Windows Server 2012 CAL Licensing

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by USMCGrunt, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 2[H]4U

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    Looking into upgrading my organization from a Windows 2k3 network to Windows 2012 but I'm a bit confused about the licensing requirement...which doesn't seem uncommon, lol. Basically, we have 5 sites, each one with a domain controller and a user account of about 200. Do I need to get 200 CALs or 1000? Im pretty sure 200 is the correct answer but....I just want to make sure, lol.
     
  2. Netwerkz101

    Netwerkz101 Gawd

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    I highly recommend a call to Microsoft or a reseller to get the correct answer.

    Making an assumption that you have 200 devices across all sites, 200 sounds right if per device CALs in use. If per user CALs, 1000.

    Again ..contact the source and get the true answer!
     
  3. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    You typically license for whatever you have the lowest amount of, devices or users.

    For example, if you have 999 workers, working 3 shifts on 333 machines, you wouldn't buy user cals because 999 workers would never be working at the same time, the most would ever be is 333, so you license for each device. If you have 500 computers but only 100 workers, you would want to only license 100 users.

    This site gives a description and drawing to help demonstrate the concept.

    http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/client-access-license.aspx
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 2[H]4U

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    Right, I understand not everyone is going to be logged into the network at the same time. Where I'm confused at is, do I need a license per person per DC. I will have five DCs up and running if we get around to implementing this so does each user/device need five licenses to access any of the DCs. I guess I'm mostly lost on how the whole CAL thing works.
     
  5. XOR != OR

    XOR != OR [H]ardForum Junkie

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    *typically* it's organization wide. So you have n dcs, 100 workstations; you'll need 100cals. Or, if you have 100 users, you'll need 100 cals. You can have any number of DCs ( assuming those are properly licensed of course ). In my experience, workstation licensing is easier to keep track of; you don't have to keep an eye on your license count when hiring employees ( only when bringing new workstations online, which is usually less frequent ).

    If you want to talk to someone to better understand licensing, I'd call CDW and talk to their MS licensing specialist.
     
  6. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 2[H]4U

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    Ok, that makes sense, a single license per workstation. Does this also mean that if someone wants to access services from a cellphone or tablet, I'd need an additional license for those devices as well?

    I like answers from you guys cause you don't try to sell me anything, anytime I call up a resource rep. they tend to just give me information relevant to getting them a sale instead of information for the sake of sharing information, lol.
     
  7. XOR != OR

    XOR != OR [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Ah, now this depends. If the cellphone or tablet is simply accessing file shares or other AD servers? Yes, if you have a device CAL model, then you'll need a license for that device. But then again, this is where a user cal model starts making sense; if one user is using two or more devices each, then it's cheaper to go with user cals.

    BUT...most of the time mobile devices are being used to access services on the network ( like Remote Desktops, or even an SQL based application ). In these situations, licenses get even stranger. I know licensing pretty well, but I'd still recommend you call up a licensing specialist before proceeding. I've worked with CDW, and they're pretty good about figuring out what you need.
    It's an acquired skill, sifting through the bullshit. You'll get the hang of it though. I like CDW because the specialist is usually just focused on figuring out what you need, not what to sell you.
     
  8. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    If you authenticate to the server, you need a CAL. If a user is away from their desktop and remote desktop in (or Logmein or any of that) you still need a CAL because they are still authenticating to the domain, regardless of what device they are coming from.

    It doesn't matter how many DC's you have, you are only buying licensing for end users or devices.

    So the amount you buy needs to equal the maximum amount of users or devices that are logged in at once. We can't answer that question for you on how many or what kind to buy because we don't know your how many users or computers you have or when people are logging in. Based on the information we give you, as the system admin, you need to make that call.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013