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Can you help me with my software licensing issue?

This would seem an easy enough question, but I wasn't able to find any definite answer anywhere.

If I'm running SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows Server 2008 R2, I need proper licenses for SQL Server; that's fine. It could be per processor, per user... doesn't matter. Let's just assume SQL Server is properly licensed.

If the server is only providing database services (it's not a domain controller, nor a web server, it doesn't even share a single folder), do I need Windows Server CALs too?

I would assume not, because that just wouldn't make much sense... but questions like this one seem to imply a completely different scenario.

Before someone feels compelled to close this question and send me here: I'm not concerned about costs, the actual number of licenses to buy, or the right licensing program to use for my company; I just want a straight answer to the question "do I need Windows Server CALs for a dedicated database server?".

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marked as duplicate by Mark Henderson May 1 '12 at 10:43

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.

+1 for a great question. I would agree that if you're not accessing file/print/AD/whatever on that server, then you won't need a CAL – Chris McKeown May 1 '12 at 10:32
@Mark, did you actually read my question, or did you simply read "licensing" and thought "heck, I need to close this as quickly as possible"?!? – Massimo May 1 '12 at 10:52
@massimo, yes I read it. And the last paragraph pretty much sums it up; it's still a question about "do I need x license to do y", which unfortunately is a question topic that has been off topic here for years. From the question you asked not to be linked to: What CALs do I need to be properly licensed. If you have a disagreement feel free to open a question on – Mark Henderson May 1 '12 at 11:40

1 Answer 1

5-second Google:

In short:

  • if SQL Server is licensed per-core, no CALs are required.
  • if SQL Server is licensed per-user, you need both SQL Server Licenses and CALs.

At least, that's how I read it :)

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That's not what is written there... that pages describes the available licensing models for various Microsoft products, but doesn't say anything at all about the relationships between them. – Massimo May 1 '12 at 10:51
Refer to the first tab for those details. That explains that the checkboxes on tab #2 are either/or. – adaptr May 1 '12 at 11:12
@adaptr SQL Server CAL != Windows Server CAL. If I understand Massimo correctly, he's asking whether or not you need a Windows Server CAL if you're exclusively using the SQL Services and nothing else. – Chris McKeown May 1 '12 at 11:17
I understood that, and while the page is not unambiguously clear, it does talk about Windows Server Client CALs. – adaptr May 1 '12 at 11:22

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