When speaking with HP and Microsoft resellers, we often hear many different questions about CALs. So, before we get to the Microsoft User CAL pricing update, we wanted to take a moment to answer some of the most common questions we hear.
First, “What is a CAL?”
A Client Access License, or CAL, gives users or devices the legal right to access Microsoft Server software that is installed on a server. With Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012, CALs are not included as part of the Windows Server software, allowing customers to separately purchase precisely what they need.
Second, “Are there different types of CALs?”
Great question! Yes, there are two main CAL types: Device CALs and User CALs. With Device CALs, a CAL is purchased for each device that accesses the server, regardless of the number of users who use that device to access the server. Device CALs may make more economic and administrative sense if a company has workers who share devices, such as shift workers.
However, A User CAL is purchased for every user who accesses the server to use services such as file storage or printing, regardless of the number of devices they use for that access. This is a good option for companies who have employees who need roaming access to the corporate network using multiple devices, or if there are more devices than users in the organization.
Finally, “What do my customers need, Device CALs, or User CALs?”
The choice between selecting User CALs vs. Device CALs depends on economic factors and ease of management. If customers have more devices than users, it may make sense for them to license per user. If the customer finds it easier to track users than count devices, the per-user licensing model offers an appropriate solution. If the opposite is true, Device CALs may be a better fit. When speaking with your customers, be sure to ask about their licensing needs to help them decide which CALs work best for their specific case.
As we briefly mentioned before, there is a pricing update for User CALs. Effective August 1st, 2015 Microsoft will be increasing CAL pricing (therefore all OEMs will also be implementing some changes). For HP, User CAL pricing will increase approximately 15% across channels (Volume Licensing, FPP, and OEM). This change comes as a result of increased device proliferation, increased value of User CALs, and improved manageability and compliance. It is important to note, this change is just for for User CALs, not device CALs.
*BONUS: Do you want more info/examples on CALs? We have created a cool infographic for you! (Click on attachment to download your own PDF file!)
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