Whenever I buy licensed Windows Server OS does it include CALs?

I need to buy a licensed windows os, do I have to buy CAL separately?
Jeff BalbalosaSystem Analyst/ProgrammerAsked:
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Yes. CALs are not included.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Exactly. It wouldn't make sense to include a CAL because not everybody needs them.
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arnoldCommented:
Summing the prior depending on your environment you may need to buy Cals and then again you might not.

Which Cals are you talking about, user Cals or device Cals. Or the Cals is for a different service/application I.e RDS /terminal server
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Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
Windows 2012 licenses are very limited to buy now.
Microsoft is nos selling 2012 licenses anymore. You can buy 2016 licenses or find another digital river source for old server licenses.
Downgrade from 2016 to 2012 is still available so you can buy licenses for 2016 and use them for 2012 server.

Since Microsoft divided licenses on server based on amount of cores you have, now it's not possible to buy Windows server with 25 or more licenses like before long time ago. You must buy server license separately then buy User/Device CALs licenses.

Only Essentials server including licenses for users since is similar to SBS.
If you need additional licenses for 2012, standard or Enterprise you must buy licenses to be fair and prepared for audit but  you don't need to install them on server.
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Lionel MMSmall Business IT ConsultantCommented:
this is harder to answer than you may think because it depends on which version of windows you want to buy and where you plan to buy it from. If you use volume licensing then generally no Server OS license comes with CAL's but if you buy retail some come with 5 to 10 included depending on which version of serer you want, As example Essentials 2016 comes with a 25 user or 50 device "CAL" included but as you can see from this list not all do. so if this isn't an answer to your question please provide us with what you are wantign to buy or do and then we can try to be more specific in our answers
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arnoldCommented:
A complete picture of what your consideratations, requirements are as well as the environment is needed to accurately answer your question, the other, you can reach out to Microsoft and get the answer directly from them.
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Jeff BalbalosaSystem Analyst/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Guys  thank you for your informative comments surely I learned just by reading them. I am not sure if I do need CALs
Here's my case, I have a Domain Controller and all my client computers logs in to the domain, I have a file sharing, I don't published printer or fax in AD, for now there's nothing much services but AD, DNS, and DCHP.  Thanks again guys!
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arnoldCommented:
Here is the question you have to answer, currently do you license based on the devices or you have user CALs.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/product-licensing/client-access-license.aspx
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Domain controller. You need CALs.

There are only two workloads that don't need CALs.

*Anonynous* web workloads don't need CALs.

External workloads for public use where CALs couldn't be predicted need an "External connector" which replaces CALs.

Your situation isn't either of those. So you need CALs.
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Jeff BalbalosaSystem Analyst/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Thank you guys, it helped me a lot. I really appreciate your replies. Cheers!
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Jeff if these answers helped solve your problem, please be sure to mark the answer and any assists.
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