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Can you help me with my software licensing issue?

My company is currently considering buying a new server to use as a shared VPN filestore.

Looking at the licencing, does this mean that we would have to have a CAL for each person who wanted to connect via openVPN?

Does this mean it would be better to use XP/win 7 in this situation?

Or Linux?

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marked as duplicate by Mark Henderson Jul 2 '12 at 9:55

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

What is a VPN filestore exactly? Is it a remote fileserver for archiving/backup? – Dan Andreatta Mar 25 '10 at 11:34
Yes, just a shared space on a disk. – optician Mar 25 '10 at 11:44
Why not contact Microsoft or one of their license specialists? – John Gardeniers Mar 25 '10 at 11:52
Seeing as the question wasn't on here, I thought it would be good to get it up. If no one answers, I'll call and put the answer up. – optician Mar 25 '10 at 11:53
are the users authenticated against AD? – Nick Kavadias Mar 25 '10 at 12:02

Being as OpenVPN is Open-Source software (hence the 'Open' in the name) it does not follow Microsoft CAL rules as thankfully Microsoft doesn't own or control OpenVPN. You would need your standard amount of CALs however for any Microsoft software interaction to be legal. The OpenVPN usage handling the transport between the client and server would make no difference.

Think of it as this... OpenVPN extends the range of your LAN to remote users. If you'd need a CAL for the user to use a Microsoft resource if they were on the LAN, then they'd need a CAL to use over the VPN.

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Excellent explanation – Sam Mar 25 '10 at 12:09
+1 correct. It is the act of using the server that triggers the CAL requirement, not the method of connecting. – David Mackintosh Mar 25 '10 at 12:14
Microsoft is purposefully vague about their CAL requirements, I assume, because they want to be in a good lititgation position. I've found at least one statement from Microsoft claiming that DHCP clients require CALs (see, which goes against the "common wisdom" that unauthenticated use of a Microsoft server OS isn't bound by CAL requirements. – Evan Anderson Mar 25 '10 at 12:57

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