Understand Microsoft Server Licensing

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Info-Tech clients have often said that one of the biggest points of pain with respect to Microsoft Volume Licensing is trying to keep server and Client Access Licenses (CALs) current with new software versions or with new functionality. Proper understanding of server licensing options can open the doors for license optimization initiatives and help maintain license compliance. This research note will look at:

  • Server licensing basics. Options include per seat, per processor, and per server licensing models.
  • Licensing of server CALs. For many managers, CALs tend to be out of sight, out of mind, and an afterthought when it comes to licensing.
  • Server virtualization. The trend towards processor server virtualization is also causing enterprises to question the validity of their traditional licensing assumptions.
  • Additional server licensing scenarios. Products such as CAL suites, thin client models, and external connectors.

Although other server products are discussed peripherally, this research note looks primarily at licensing for Windows Servers.

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