Microsoft CAL licensing

This topic was created by DaLo .

  1. DaLo

    Microsoft CAL licensing

    This article was written in March but I've only just seen it while searching for something else. http://blogs.technet.com/b/volume-licensing/archive/2014/03/10/licensing-how-to-when-do-i-need-a-client-access-license-cal.aspx.

    This is written by Microsoft Licensing team and would be very troubling reading for anyone who uses device CALs, hosts a web server which allows user logins or uses MS Server for their DHCP service.

    It states, I kid you not, that every device that gets a DHCP address from an MS server needs either a device CAL or the user needs a User CAL!. It also specifically states that a printer that is attached to the network and its users print via an MS print queue, have the drivers delivered by GPO and/or gets its IP from DHCP needs a device CAL unless every user of that printer has a user CAL.

    It also states that if you host a website and the users log in (not to Active Directory, just log in to create to add something to their basket) then they each need an External Connector CAL!!! Yes, you have 50,000 visitors a year to your website logging in to buy something - that'll be a CAL for each of them.

    Have they gone barmy? Surely a CAL should only be needed if that user or device needs authentication via Active Directory?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft CAL licensing

      Have they gone barmy?

      Totally bonkers, if you ask me.

      The logic is clear, but I would suggest that a system which requires a further license just to use an attached printer is clearly incomplete and not fit for purpose.

      I had the misfortune to have to understand this shit about 10 years ago, and I don't think it was quite as barmy. Still nuts though.

      The web server bit raises an interesting question. If you have a site hosted externally on a microsoft server and you implement a shop (or indeed any function that involves user accounts and stored user information), is the hosting company paying for the user CALs required?

      1. DaLo

        Re: Microsoft CAL licensing

        I would say that no-one is paying for them, which is why that post is so ridiculous.

        If that was an enforced claim then no-one at all would be able to use Microsoft as a Web Server outside of a brochureware site.

        Also, you couldn't run a WiFi hotspot in a cafe if you just happened to be using your DHCP server on a Windows Server to allocate private IPs. It would bankrupt you.

      2. Vince

        Re: Microsoft CAL licensing

        The Web Server thing is really very simple. Hosting Providers have other forms of licensing agreement from Microsoft that allow them to licence the software making this a non-issue. There are also other options (and yes, it will depend on the scenario).

        For example, Windows Server Web Edition exists for pure Web Hosting scenarios (at least "did" - it might be gone now and personally I don't care enough to check).

        There are External Connector licenses that permit usage you describe in some scenarios.

        There are of course 2 options if you're confused:

        (a) Get a Microsoft Licensing Specialist to give you the correct options to stop your constant moaning.

        (b) Use a product that does not require those licenses. I hear that Open Source is often a good place to start if you're more concerned with licensing than other costs which may or may not in any given scenario work our more or less cost effective than the other.

        It is recommended that instead of moaning a lot you get proper advice.

        1. DaLo

          Re: Microsoft CAL licensing

          You obviously didn't read the Microsoft post or maybe just have difficulty comprehending topics. Either way pointing out a ridiculous post by Microsoft's own licensing team is not moaning.

          I know a lot more about Microsoft licensing than you appear to however that was not the point of the post - just read the article and the comments and then maybe you can actually add something useful to this thread?

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