Licensing Focus – Client Access License

This article is to go back to the basics of licensing Microsoft Servers. The information comes straight from the PUR (Product Use Rights). It covers Client Access Licenses (CALs) and provides an insight into the way Microsoft look at monetising access to their IP for their server software.

Product Use Rights [P36 of 128]

III)  Additional Licensing Requirements and/or Use Rights.

a)    Client Access Licenses (CALs).

Client Access License (CAL)

  • You must acquire and assign a CAL to each device or user that accesses your instances of the server software directly or indirectly.  A hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate device. The appropriate CAL for each product is listed in the table below.
  • You do not need CALs for:

(1)    any user or device that accesses your instances of the server software only through the Internet without being authenticated or otherwise individually identified by the server software or through any other means,

Device CAL

Product Use Rights [P38 of 128]

a)     Types of CALs.  There are two types of CALs: one for devices and one for users. Each device CAL permits one device, used by any user, to access instances of the server software on your licensed servers.  Each user CAL permits one user, using any device, to access instances of the server software on your licensed servers.  You may use a combination of device and user CALs

Device CAL Diagram

You may deploy network architectures that use hardware or software to reduce the number of devices or users that directly access the software on a server.  This is referred to as multiplexing or pooling. However, this does not reduce the number of CALs required to access or use the server software.  A CAL is required for each device or user that is connected to the multiplexing or pooling software or hardware front end.

Multiplexing:  Users and devices may indirectly access the Windows or SQL server software as shown in the diagram below.  Indirectly accessing the server software does not negate the requirement for a CAL.

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One thought on “Licensing Focus – Client Access License

  1. Pingback: The roundup: here’s what you may have missed « Microsoft License Review

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