Help understanding CALs

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by TeK-FX, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. TeK-FX

    TeK-FX Limp Gawd

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    I was recently hired to work for a small company that has about 80 users on a domain. I would like to setup a Skype for Business server to replace the aging Pegasus email system they use for internal communication since their licensing is running out soon. What I do not understand is the CAL licensing and how it would work. From what I understand I believe they already have licenses for their users to access the domain controller. Would we need to purchase additional licenses to run a separate Skype for Business server?

    I have little to no experience working with CAL licensing so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. ND40oz

    ND40oz [H]ardForum Junkie

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    For Skype for Business there are three different user CALs you can purchase depending on what you intend to do with it. Standard gives you IM and PC to PC communication. Enterprise adds Screen Sharing, multi-user conferencing and a few other conferencing options and Plus adds Voice telephony and call management if you have a telephone system you want to integrate with it.

    You'll also need server CALS for each server you're going to spin up to support all of this.

    For an 80 user deployment, you may want to have your VAR price out an Office 365 deployment as well, if you do it that way, you'll only pay user licensing fees and Microsoft handles all of the backend. But then you're dependent on your internet connection for internal communication. All depends on what works for your company.
     
  3. TeK-FX

    TeK-FX Limp Gawd

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    I was looking at the standard as I wanted people to be able to message each other. What if the server Skype server is setup on the DC server? Would we still need additional CALs? Is these even a smart thing to do? The VAR we currently use it Insight. For some reason this company is completely against O365. They are a bit archaic and love their desktop applications. When brought up they talk about the network going down or internet being down in our area for any reason so they would not be able to use their applications. We deal in some government manufacturing contracts and I am not sure how that would affect licensing.

    Thank you for your reply. I am hoping to learn as much as I can about this to help move this company in a better direction as they seem more reactive than proactive in regards to their I.T.
     
  4. ND40oz

    ND40oz [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You'll need a license for each server in your Front End pool running the Skype for Business software, so even though it's on the DC, it'll need a Skype server CAL to install it. For a small deployment you'll probably only want one, but there's no redundancy if you go that route.

    Honestly though, an Office 365 Skype deployment is much easier than rolling your own, personally I'd go that way if at all possible.
     
  5. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris Wii was a Novelty

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    There is no mechanic built into Windows to limit access. Just because they are on a functional domain does not mean they have the CALs.

    My recommendation is to contact a company like CDW and have a sales rep engage their Microsoft licensing specialist. They can assist with a licensing audit and show what may be purchased and sell you what you may be missing. Their prices are going to be pretty much the same as elsewhere so don't just buy random licensing and hope you have everything covered. Remember, it's not your money, but it is your responsibility to make sure you are covered for legal reasons. The last thing you would want is to be audited by Microsoft and be deficient in licensing because the boss will be pointing the finger at you.

    For future reference, search Microsoft's site for <Product Name> Licensing Guide.
     
  6. DeaconFrost

    DeaconFrost [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is the route we're taking. The Office 365 Admin Console makes licensing SO much easier.
     
  7. TeK-FX

    TeK-FX Limp Gawd

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    This will definitely be a small deployment and I am not too worried about this system going down. Honestly, I feel their server is a bit overkill for what this company needs. A few years ago (before I came on board) this company upgraded their existing server to a Dell VRTX with 2 PowerEdge M520s and 12 600GB SAS in RAID 5. I have come to discover that the M520s are discontinued and Dell recently sent me 5 drives to replace the existing ones that were in there (that had not already been replaced). It came with 3.5" and it now has 2.5" drives running. The previous IT guy also bought a Dell EMC Unity with 9 1.2 TB drives but never got it hooked up. I have no idea what I am even going to do with it as we still have plenty of resources in the VRTX chassis.

    In the end I would like to try to make this work onsite as I feel we have the resources plus I would like the experience of doing this project. My previous IT work was less with new software setups and licensing and dealt more with DB maintenance, hardware (server/end user), IIS, appication server setups, networking.

    Thank you for all the replies.
     
  8. Biznatch

    Biznatch [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think you need to look into the hardware requirements to run S4B onsite. It takes a LOT of resources, and if you run on site you need to make sure you have the bandwidth (in/out) to handle it as well. Not to mention costs, you don't just need CALs, you'll need the S4B server licenses and OS licenses for each VM as well. Plus, you will then have to maintain this system. Your level of experience should not be a factor in this decision, only the requirements for the business and how much they are willing to pay.

    I seriously suggest you drop this solution and push for S4B on O365. They have packages for just S4B that are from 2-4$/mo per user and have infrastructure/tech this little company could never match.
     
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