Do I need any licensing to connect workstations to a domain?

Posted on 2014-07-10
Last Modified: 2014-08-06
I have a server running Windows Server 2012. I want to turn this into a domain controller. In order to connect my workstations to my server (soon to be domain controller), do I need any user licenses? Thanks!
Question by:brasiman
    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution


    Author Comment

    Ok that's what I thought, thanks! Is there a way I can see if I have CAL's installed? If I don't need to buy licenses I don't want to.
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    They dont use a license manager anymore so it would be in your Volume License if you use that otherwise you have to find your certs bought with the hardware.
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    Make sure you check that they are device vs. user CALs
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    Which Server 2012 are you using? If you are on Essentials, you don't need to worry about CALs but your domain can only have up to 25 users. If you are on Server 2012 Standard, then you will need to get CALs but it is not enforced. This means that your server will accept workstations to join to the domain you create, however it is a licensing compliance task that you get the right number of user or device CALs required.

    To underline @Sid6_7 's comment, it is important that you spend time planning whether you will go with user or device CALs otherwise you will waste a bit of money there. My simple logic is, if you have a fixed number of PCs in the domain with potential of having many users working (in shift-roster environments), get device CALs. This is the most common situation in work environments. In some rare cases, the number of users are less than the number of devices and if that is likely to stay the same for a long time, go with user CALs. The last thing you want to be doing is mixing because you can't change your user CALs to Device CALs or vice-versa.
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    I would disagree with techaway -
    In some rare cases, the number of users are less than the number of devices
    - I would say this is the MOST COMMON environment - most businesses with a server have users who are remotely accessing services via cell phone, laptop, tablet, and desktop computers - EACH would need a device CAL.  INCLUDING home computers and public terminals used to remotely access the system.  ESPECIALLY for workers who telecommute even occasionally, access a corporate exchange server or retrieve files via VPN.  SOME businesses are moving to cloud solutions, but not all.  And sometimes it can make sense to MIX device and user CALs.

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