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Planning for Correct Licensing

Licensing with SBS is one of the simplest pieces of the installation and maintenance of a system, yet it leads to the most confusion on the part of business owners and consultants alike. You do not have to be a licensing guru to be able to procure the correct number and types of licenses for SBS. Microsoft does offer multiple licensing programs, however, and an explanation of those programs and how they apply to your installation is beyond the scope of this book.

First, SBS uses a different type of Client Access License (CAL) than the standard Windows Server product. The SBS CALs cover access to all the technologies included with SBS—Windows Server, Exchange, SQL, and so on. These CALs are divided into two types: user and device. Depending on the makeup of the organization you may use one type or the other, possibly both.

When to Use User CALs

User CALs are associated with a particular user—not a user account, not a login name, but the actual human being who will be logging in to the server. The User CAL allows the user to access the server from any number of different devices, even multiple devices at the same time. This is the type of CAL that would be allocated to the system administrator—he will be accessing the server from multiple locations, probably even from home. Other users who would likely need a User CAL is a company executive who travels and may access his email from web terminals at airports, coffee shops, or trade shows. If this person also has more than one system that he uses regularly—for example, a desktop at the office and a laptop for travel or home use—that person would need a User CAL.

When to Use Device CALs

Device CALs are associated with a particular device—a PC, laptop, or PDA. Assigning a Device CAL to a particular computer is really only needed in one scenario: A shipping company has a warehouse staffed 24 hours a day. Three employees who work in shifts use a single computer terminal over the course of the day: one from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., one from 4:00 p.m. to midnight, and the other from midnight to 8:00 a.m. In this case, assigning a Device CAL to the PC that all three employees use makes the most sense be- cause you will need only one Device CAL rather than three User CALs to account for the use on that computer. On the other hand, if any of those employees uses another computer on the network that is not covered by a Device CAL, that person should have a User CAL assigned instead.

Terminal Server CALs

Now that you have a solid understanding of how CALs work, let’s add a twist to the mix—terminal server. To access a terminal server on a network, you need to have a Terminal Server CAL (TSCAL) in addition to a User or Device CAL. The type of TSCAL you need depends on the operating system running on the terminal server.

As discussed in Chapter 1, "Understanding SBS Technologies," SBS 2003 cannot run Terminal Services in Application mode. Therefore, you do not need to purchase any TSCALs to access the server through a remote connection.

If the terminal server is running Windows 2000, no additional TSCALs are needed for workstations running Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional. When those clients connect, the Windows 2000 terminal server issues a license from its built-in license pool. All other clients connecting to the terminal server require a separate TSCAL to be installed into the Terminal Server Licensing server.

With Windows Server 2003, Microsoft changed the terminal server licensing requirements. Each terminal server connection still requires a TSCAL, but now TSCALs are divided into Per-User and Per-Device categories. The Per-User and Per-Device designations are similar to the User and Device categories for SBS CALs in that a TSCAL can be assigned to an individual or a particular workstation. In addition, Microsoft has removed the "operating system equivalency" feature that allowed Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional workstations to connect to a Windows 2000 terminal server without a separate CAL. Microsoft does offer a Terminal Server CAL Transition plan for organizations that had rights to run Windows XP on or before April 24, 2003. Under this plan, every eligible Windows XP Professional workstation can acquire a single Per-User or Per-Device TSCAL at no additional cost from Microsoft. More information about this program can be found at

including the scheduled end date of this program, which is currently December 31, 2005.

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