Server + CAL Licensing Model
When opting for the Server + CAL licensing model, the use of Microsoft Windows Server requires client access Licences (CALs). These are standard CALs that license the access of users and/or devices to Windows Server and its services. Following this logic, the CALs can be User CALs and Device CALs.
Server license is the license users must obtain to install the Server, in this case, Windows Server. To license the access of users and/or devices, CAL licenses must be purchased. Server license is the license users must obtain to install the Server, in this case, Windows Server. To license the access of users and/or devices, CAL licenses must be purchased.
Client Access License (CAL)
Clients Access Licences (CALs) are software licences that are necessary for the legal use of server software in businesses and organizations. CALs can be two types depending on whether they are assigned to a user (User-CAL) or a device (Device-CAL). In principle, organizations can license both users and devices with CALs. The rule of thumb when it comes to CAL licensing, however, is that when the users outnumber the devices within an enterprise, Device CALs are the more budget-friendly option. If there are more devices than users requiring access to the Windows Server, it is cheaper to opt for User CALs.
CAL: Types and Use
As mentioned earlier, CALs can be two types - User CALs and Device CALs. When the employees within an organization use multiple devices to access Windows Server, such as a company PC, phone, and laptop, it is more advantageous to license the access of these users with User CALs instead of the access for all the devices with Device CALs. User CALs in this case allow employees to access Windows Server regardless of the devices' type and their number.
In case several employees use the same or a few devices, it makes more financial sense to license the devices' access to the server with Device CALs. This way, the CAL is linked to the device and not the user(s) who access the server. Device CAL licensing is especially convenient for companies with shift or part-time workers.
According to the Microsoft licensing guide, each user and/or device accessing the server and its services must be properly and adequately licensed. This being said, if the licensing is incorrect, companies usually face fines and other penalties.
Products that use Server + CAL
- Windows Server
- SQL Server
- Exchange Server
- SharePoint Server
Advantages and disadvantages of Server + CAL
Server + CAL Licensing Model is especially beneficial for smaller and medium-sized companies, as it is cheaper than alternatives such as Core Licensing in the case of SQL Server. One disadvantage of Server + CAL is the fluctuating number of users and/or devices. If a company decides to license per user/device, it is important to keep a clear overview of how many CALs there are, whether they are enough, and purchase additional ones accordingly.
Alternatives for Server + CAL
- Per Core - At Per Core
- Pay as you go - Through pay as you go, users pay for the use of Power Apps and Power Automate by purchasing an Azure subscription. Here, the user does not pay upfront for a license but pays afterward for the amount of time or resources used.
- Subscriptions - Subscriptions are a relatively new emerging concept. It is developing in the form of Office 365 and Microsoft 365. These subscriptions create the possibility for users to use certain linked software such as Word, Excel, and Skype on up to 5 devices. Subscriptions also allow the use of Online Services linked to it.