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Does anyone know a easy way .. Tool or formula to calculate CAL's ?

Posted on 2014-12-03
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Last Modified: 2014-12-08
I am looking for a way that I can simply plug in a number of users accessing terminal server and various software products needed on the desktops within the session .
Ex: If I am putting in a terminal server which will be available to  X users using MsOFFICE and Adobe .
How many CALS will I need in total .
I want to drop a solution fully baked but I don not know how I would calculate the license component of the cost ?

Also separately .. If I use Virtual desktops .. Is that the same formula?

I am looking for a tool or equation that is reliable
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Question by:Andre P
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
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For RDS, it's easy.  You license by the HUMAN BEING or by the Device.  In MOST cases, Human Being is probably the best way to go unless you're going to limit which machines users can use.

Then, you have to understand that licenses can only be transferred once every 90 days (unless an employee is terminated or leaves).  So count the humans you need to have access to the server.  You need 1 RDS CAL for each.  Then you need one Windows CAL for each one as well (Windows CALs apply to ALL Windows servers that version and below, so as long as they have one for any server in the domain, they are fine).  Windows CALs are NOT RDS CALs and RDS CALs are NOT Windows CALs.  CALs are licenses to use aspects of Windows - they are additive.  So each user connecting to an RDS server needs BOTH a Windows CAL and an RDS CAL.

Each RDS CAL you have will require an Office License if you intend to run office on the RDS server.  Adobe is not a Microsoft product but I suspect they license similarly - one license per POTENTIAL user.

VDI requires a special VDI license if memory serves.

At the end of the day, you need to consult with the licensing authority.  Because keep my disclaimer in mind:
Licensing Disclaimer
License information provided here is "best efforts".  The comments of the respondents are based on interpretation of the license agreements and their knowledge of the particular laws and regulations in their geographic location.  Laws in your location may invalidate certain aspects of the license and/or licenses can change.  "They told me on Experts-Exchange" will not be a valid excuse in an audit.  You need to contact the license granting authority to confirm any advice offered here.
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by:Andre P
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So for example ..
10  humans accessing Terminal server with Ms Office =

10 RDS  CALS + 10 Windows CALS + 10 Ms Office Cals  + 1 License for the server ??
31 licenses ??

Isthere a course in how to figure out the licenses ?
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by:Neil Russell
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Microsoft License specialists are a rare breed, even rarer is to find one that will give you a definitive answer on your first ask.  There are courses run for license specialists but I am not aware of and for end users.
You best point of call is always to contact your local Microsoft VAR and discuss with their license specialist. Thats why they are there.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Yes.  (Though it's Office licenses, not CALs).

If you are a Microsoft Partner with an account at a software wholesaler, you can contact the support desk at the wholesaler and they should be able to detail it for you.  If not, I would recommend either contacting Microsoft - http://support2.microsoft.com/gp/gp_psl_master - or a Microsoft Partner who can ask their wholesaler on your behalf.

In theory, you can also read the licensing agreements.  They actually state what you can and cannot do with the license.

As a reseller, I've occasionally (though it's been a while) been to licensing seminars offered by the wholesaler's licensing desks.

But licensing IS complicated.  And depending on what your company is/where they are, it's really best to speak to someone in your area.

Note - and to be clear - Licensing is NOT by concurrent users.  If you have 20 human beings but only 10 will ever connect at once, you STILL NEED 20 licenses.  If it were concurrent, you could get away with 10... since it's not, you can't.
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