I get this question a lot, so I thought I would share some info on CALs and ECs
Lets not forget that the choice to go with CALs or an EC<for external users/devices, I will explain further> is usually down to COST or Compliancy
Client Access Licenses – CALs
CALs are not software, they are the right to access the services of a server or servers
CALs are offered in Per User or Per Device mode, again, the choice is down to you, take the factors below into consideration before deciding, they cost the same!
•Device CAL: Licenses a device for use by any user to access instances of the server software on licensed servers
•User CAL: Licenses one user to use any device to access instances of the server software on licensed servers
CALs are version specific, If you have Windows Server 2003, you need Win 2003 CALs, Win 2000 CALs will NOT do!, you can of course use Windows 2003 CALs to cover access to a Win 2000 Server, they need to be Per Device though
You must acquire and assign a CAL to each device or user that accesses your instances of the server software directly or indirectly. A hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate device.
You do not need CALs for:
Any user or device that accesses your instances of the server software only through the Internet without being authenticated or otherwise individually identified by the server software or through any other means,
Any of your servers licensed to run instances of the server software, and
Up to two devices or users to access your instances of the server software only to administer those instances.
Did you know – you can temporarily reassign your device CAL to a loaner device while the first device is out of service or your user CAL to a temporary worker while the user is absent.
Which should I choose, Device or User or EC?
The choice is your own, here are some guidelines
You may choose Per Device simply because you have more USERS than devices, such as in a Call Centre with multiple shifts sharing the same device
You may choose Per User because you have a multi device infrastructure were your users each have a PC/Laptop/PDA or similar devices
You may choose EC because you have multiple external users/devices connecting to your servers, or you cannot keep a count of connection made to your server by external devices/users
More on EC
An External Connector (EC) license is an alternative to CALs for each server that external users will access.
An external user is a person who is not an employee, or similar personnel of the company or its affiliates, and is not someone to whom you provide hosted services using the server software
An EC license assigned to a server permits access by any number of external users, as long as that access is for the benefit of the licensee and not the external user.
Each physical server that external users access requires only one EC license regardless of the number of instances running.
EC licenses, like CALs, are version and functionality specific, They must be the same version or later than the server software being accessed.
You may use Cals in place of EC and vice versa for external users
The decision on whether to acquire CALs or an EC is primarily a financial one.
Did you know – The Windows CAL "breakpoint" for external users/devices is approx 69, so if you have 69+ external users/devices connecting to your server, it will be more cost effective to purchase a Windows EC
Which should I choose Standard or Standard+Enterprise CALs?
All products have a Standard CAL, but some of our server products have a choice between Standard and Standard+Enterprise CALs – MOSS/Exchange and OCS
The choice is based on the functionality you want at the DEVICE end
A Standard CAL allows client computers access to a limited set of fundamental services of the server
An Enterprise CAL allows client computers access to more advanced services of the server
It “adds to” rather than includes the functionality of the Standard CAL
Did you know – You do NOT require the ENTERPRISE edition of the Server to utilise the Enterprise CAL
More info on Standard/Enterprise CAL functionality to follow and an overview of Core CAL and Enterprise CAL Suite