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exchange liscensing

Posted on 2014-01-21
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Last Modified: 2014-01-23
Can I ask how exchange server is liscenced? What kinds of liscence are involved, i.e. are there any specifics on how many mailboxes you store in your mailbox databases? Or the types of server roles you use in your environment? We need to check our compliance to software liscensing and would be interested to know how you would go about it for your exchange environment.. having never purchased software liscences for server apps like exchange, in what format does the liscence come? Can you obtain liscence keys via any sort of shell commands? And do they last forever, or are they annual type liscences, with renewals involved?
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Question by:pma111
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Nick Rhode earned 250 total points
ID: 39797136
For exchange you need an exchange license for each server that has Exchange installed (need more than one if you have a DAG setup).

You will also need an exchange CAL for each user accessing their mailbox.  So lets say you have 20 users and 1 exchange server.  You would need the following.

1 Exchange License
20 Exchange CAL's

Now the way CALs work is per user access.  So if you have 2 shifts and have 20 employees.  You would technically need enough CALs for user access.  So if 10 people are only accessing the exchange server at a time, only 10 would be needed.  If an 11th person accesses their mailbox that is technically a violation.  As a precautionary I typically match CALs to users.
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by:pma111
ID: 39797146
Thanks Nick.Are CAL's specific to each application, so you wouldnt have 1 CAL that covers user access to all ms server apps, i.e. exchange, sharepoint, and any other MS application?

To be clear - you need 1 CAL per application, so 1 CAL for exchnage, one for sharepoint etc. So if a user accesses 5 MS server apps, they need 5 CAL's?

How do the rules work for ex employees, i.e. say you still have a mailbox in the database for an ex employee, how does that work in terms of rules?

And also when you buy say exchange , in what format is your liscence agreement, is it an easy to digest document?
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by:pma111
ID: 39797157
And out of interest, any idea on the costs for an exchange 2010 liscence, and the cost for a single CAL liscence? Is there any way to get any stats on how many unique users accessed their mailbox in a single day? or at a single point in time?
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by:Nick Rhode
ID: 39797846
Licenses vary but from what I can recall exchange license is about $500+ and CAL's are the most expensive (like $60 - $75 per CAL) it varies by vendor and how much you sweet talk them :).

The only applications I can think of that require a CAL are users of a licensed:

SQL - Users accessing a licensed SQL Server
Exchange - Per Mailbox
Lync - Per Account
SharePoint - Per Account
RDP Server (Terminal Server) - Per Remote Session
Server - Login to Domain\Accessing servers

Here is a link to help hopefully get a better understanding (isn't licensing fun!).

http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/client-access-license.aspx#tab=2


Just as a special note:  It took me a little while to understand the licensing part and if you call up Microsoft they will clarify and help you with questions to licensing.  Also I pretty much purchase all volume licenses through a vendor.  When it comes to purchasing ask the vendor to speak with someone who specializes in licenses and they can help you out also.

Hope this helps :)
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 39798604
I don't agree with Exchange being per Mailbox - it's per user as I understand it.  That said, I don't care if I'm right or wrong - this is a licensing question and at the end of the day my disclaimer applies:

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 and laws allowing them to be enforced can differ by country and/or region and what we understand to be true in our area could be false in your area.  "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).  

(That goes for pricing as well - as I understand it, prices in Australia are MUCH, MUCH higher than most other places).
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by:pma111
ID: 39799405
So its a grey area as to whether its per mailbox or per concurrent user load? Nick, from your first post it seemed to be per concurrent user connections, and then in the second post it says per mailbox, regardless of how many are accessed at one point. Can anyone locate any formal definition of the liscence requirements, ideally from a MS source.
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by:Nick Rhode
ID: 39800006
It is per connection but to get a license base you would look at mailbox count.  Distribution groups, room mailboxes, and all that jazz don't count for licensing.

The link I posted above explains the licensing.  If you click the License Tracking Tab in the webpage, scroll down and you will see some PDF guides on Assessing Licensing for all Windows Server, SharePoint, SQL, System Center, Exchange, and Lync
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by:pma111
ID: 39800022
any idea on the rules around disconnected mailboxes, i.e. those that still reside on the mailbox database, but arent connected/accessible?
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by:Nick Rhode
ID: 39800394
That per mailbox was a mis-type.  Think of it this way, any user that opens outlook, checks their mail on their phone, or accesses OWA would require an Exchange CAL.
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by:pma111
ID: 39800602
if think for senior employees, who may have their exchange constantly synch'd to their smartphone, and outlook open on their desktop, in that case is it 2x CAL's, as they essentially have 2 types of access to the same mailbox at any given time..
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by:pma111
ID: 39800610
"it's per user as I understand it."

what does per user actually mean? if say a user has 5 domain accounts and 5 mailboxes, do they need 5 CAL's?
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by:Nick Rhode
ID: 39803192
No it is not double the CALs if they have outlook opened and phone sync'd because it is 1 user account connected to both.

Per user means each person that uses outlook connected to exchange will require 1 CAL.  1 CAL allows the user to connect to exchange by any means (phone, OWA, outlook).  They are entitled to all of that for 1 CAL.  

So here is another example.  You have 5 users that use exchange.  3 users open outlook to view their email on the exchange server.  At that point you are using 3 exchange CALs.  1 user closes outlook.  You are now using 2 exchange CALs.  You technically only need enough CALs to match the amount of users connected to exchange an 1 time.  

Back in the old day a perfect example would be terminal server 2003.  You purchase CALs to allow a certain amount of users to RDP into the terminal server.  In the past if you purchased 5 CALs, up-to 5 users could use the terminal server at one time.  If a 6th user tried to RDP into the terminal server they would get denied because the CALs are being used.

You only need enough CALs to cover the amount of users connected to exchange at one time.  So if you have 50 users and only 25 of those users connect at one time you would need 25 CALs.  If a 26th user connects to exchange you would be in violation.  So as a safe guard I typically purchase CALs equal to the amount of users that would connect to exchange (get mail from the exchange server by any means).
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by:pma111
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Well summarised, thanks.
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