Exchange 2016 license requirements

Matthew Cioffi
Matthew Cioffi used Ask the Experts™
Hello folks
I'm looking to replace an instance of SBS 2011 with server 2016 standard and exchange 2016 standard.

I know we need an Exchange CAL for each mailbox and to purchase a license for both Exchange and server 2016. my question is, do I need to purchase a CAL for Server 2016 for each Exchange user CAL? I have read conflicting information, it sounds like we do not, but I want to be sure we don't do the wrong thing here.

thanks everyone.
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timgreen7077Exchange Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

no you dont have a purchase a separate user CAL for each user for server 2016. your assumption is correct.
timgreen7077Exchange Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Top Expert 2016

CALs are required for every user or device accessing a server. See the Product Use Rights for details

Remote Desktop Services use different CAL's (I call them RDS CALS)

With this license type, a CAL is required for each user or device that accesses the server software. There are two types of CALs for Exchange, both of which work with either edition of the server:

In many cases getting a Core or Enterprise CAL SUITE works out to be cheaper
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Hani M .S. Al-habshiContributor as IT Expert

every active user need CAL .

you can see the emc sumary culculations .
Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
I'm going to assume you're ONLY looking at User CALs - my comment below is based on User CALs only.

Client Access Licenses (CALs) are ADDITIVE.  They do not include other rights, only the rights for the specific aspect you're using.

For example, if you have a Server 2016 system the users are going to access (ANY user for ANY reason, including DNS or DHCP), then that user needs a Windows CAL.  Windows CALs provide access to Windows Servers.  They are assigned to the user and can be used for ANY NUMBER of Windows 2016 servers AND OLDER (so you could buy a Windows 2016 CAL even if you only have 2008 servers and be covered.  The CALs DO NOT cover FUTURE versions of Windows.  A 2016 CAL purchased today WILL NOT be valid for Windows Server 2019 released later this year.  You would have to purchase new CALs for that (unless you got Software Assurance (like a prepaid upgrade)).  

Exchange CALs cover access to Exchange ONLY, they do not cover access to the Windows Servers and since you have to have Windows Servers to run Exchange, you MUST get Windows CALs as well as Exchange CALs.

If you then want to use the Enterprise features of Exchange, you would ALSO need Exchange Enterprise CALs (Exchange Enterprise CALs ADD RIGHTS to Exchange Standard CALs, they do not replace them).

If you wanted to use Remote Desktop Services (RDS), you need one CAL for each HUMAN BEING who will use RDS.  With POSSIBLE Exception (ie, I don't know any, but I don't know EVERYTHING), CALs from Microsoft are NOT concurrent and they are NOT per user account.  They are per HUMAN BEING (again, only references User CALs, not Device CALs).  You are NOT ok if everyone on the domain logs in as "user" instead of themselves and you only have one CAL.  Likewise, Exchange CALs are NOT per mailbox.  They are per human being - so you can create 50 mailboxes for 5 users and only have 5 CALs and be just fine.

CALs are ONLY transferable ONCE every 90 days unless an employee is terminated.

Now, all that said:
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Hani M .S. Al-habshiContributor as IT Expert

Agree with Mr Lee W
Jeff GloverSr. Systems Administrator

You might want to also look at Core CALs. These combine Windows CALs with others like Exchange, Skype, Sharepoint, etc.... It may save money depending on what you have in your network.
Matthew CioffiSenior DBA


Thanks everyone.

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