Microsoft Licencing - User Cal's

Posted on 2012-08-30
Last Modified: 2012-09-01

I am about to purchase a copy of Microsoft Server 2008 Enterprise which comes with licencing to cover 4 hosts, it also comes with 10 User CAL's.

I need to purchase an additional 40 User CAL's however i have been told mixed things in relation to how these 50 User CAL's are used in my environment.

In other words i will have 50 staff accessing all 4 licenced OS install's as supplied with Microsoft Server 2008 Enterprise.

Some say the 50 User CAL's can be used across all 4 server OS's and some say you need 50 User CAL's for each of the OS's bringing it up to a total of 200 User CAL's, quite a number!

Any advice most welcome.
Question by:tmaster100
    LVL 34

    Expert Comment

    Microsoft License Advisor

    Otherwise contact Microsoft directly as your issue can correctly be answered by them only.
    LVL 53

    Expert Comment

    by:Will Szymkowski
    CALS can be an interesting animal. With "Windows" User CALS you need 1 User CAL for each user accessing resources in your environment. This 1 user CAL can authenticate many different ways to many servers on different devices.

    So the answer is for Windows User CALS you are refering to you only need 1 per user.

    Additional info...

    There are also Computer CALS (not used often) but computer CALS are tied to the machine and not the user. So this means that any users that does not have a User CAL accounted for can login and authentiate from this particular computer that has a Computer CAL associated to it. You would see this setup typically in a school environment or a call center where hundreds of students would be using the same computers to authenticate.

    Now it is a different story if these users will have an email account also. This is another form of CAL (Exchange CAL) which is needed for each individual regardless that has an email account.

    Just another note if you ever use Computer CALS users that are not using this specific computer assisgned the CAL will be breaching the MS licensing agreement. So users that do not have a user CAL cannot login from home becuase that machine does not have a CAL.

    Hope this helps!
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    You need ONE CAL PER HUMAN BEING USER.  NOT User Account.  (Just clarifying).  CALs are not for concurrent connections, they are for people and cannot be arbitrarily re-assigned.  (You can reassign them once every 90 days OR as people leave the company.

    In the days of 2000 and earlier, you had PER SERVER and PER SEAT licensing.  In those days, if you did Per Server licensing and 50 users, you WOULD need 200 CALs.  These days, everything is PER SEAT, so you only need 50.

    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 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks, i did find this :

    Multiple servers in domain: Microsoft server CALs can be used to access multiple servers of the same kind throughout your domain. For instance, if you have a Windows Server 2008 Device CAL for a workstation, that Windows Server 2008 CAL gives that workstation the rights to access any Windows Server 2008 throughout the domain, not just a single Windows Server 2008.

    I will have eight Windows 2008 Enterprise Servers, all virtualized so this means all clients on my single Domain just require 1 CAL each to access all of these servers.
    LVL 53

    Expert Comment

    by:Will Szymkowski
    The statement that Leew has said is correct. Service Account etc do not count. If the Human exists in the environment and they are authenticating to a windows server then you need a User CAL.

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