HPE Community read-only access December 15, 2018
This is a maintenance upgrade. You will be able to read articles and posts, but not post or reply.
Dec 15, 4:00 am to 10:00 am UTC
Dec 14, 10:00 pm CST to Dec 15, 4:00 am CST
Dec 14, 8:00 pm PST to Dec 15, 2:00 am PST
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Introduction to HPE OEM Microsoft Client Access Licenses (CALs)


We have been going on and on about pairing Microsoft Windows Server 2016 with HPE Servers and all the benefits this pairing provides your customers. This month, we want to take a step back and talk about an often overlooked (but very important!) piece of the Windows Server licensing puzzle: Client Access Licenses (or CALs for short).

Ist, let's watch a quick CAL overview :

Now, let's take a deeper look at CALs!   

Who needs CALs?
When a customer purchases a Microsoft Windows Server (such as an HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Standard edition license) license to accompany their new HPE Gen10 server, they receive a license that allows them to install the server operating system (OS) onto the server.

However, the Windows Server license by itself does not provide the legal right to allow users or devices to connect to that server. For this, each user (or device) needs a Client Access License (CAL). Customers need to purchase a CAL for EVERY user or device that accesses the Windows Server OS.


Are CALS included with Windows Server 2016?
Although CALs were included with some past versions of Windows Server, CALs are not included with Windows Server 2016 and must be purchased separately.


When should I ask customers about their CAL needs?
All customers who upgrade to Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition or Standard edition will need Windows Server 2016 CALs for every user or device that accesses the server OS (please note, CALs are not required for Essentials edition). If customers have leftover/unused Windows Server 2012 CALs these will not work with Windows Server 2016—CALs must be the same version as, or higher than, the server software they are accessing. In other words, users or devices accessing a server running Windows Server 2016 must have Windows Server 2016 CALs (and, Windows Server 2016 CALs will permit them access to all earlier versions of Windows Server as well).

While CALs are most commonly purchased with Windows Server at the initial point of purchase, it is good practice to check in with your past customers to see if their CAL needs have changed. If they have added more employees, devices, or have increased their Virtual Machines, they may need to purchase additional CALs to stay in full legal compliance with Microsoft licensing.


Fast facts about CALs:
- Customers need to buy server CALs for every user or device that accesses the server
- CALs are used in conjunction with Microsoft server software licenses to allow users and devices to access and utilize the services of that server software
- CALs are version specific and may be used to access the corresponding version of Windows Server or any previous versions
- All customers who upgrade to Windows Server 2016 Datacenter or Standard edition will need to purchase Windows Server 2016 CALs for every user or device that accesses the server OS
- Customers who are not yet upgrading to Windows Server 2016 may need to purchase additional CALs—if their business needs have changed—in order to stay in full legal compliance with Microsoft licensing
- CALs are available in packs of 1, 5, 10, or 50


2017-09-07 CAL Introduction.jpgJoin us next week as we talk about the different types of CALs (User CALs, Device CALs, and RDS CALs) and how to determine which type best fits your customers’ business needs.


Have questions about CALs? Leave us a note in the comments and one of our HPE Microsoft experts will answer. Or, you can email questions to: CoffeeCo@hpe.com.


Remember to join the Coffee Coaching community to keep up with the latest HPE OEM Microsoft news and interact directly with HPE Microsoft experts.

0 Kudos
About the Author


Willa manages the HPE | Microsoft Coffee Coaching program. Follow along to learn more about the latest HPE OEM Microsoft product releases and how the HPE Microsoft partnership can benefit partners and customers.

Nov 27 - 29
Madrid, Spain
HPE Discover 2018 Madrid
Learn about all things HPE Discover 2018 in Madrid, Spain, 27 - 29 November, 2018.
Read more
See posts for
HPE at 2018 Technology Events
Learn about the technology events where Hewlett Packard Enterprise will have a presence in 2018.
Read more
View all