Windows Server CAL requirement

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by oldknock, Apr 30, 2008.

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  1. oldknock

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    We have 28 phones currently and we're moving toward 80 phones in our deployment. Since we're running 3CX on Windows Server 2003 (and eventually Windows Server 2008), do we need a separate CAL for each phone/device? My understanding is that no, we do not, since the phones are not accessing Microsoft services or applications such as print or file sharing. Instead, they are accessing 3CX services that are installed on Windows-based servers. However, what about DHCP and DNS, two Microsoft server applications? Groan.

    As Microsoft admits, "Due to the technical nature of server products, CAL licensing can be a complicated area." I'd appreciate some input, disagreement or affirmation of my understanding.

     
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  2. archie

    archie Well-Known Member
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    Wow, what if your DNS server is queried from internet? Should you really buy a license for every potential client in the world? :)
    Just wondering, sorry I don't know what to answer, but as for me it seems unreasonable to license DNS or DHCP service on "per user" basis.
     
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  3. Nick Galea

    Nick Galea Site Admin

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    Fair question. No, using 3CX you do not need any extra CALs. We do not depend on any Microsoft service that requires CALs for that very reason. In regards to DNS and DHCP, I am quite sure that you do not need CALS for that.

    You need CALS for file sharing, terminal services and such stuff.
     
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  4. oldknock

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    Very helpful, Nick, thanks. I'm relieved but not surprised.

    My general impression is that CAL licensing is so complicated that every enterprise audited by Redmond has compliance issues. Perhaps ignorance is bliss, but I had to ask.

    @ Archie -- I've seen a few things out of Redmond that weren't entirely reasonable. But I concur with your evaluation.

    Again, thanks, guys! I appreciate the support.
     
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  5. RobLloyd

    RobLloyd Member

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    I can confirm this. You do not need CALS for DHCP or DNS or even 3CX. CALS are for connecting users or devices to the server - users needing email, files, printing, etc. DHCP and DNS are not included in that. I have a 5 user CAL and about 20 devices (2 laptops, 3-5 servers, 1 PDA, 7 phones, 4 desktops, 2 printers, NAS, AudioTron, 2-3 WAPs) on my home network without any issues. But I can only log into up to 5 machines at a time.
     
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  6. Thona

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    More exact, CAL's are for connecting users to DEFINED SERVICES on the server. As long as you run a software on the server that is not part of this list you do not need a CAL.

    On top, CAL's can be attached to computers (not users), allowing them to access an unlimited number of servers. For most companies this is cheaper - pay once for every workstation, not for every user and every server he accesses. If you license like that, even IF you would need CAL's, you would not need to purchase them, as the device would already have them.

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    My general impression is that CAL licensing is so complicated that every enterprise audited by Redmond has compliance issues.
    Hardly. My general impression is that people tend to think that their IT staff handles licensing, and the IT staff is in genral to lazy, busy or incompetent in legal matters to actually care. For example...

    Fror example this :) Depending what data your DNS server has, you may actually need to rent the server license by a monthly fee (SPLA). One seldom renowned fact about standard server licenses is that... they do not allow you to rent out access to the system (i.e. like providing DNS hosting services), and you need a special license for that. I have that issue right now with a customer. Ignorant CEO - managed to buy tons of Windows and SQL Server licenses, including the Internet connector, just they are useless because they do not cover the hosting scenario the customer runs.
     
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