Hybrid, Federated Office365 and licensing for Alumni


We have a hybrid and federated office 365 setup. We've taken advantage of the offering for Alumni accounts for Office 365 which I've read in a Technet bog covers us for the CAL needed to access the On-premise Exchange server. However because we have a federated setup the Alumni accounts all need AD accounts to work in this way.

Do I need to purchase seperate Windows Server CALs for the Alumni or is this not needed?

If I do I guess I would be better off unfederationg the alumni domain and just having accounts and passwords controlled by Microsoft and not through our Active Directory?

Hope that makes sense :)
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
First, as always, forums are *always* the worst place to ask licensing advice. You'll get 20 opinions, none of them legal, and always conflicting, with no good way for you to know which advice is "good." And when licensing police come a-knockin' (and it only takes one audit or disgruntled employee reporting you to the BSA...it does happen...), the "I heard it was OK on EE" is not a legal defense.  Call Microsoft!

With that said, just so you have some information when you call them, here is my interpretation.

On Premises Exchange runs on Windows.  Accessing a Windows Server requires a Windows CAL.  So if they have a mailbox on an on-prem Exchange server, you *will* need a Windows CAL.  Even if you have the accounts and passwords controlled through O365/Azure AD.  The only way to avoid that is to not have your alumni on an on-prem exchange server at all.

In short, is isn't the AD account that is causing a CAL requirement. It is accessing a Windows Server that is triggering the CAL requirement.  O365 USLs do cover Exchange access, but not the underlying Windows OS.

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itmtsnAuthor Commented:
Thanks Cliff that's what I was thinking from the articles I read on Technet but like you suggest I'd be better off calling the Microsoft licensing team. Thanks for your help, much appreciated.
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