Help understanding Windows Server CALs

xeleron

New Member
Hello gentlemen/ladies, I come to you seeking help with a windows server problem. I recently started helping a small company with their IT equipment and there is a problem I am facing right now. They have bought an ERP software which is a client-server solution, running on top of Microsoft SQL Express 2012. Currently they are hosting the server on one of their „workstations”, some ASUS AIO with an i5 7200u, 8 gb ddr3 and a solid state drive + a backup hard-drive. Due to user activity on the workstation, sometimes the resources needed for doing both SQL queries and any user activities (such as using the gsuite in chrome) chockes the CPU and latency increases greatly on the clients connected to it. After talks back and forth between me, the company boss and the ERP developer team we all agreed on moving the server either to a dedicated Windows 10 machine doing nothing but hosting the sql server or migrating to a windows server with some more reliability features available. Now, I am tasked with configuring the server (ws 2016 standard) and the ERP software guys will install and configure the SQL server( over which I have no permission to access configs and stuff). My question is, are CALs required for interacting with the SQL server hosted on the WS2016 system or not? There will be no other WS features needed due to the jungle nature of their office (everyone runs w10 home, so no domain, no AD, no WSUS) and their sheer resilience in changhing anything (basically every user is an admin).Thank you for any feedback.
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Microsoft Windows servers require two things. The first being the Windows Server 2016 OS license which is based on hardware core count. Standard is $110 per two CPU cores. You will also need to purchase either device or user CALs. Device CALs provide for an unlimited number of users accessing the server from a single device (workstation, laptop or another server). A user CAL allows a single user to access your server(s) from an unlimited number of devices. SQL server does not require any CALs but accessing services on the Windows Server does. When in doubt work with tech partner such as CDW and they can help you with which CALs and how many server licensing packs you need.
 

xeleron

New Member
Hello, thank your for your feedback but CDW for me is not an option since I am typing from Eastern Europe. Basically at these costs it would be cheaper for me to actually buy a simple workstation with windows 10 and set up backups for it instead of buying the server, the server os and the cals. If I go down the WS essentials route, will there be any problem since it does not require any cals?
 

Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
If you're not planning on exceeding 25 users or 50 devices then you should be fine.
 
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