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Don’t Forget the CALs! All About Client Access Licenses


As every user or device requires a license to access programs on the server, it is important to remember to ask about your customer’s Client Access License (CAL) needs with every Operating System and server sale. Today, Steven Bark will show us all about CALs: what they are, and the different types.





First, what is a CAL?


A CAL is a Client Access License and it grants access to certain Microsoft Server software licenses. In other words, CALs allow users and devices to utilize the services of the Server software. For example, if one were to purchase an HP ProLiant server with a Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter license, they would need to provide users or devices the rights to access the software that is running on the server. That is where CALs come in, to grant those rights.


There are different kinds of CALs used to provide these access rights.




First, there are Device CALs. These are needed for any device, utilized by any users, accessing the servers. Device CALs make the most economical and administrative sense for an organization with multiple users for one device, such as shift workers.






Then, there are User CALs. User CALs provide an access license for every named user accessing the servers from any device. These make the most economical and administrative sense for an organization with many roaming employees 

who need access to the corporate network from unknown devices, or employees whom access the network via multiple devices (note: if the number of users is less than the number of devices, user CALs are the more economical choice).





In addition to Device CALs and User CALs, there is a third kind of CAL, Remote Desktop Service CALs (RDS CALs). RDS CALs are required if the user or device is accessing or using the terminal server functionality of Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter editions. For help evaluating the best way to license CALs for your customer’s needs you can go here.




Note: it is important to remember that up to two users, or devices, may access the server software only for server administration purposes without requiring CALs.


You may be wondering what CALs are offered for HP OEM Windows Server 2012 Operating Systems. HP OEM offerings of Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter editions do not include any CALs pre-bundled with the OS License. However, HP makes User CALs and Device CALs that are available individually or in packs of 5 that you can offer to your customer at any time. HP also offers Remote Desktop Services CALs. For any additional CALs purchased, the purchased decides the type, user or device, and the number that they desire.


For more information on CALs and Windows Server 2012, be sure to join the Coffee Coaching community by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Be on the lookout for another Coffee Coaching CAL blog that will answer a few frequently asked CAL questions!



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