Windows 2016 terminal server CAL License

SAM2009
SAM2009 used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

I have Windows 2016 terminal server. I need to purchase CAL license per user.

How CAL license works? Is one license per user account or the number of user who access the terminal server?

For example, I have 20 users but maybe only 10 users will connect simultaneously.

So is it 1 CAL = 1 specific account? Or when it exceed 20 connections it stop getting more user?
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Top Expert 2016

Commented:
1 CAL = 1 specific account

Author

Commented:
So that mean if I purchase  3 CAL and user01, user02,user03 are connected then even if one of them are logoff user04 can't connect because license is given to those 3 first users already. Am i right?
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
That is correct you can transfer a license every 90 days.
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Author

Commented:
Is it always 1 CAL = 1 specific user account in previous Windows versions too? Just out of curiosity.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Yes it has been that way since Server 2003
There are per user cals and per device cals

Author

Commented:
So if for example user01 quit can I reassigne the CAL to another user manually?
kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

Commented:
It is 1 User CAL per person, not per account.

It doesn't matter if 1 person uses 3 different accounts, it is 1 CAL.

If 3 different people share 1 account, you need 3 CALs.

CALs do not matter how many concurrent connections.

The other option is per device, which is a physical piece of equipment such as phone, tablet, or computer. It doesn't matter how many people uses the device, it is 1 device CAL per device.

Rules been the same since about Windows 2000 or so.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Correct but once it is assigned you have to wait 90 days for it to be able to be removed.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
@kevinshieh I think you are mixing up Server CALS and RDS cals since you need a cal for each user/device that uses RDS services.
kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

Commented:
RDS requires either device or user RDS CALs, in addition to Windows Server User/Device CALs.

I believe if a device is permanently retired, or a user is permanently gone that it can be reassigned sooner than 90 days.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Because RDS has a licensing service thay actually issues licenses via signed certificates, one user using 3 accounts would actually burn 3 user RDS licenses.

And since licenses cannot be manually reassigned, the 90 day period is mandatory. The licensing server adds the licensee bakx to the pool after 90 days of inactivity. So reassigning isn't a manual process that can be done sooner.

Author

Commented:
Ok I'm confused now :-)

For Windows 2016 terminal server:

Is this still true: 1 CAL = 1 specific user account ?
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
yes if using a USER CAL
example  john has a desktop a laptop and a tablet if using a per user cal he only needs 1 if per device cal he needs 3
if you have 24 users but only 8 desktops you need 8 device cals to cover all users.
You have to decide which is cheaper for your organization.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
The above only comes into play if they use RDS services i.e. are members of the Remote Desktop Users Group.
If you have 10 users that use RDS services and 990 that never will then you only need 10 user cals

Author

Commented:
So it's the total of simultaneous users but per user account... if I choose per user CAL.
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
not simultaneous .... lets use 3 user cals as an example.
user1 connects via RDS if a user cal is unassigned it will be assigned to him
user2 connects via RDS if a user cal is unassigned it will be assigned to him
user3 connects via RDS if a user cal is unassigned it will be assigned to him
user 1, user2 and user3 logoff
user4 connects via RDS there are no available licenses so denied RDS services.

Author

Commented:
Now it's clear :-) Thanks!

Author

Commented:
Thanks!

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