Friday, November 14, 2008

SBS 2008 CALs

There's been a lot of talk about SBS 2008 CALs, maybe, maybe too much talk. SBS 2008 CALs are available, as were SBS 2003 CALs, in 5- and 20-pack SKUs and in addition to this they are also available as single CAL SKUs. That's good, because with the significant increase in the price of SBS 2008 over SBS 2003, we need to have something that our smaller clients can see as a benefit! :)

Eric Ligman blogged about the SBS 2008 Open Value and Open Value Subscription CALs here. That blog post is missing information about Open Business Licensing SKUs, which is available on the distributors' price lists as I write this blog. Unfortunately, as there's no spreadsheet nor simple list I can find, I'm not going to spend an hour or more clicking on each option to get its SKU, however I can say that on the Ingram Micro website, these are all listed (single CAL SKUs only, however) under Licensing, Microsoft, MS Windows Small Business CAL, and with Express Data, you need to contact ED Licensing to get information and pricing on any Licensing quoues.

So, as a quick summary, SBS 2008 OEM is available with 5 CALs and there are OEM 5-CAL Standard and OEM 5-CAL Premium packs available (as a Device CAL pack or a User CAL Pack). Open Business Licensing CALs (Standard and Premium) are available from the distys in single SKU, 5- and 20-pack SKUs. And don't forget, an SBS 2008 CAL Standard can be used on both SBS 2008 Standard and SBS 2008 Premium systems if the user has no need to access SQL, however if they need to access the SQL component of SBS 2008 Premium, then (and only then) do they need an SBS 2008 CAL Premium.

If the Standard/Premium CAL bit is not clear enough, let me know and I'll write a blog entry to better clarify this.


The Outspoken Wookie


Nick said...

Hey Hilton, just noticed our blogs look very similar! Just a quick note to say I blogged on a similar topic and have a spreadsheet with part numbers for SBS Standard in all it's guises - This includes a part number for a single OEM CAL.

Emily Lambert from MS UK has come back to me today with a part number for Open (Business) License single CAL, that I was struggling to find. I'll update my blog over the weekend with it.


Hilton Travis said...

G'day Nick,

If you don't mind, I'll pilfer some of the SKUs in this doc of yours and make a posting here for Australian resellers.

I wanted to do this, but needed to get this post up quickly so I could complete my SBSC Newsletter article, hence the reason I didn't post the SKUs.

Thanks for the info - much appreciated. :)

Daniel Mundy said...

Hi Hilton,

In a premium environment with the second server license used as a terminal server, would a standard SBS 2008 CAL still allow access to the terminal server? (providing of course that the client has enough TS CALs).

Daniel Mundy

Hilton Travis said...

G'day Daniel,

An SBS 2008 Standard CAL would definitely allow access to the Terminal Server running on the second server License of SBS 2008 PE (or for that matter, SBS 2008 SE + WS2K8 Std) as long as you have enough TS CALs available as the Terminal Services role does not require an SBS 2008 Premium CAL - only running SQL Server Standard (as a part of SBS 2008 PE) requires the SBS 2008 Premium CAL.

Alfredo said...

Hi Hilton:

I am thinking about buying Windows SBS 2008 Premium for a network of 5 users but which will increase to 15 next month. The product comes with 5 CALS, CALS will be device-based. What problem would be if more than 5 users use the server resources (server only has 5 CALs), the server prevents connections? Thanks in advance.

Hilton Travis said...

G'day Alfredo,

As with SBS 2003, the first 5 CALs are whatever combination you choose, so you can make them Device or User or any combination. Once you choose a type, please remember to record this in an Calc sheet as Microsoft has no way of knowing what type you chose to make them.

Now, unlike SBS 2003, SBS 2008 has no Licensing Manager at all - you can technically add 75 users to the default 5 CALs and have them all log in without having any Licensing components stop you, however this is obviously a breach of Licensing, even though there's no technical enforcement in SBS 2008.

So, you can add another 10 users/devices whenever you want and buy CALs for them as you add them and SBS 2008 will not require CALs to be added before connecting the users or devices.

Also, I have a User CAL on our own SBS 2003 box here at the office. I log in with a) desktop, b) laptop, c) tablet d) PDA and e) OWA simultaneously and *all* of these logins require a single User CAL - if I was running Device CALs, I'd need to have 5 Device CALs for what I do regularly.

Please choose carefully between Device and User CALs based on how the network will be used - making the wrong choice can cost quite a bit in excessive Licensing fees.

Kostas said...


We have a Windows 2003 R2 Server up and running. We want to buy an SBS 2008 Standard and move the 2003 in a branch office.
Can we add the 2003 as an additional domain controller in the branch office, or the additional DC must be 2008 Server?


Hilton Travis said...

G'day Kostas,

If you have an existing SBS 2003 you *cannot* add it to an SBS 2008 domain (other than for a short period during migration) as this is a) outside the Licensing terms and b) will result in the SBS 2003 box rebooting every 24 hours because of this Licensing breach.

However, if you have a Windows Server 2003 Standard License, you can use that at the branch site.

You can also purchase SBS 2008 Premium Edition and use the second Server License in that bundle at the branch office, making it a full DC or an RODC (my preference) and still use the SBS 2008 Server at the main office.

Daniyar said...

Hello Hilton!
I have a question about SBS 2008 limit to user connections.
Is it technical limit for 75 user connection? Or its Licensing breach?
Our customer have 60 user in average. But every summer company growing for about 40-50 new users (students), and they must have temporary domain accounts. Summary there are 100 users in summer time. Customer want to purchase SBS 2008 Standard and 60 user CALs for it. Is it possible to temporary have additional 40-50 user connections in this configuration? Or its technical limit for 75 user?



Hilton Travis said...

G'day Daniyar,

It is a Licensing limit - however breaching this doesn't make it less illegal than piracy, so please take that into consideration.

If your customer does this, you and your customer will be held responsible when the Microsoft Licensing police come around and find this - you don't really want that to happen at all.

What I'd suggest is *either* looking at Windows Server 2008 Standard (or Enterprise) + Exchange and regular Server and Exchange CALs, or looking at EBS 2008 Standard as it has a limit of 300 CALs, which is more suited to your business.

Of course, if these additional staff use only an additional 15 devices in total, bringing the total number of CALs to 75 (60 User CALs and 15 Device CALs) then you'd remain within the Licensing restrictions, remain legal, and be able to use SBS 2008 for this.

Of course, running all of this on a single box is not what I'd recommend for 60 users. I'd be looking at Server 2008 Enterprise + Exchange (or maybe EBD 2008) here.

Daniyar said...

Hello Hilton!

Thank you for understanding this situation! Of course, I will take into consideration your words.



Dan said...

This is kind of outdated but the question is relevant to me today.
Our software vendor demands a separate server and won't install their software on the SBS Primary one. For this purpose I was considering purchasing the SBS 2008 Premium edition. However, although client machines on the network will be accessing the second premium server, none of these applications use SQL Server (but rather Oracle). Do I need to purchase Premium or Standard CALs in this scenario?



Hilton Travis said...

G'day Dan,

The SBS 2008 Premium CAL is *only* required if you are accessing SQL 2008 for SBS 2008 (and in that case, it doesn't matter which Server it is installed on). So in your case, where the LOB comes with Oracle, you would not need to buy SBS 2008 Premium CALs, only SBS 2008 Standard CALs, however please note that the first 5 CALs you have - those included with the SBS 2008 Premium package, are SBS 2008 Premium CALs anyway.