Understanding Windows Server Client Access Licenses (CALs)
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Understanding Windows Server Client Access Licenses (CALs)

Stay current with license compliance and
regulations with Client Access Licenses, or CALs. CALs are used in conjunction with Microsoft Windows Server software licenses to grant access to Microsoft Windows Server software and let
users or devices utilize the solutions. They are available in packs of 1, 5, 10, or 50
at the time of the server purchase or down the road, when your company starts to grow. It is easy to confuse Microsoft Client Access Licenses and Microsoft Windows server licenses but they are not the same. When a customer purchases a Windows Server license, they receive a license that allows them to install
the operating system onto the server. However, the Windows Server license
does not give them the legal right for users or for devices to connect to the server. For this, each user or device must have a
Client Access License. When determining your CAL needs,
these key points may help: CALs are required for all users or devices that have direct access to Windows Server Standard or Datacenter editions for Windows Server 2016. For Windows Server 2016 Essentials edition,
CALs are not required. There are three types of Cal’s: User CALs, Device CALs, and Remote Desktop Service CALs. User CALs allow a single user to access Windows Server from an unlimited number of devices. Device CALs allow an unlimited number of users to access Windows Server from a single device. Remote Desktop Service, or RDS CALs, are required for users or devices that want to utilize Remote Desktop Services functionality
on Windows Server. Note that regular User or Device CALs are still
required as well as in addition to RDS CALs. It is imperative that your business stays up to
date with CAL compliance requirements, so you don’t fall behind or find yourself in error. Adding more users? You may need more user CALs. Adding new devices? You may need more device CALs. By ensuring you are maintaining your CALs compliance requirements, you have all you need to power your business with HPE infrastructure and Microsoft Windows Server.


  • Gianpiere Salcedo

    I Will need users cal if my software is a nin Microsoft software and get conected to a Microsoft Windows server?. Sorry for my bad english.

  • Mr Nope

    In our company, almost every user have notebook and virtual computer on server over RDP. Question is, User CALs are ok for both "devices", or should I use User/Device CALs and extra RDP CALs or how it should work?

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