or user - can any one else shed some light on this.  We of course want to operate legally and the reason for the question
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Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 37841112
You can mix them.  I don't know what you bought.  The SBS server comes with 5 CALs at the time of purchase.  At the time you setup SBS, you decide whether they are User or Device.  Then, you can buy whatever is appropriate.

I'll try to bullet point this:

If you buy a User CAL, then the CAL is assigned to a human being.  That human can use ANY device they want because they have been assigned a CAL.

If you buy a Device CAL, then you specify what device that CAL should be assigned to.  That device can then be used by ANY human being.

Once assigned, a CAL must remain assigned for 90 days OR until the person is terminated from employment (in the case of a User CAL) or the device is discarded and no longer used by the company, whichever comes first.

What needs a CAL?  Either the user or the device a user is using (ONE of them needs a CAL) if they are to be authenticated by the server for ANYTHING.  Email, logging in, ANYTHING.

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