Selecting a CAL Type

FlexNet Manager Suite 2022 R1 (On-Premises)

You can buy individual CALs for each accessing user or accessing device, or you may choose to buy CAL Suites (for a user or device). To make an effective decision about which CALs you should buy, you may want to know the usage details for the server products that require CALs. Organizations typically use a mixture of CAL licensing types based on their usage needs and the profiles of their user population.

Choosing Between User and Device CALs

If you choose to license servers via the Server/CAL license model, you may choose from user-based or device-based licenses. The User CAL approach requires you to purchase a CAL for every user that accesses a Microsoft server product (such as Microsoft SharePoint Server), regardless of the number of devices used to access that particular product. This enables users to access the services from multiple client devices, including any computers from outside the organization. The User CAL also covers access via mobile devices, such as users checking their email via smartphones or tablets. One User CAL for a server product enables you to access any number of instances of that server product. For example, if you have purchased a User CAL for Windows Server for a user, that user can access multiple Windows Servers.

Alternatively, the Device CAL approach requires you to purchase a CAL for every device through which the services of a server product are accessed. With an appropriate Device CAL for a device, any number of users can access the server product through that accessing device. This is often a desirable option in environments such as call centers, retail outlets or manufacturing sites in which multiple users share a single PC or kiosk. The ability to mix Device and User CALs in a single environment depends on your license agreement terms, but you must assign individual CALs to either a device or a user.

To clarify this concept, take an example of an organization with 600 users accessing Windows and Exchange servers. These 600 users work in three shifts of 200 at any time. The organization may choose to purchase 600 User CALs for Windows and 600 User CALs for Microsoft Exchange Server. However, a simple analysis shows that at any time, only 200 users are using the same computers to access the servers. Therefore, the organization is likely to buy 200 Device CALS for Exchange Server and 200 Device CALs for Windows. However, if these same 200 users are also accessing servers via their smartphones, tablets or home computers, you may find the User CAL option to be more affordable.
Note: Microsoft typically recommends you not to mix User and Device CALs.
For external users who connect to your organization’s computers (for example, guest users or business partners), you can buy additional User CALs for each accessed server or an External Connector License, if appropriate for the quantity of external users involved.

Choosing Between Individual CALs and CAL Suites

A CAL Suite is a special license prodviding CALs for several different server products. This may make a CAL Suite more cost effective than buying an individual CAL for each distinct server product. For example, if 100 users in your organization have access to Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Skype for Business (previously Microsoft Lync Server), and Microsoft System Center Servers, it is more cost effective to purchase 100 Core CAL Suite licenses instead of 100 standalone product CALs for each of these servers. Microsoft has the following two Server CAL Suite offerings:
  • Microsoft Core CAL Suite
  • Microsoft Enterprise CAL Suite.
Consider the following points before you purchase CAL Suites:
  • You can license these suites on per user or per device basis, and cannot split between users and devices.
  • CAL Suites can only be purchased with Software Assurance (maintenance) coverage. If you do not renew the Software Assurance, the CALs are locked into the current version of each CAL available at the expiry date.
  • As CAL Suites contain licenses for independently-released products, CAL Suites are version-less. CAL Suites provide the right to use the most recent version of every product in the suite.
    Tip: For detailed information about Microsoft CAL Suites, see the Microsoft website.

Virtualization and CALs

As CAL consumption is based on the access to a server product, it does not matter whether the server product has been installed on a virtual or a physical machine. You are required to buy CALs based on the number or users or devices accessing the server software. A User CAL grants access to any instance of that server product within the enterprise. Similarly, when you buy a Device CAL for a server product, any user can access any instance of the server product through that device.

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2022 R1