Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

currently i run exchange 2003 server on windows server 2003

while talking to microsoft and some other resellers, they are informing me that i should buy 75 device cals for the server, and 75 user calls for the exchange server.

i did not setup the original systems, so im not sure what packaged was purchased. however i have never had to purchase a cal for any reason, i always add devices and users as needed with no issues.

do i need to have 140 cals for 1 server? they are saying the device cals will be around 20$ a cal and the exchagne cals for users are around 60$ per cal.

thats a good bit of money...

any feedback/suggestions are appreciated


share|improve this question
You won't be getting 140 calls you will be getting 75 CALs for two different products. – Zoredache Jun 28 '10 at 18:48
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Roughly, you need a Windows Server CAL for every client device that accesses the server and an Exchange CAL for every user that accesses that server. I assume from the post title that you are looking to upgrade to Server 2003 -> 2008 and Exchange 2003 -> 2007. Unless you have Software Assurance (SA) on your existing CALs, you'll have to buy new ones. Those prices you've been quoted sound about right.

The fact that you haven't had to purchase any CALs when you've added users and client devices may mean that you are not currently in compliance with Microsoft's licensing requirements.

share|improve this answer
+1. @Jeff, You really should take the time to audit how many CALs you are currently licensed for so you can decide what you really need to buy. – Zoredache Jun 28 '10 at 18:49
That is exactly what I am planning to do. As far as I no, no we dont have software assurance on the existing CALs. The person who purchased everything quit and didnt leave anything to figure out what he had purchased ect. and won't answer phone calls all that. so it is pretty much in the dark of what we have and dont. i appreciate your quick response - is it possible to call microsoft and ask about software assurance - or should i just avoid this incase we are not in compliance with microsoft licensing requirements and bite the bullet for now? thanks again – Jeff Jun 28 '10 at 18:50
zoredache - how do i audit how many CALs i am currently licensed for? – Jeff Jun 28 '10 at 18:51
Go lookup at your receipts/purchase orders. If you can't find documentation that proves you own it, then you may be in trouble if the software police ever decide to audit you. – Zoredache Jun 28 '10 at 18:54
yeah like i mentioned above - guy that originally set this up had a lot of cracked/hacked software running and no documentation of anything. all i have is the CDs for server 03 install. – Jeff Jun 28 '10 at 18:56

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.