Windows 2012 Server question

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We are planning to acquire two new servers for our company.  Both are going to be Windows 2012 Servers.  

1. Windows 2012 Server - PDC - will be used as fileserver
2. Windows 2012 Server + SQL 2012 - SDC - Application server
3. Data storage - Connected to both the servers but disks assigned to each server

My question is that;

1. Do we need to get the same number of Windows 2012 CALs for both the servers?  Can we just get 20 CALS for the PDC and only the default CAL for SDC since no one will be logging in to the server per se.

2. Does SQL server CALs need to be the same as user CALS?

Thanks in advance.
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James HIT Director
1. That depends on how many users will be accessing the SQL database (whether directly or indirectly). You will need an equal amount of User CAL's and SQL CAL's to be compliant with MSFT.
2. If you mean the same amount, YES.
Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Microsoft licensing for Windows is based on PER USER or PER DEVICE - NOT PER SERVER.  Unless you have an odd situation where several users share a single workstation, it's usually better to buy USER CALs.  

Each user is assigned a user CAL and that user can now access any Microsoft Windows Server which is the version of the user CAL and lower.  Meaning if you buy 2008 USER CALs, they can access ANY 2008, 2003, 2000 server but NOT 2012 servers.  Buy 2012 CALs and they can access ANY 2012, 2008, 2003, 2000 server.

Now understand, CALs are ADDITIVE (with rare exception).  The base Windows CAL (the User CALs I'm talking about) provide rights to access file and print shares, Active Directory, and all other out of the box features of Windows Server EXCEPT Remote Desktop Services.  They DO NOT cover access to add-on products like Exchange, SQL, or other products.  Those need additional CALs - SQL CALs for SQL, Exchange CALs for Exchange.  These CALs ADD the rights for a user to use that resource.  They DO NOT include Windows Server CALs.  They ADD to the Windows Server CAL.

(Just trying to be clear).
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Thanks for the response Lee.   I get the CAL situation for the Server 1.  If I am using another Server as apps server, that also need the same number of Windows users license or just SQL server licenses?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
So it sounds like I was too wordy...

You're mistaken.

You're thinking per server - stop thinking per server.  START thinking per user.

Does the user need to access ANY Windows server AT ALL?  Yes = they need a User CAL.
Does the user need access to ANY Microsoft SQL server? Yes = they need a SQL CAL.
Does the user need access to ANY Exchange Server?  Yes = they need an Exchange CAL.


Lee, thank you - you were not wordy - it was clear from the earlier message but I was just confirming.    Thanks much.

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