How many CALS required for company

We are installing a 2012 Standard Server. Here is an example of what we have. It's not really our environment, but to keep it simple I provided for the different scenarios.
We have 20 users.
We have 21 computers, including the laptop mentioned below.
1 user has a laptop along with a desktop
1 user uses 2 computers at the same time. The second computer is one that no one else uses.
All users but two have their own computers, They share one computer.
There is also a device that scans and sends the scans to the server. It does so via SMB and has it's own username

Of course licensing would be easy to figure out if there were 20 users and 20 computers.

Just a couple of things that have me confused
1. with the user that is using 2 computers simultaneously, does his single USER CAL cover him?
2. On the scanner, can I have it use the credentials of a user that is covered by a USER CAL and not need a device or user cal for the scanner?

Also, what happens if the licensing isn't correct?
Is there way to see what the server sees as a violation?
 Will things continue to work until you can add more licenses?
bwierzbickiAsked:
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jmcgOwnerCommented:
Microsoft licensing is complicated enough that any time one of us says something about it, it should be accompanied by a disclaimer that you'll need to clear what you eventually decide to do with your software vendor's MS Licensing expert, if not MS itself. Saying you read something on a website is not going to excuse you from having to pay up when audited.

Unless you have a situation where there are considerably more devices than users, I recommend getting enough User CALS to cover your current users, plus some extra to cover comings and goings (a User CAL can be reassigned after a while, but it's more like 30-90 days than it is to 24 hours). To be conservative, create a user account for the scanner.

What I've said here covers server usage CALs. If you have Exchange or other MS applications that require CALs, the situation becomes even more complicated.

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You have two licensing models that you can mix and match.  By User (Human being, not user account), and by device (that connects to the Windows domain in some way, including, annoyingly, if the server is serving DHCP).

If a user has a CAL assigned to them then the devices they use do not need CALs.
If the device has a CAL assigned to it, then the users that use that device do not need a CAL.

IN GENERAL, most businesses should just get user CALs.  One per human being that uses the network.  Then, ALL devices, the copier, the cell phone, the tablet, the desktop, the laptop - all devices - can be used without any additional CALs.

One common exception is a factory type environment.  Where you may have an administrative office of 20 people, but a factory floor with 100 people and, say, 6 computers that control machinery... if those 100 users don't have e-mail accounts or ANY REASON to access the rest of the network EXCEPT through the factory floor machines, then you can get 6 Device CALs for the floor machines instead of 100 user CALs.

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.
Lord_GarfieldCommented:
Use the folowing rule:

If you have more devices then users. Use USER CAL's. Each user call gives a user the right to use any device.
On the other hand. If you have less devices then users. Use device CAL's. Each device can be used by any number of users in this case.

You can't combine user and device cal's. You choose wich way you go. Most of the time it is USER CAL's.

In your case: 25 user call's is advicable. You have to buy packs with 5 cal's so 25.
I also strongly recommend User CAL's in this scenario. Before you know it. They all bring in extra devices that need access like smartphones etc...

kind regards
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You can buy single CALs.  And you can use Lord_Garfield's rule... BUT, understand, ANY device they use requires a CAL.  A tablet that connects to the server, the computer they use at home to remote in to the office.  The computer they use at their best friend's house to connect in to work at some point... If your users NEVER, EVER, DO or WOULD ASK/be asked to work remotely, then you can consider Device CALs... otherwise, stick with user CALs.
bwierzbickiAuthor Commented:
I appreciate everyone's answers and was about to close this question and distribute the points evenly but I would like to ask for a little clarification on a couple of points in my question.


 1. with the user that is using 2 computers simultaneously, does his single USER CAL cover him?
 2. On the scanner, can I have it use the credentials of a user that is covered by a USER CAL and not need a device or user cal for the scanner? With further research I'm seeing that it is possible to have a mix of device and user cals on the 2012 server, at least that's what some say.
3. Please make your recommendation of the amount needed with my example.

The numbers I've used are for simplicity sake so I'd like to ask that any license number recommendations reflect the exact amount I would need, and I'll take into account the fact that I have to buy them in 5 packs and adjust accordingly. In other word's with the answer I get to 1 and 2, and a recommended exact amount I will be able to apply to the real numbers on site and make my decision. From the research I've done and the differing answers I see I realize I may not know exactly, but I will make my best effort and be conservative as far as leaning toward purchasing too many instead of not enough.
jmcgOwnerCommented:
Yes, the user with 2 computers only needs to have a user CAL for himself, which covers any devices he uses.

If all of the users of the scanner are people covered by user CALs, there is no need to have a CAL for the scanner. If that's not the case, then you could purchase a device CAL for the scanner to be safe. Keeping a record of which user CALS are assigned to which named human beings and which device CALs are assigned to particular devices is important. One of the reasons mixed user and device CALS are often avoided is because it requires this careful record keeping (not that record keeping isn't important in the other cases, but it is particularly important for the mixed situation).

I don't know what to tell you about the view that you need CALs to cover any device that wanders in looking to connect to your network and using DHCP or DNS services.

While CALs are often purchased in bundles of 5, your vendor should be able to sell you exactly the number of CALs that you want to buy. But based on the scenario you laid out, exactly 20 user CALs will be what you need.

Disclaimer: As always, MS Licensing information here is just our best effort at interpreting a very complicated subject.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
1. with the user that is using 2 computers simultaneously, does his single USER CAL cover him?

Yes, User CALs cover for EVERY device the user may use to access the server network.  PERIOD.  

2. On the scanner, can I have it use the credentials of a user that is covered by a USER CAL and not need a device or user cal for the scanner?

Repeating from my first comment: "By User (Human being, not user account)"

With further research I'm seeing that it is possible to have a mix of device and user cals on the 2012 server, at least that's what some say.
My very first comment, very first sentence answers this! "You have two licensing models that you can mix and match"


3. Please make your recommendation of the amount needed with my example.
Contact Microsoft. Repeating my 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.

Also, what happens if the licensing isn't correct?
TECHNICALLY, nothing.  Legally, you can be sued - the legal fees alone can put a small business out of business... else you end up paying multiples of what the software would have cost if you don't contest the audit findings.
Is there way to see what the server sees as a violation?
The server doesn't see anything as a violation.  CALs are PAPER.  Documentation that you have purchased.

Will things continue to work until you can add more licenses?
Infer from above.
bwierzbickiAuthor Commented:
thanks for all your replies
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Windows Server 2012

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