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Can you help me with my software licensing issue?

I just discovered a hidden unmanaged server into a remote location.
This is a Windows 2003 SBS with 5 CAL per device.
There is currently 12 computers connected. So I want to buy more CALs.

But SBS 2003 CALs are not sold anymore.
Neither SBS 2008 CALs, which can be downgraded to 2003.
And 2011 CALs can't be downgraded to 2003.
So no legal solution if we want to stay with 2003. Sort of programmatic obsolescence.

We can upgrade the server to 2011. But I'd like to let him as is (I don't "repair" working servers, and this often lead to bigger problems, especially on those non managed servers).
Anyone see another solution ?

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marked as duplicate by Chris S Jun 1 '12 at 17:55

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.

2  
Have you looked into buying them on eBay? Also have you tried re-sellers like CDW? Or Zones, Inc.? –  George Jun 1 '12 at 16:06
1  
As often, the people who close saying "duplicate" are unable to point to the so called duplicate. So: can you give a link to the answer inside the refered topic ? Don' waste time: there is not. –  Gregory MOUSSAT Jun 1 '12 at 20:59
    
@Georges: I follow your advice. eBay don't give anything valuable (way to expensive) but CDW seems to be better. I dig. And thanks :) –  Gregory MOUSSAT Jun 2 '12 at 16:18
    
Great! Glad that was helpful! I used to manage licenses and big time re-sellers, like CDW and Zones, normally would have some of the older software available. –  George Jun 4 '12 at 14:41

1 Answer 1

I Am Not a Lawyer.

Stop reading right now.


I'm surprised the CALs can't be downgraded, but I haven't had to look at downgrade rights recently. If it were me, I might very well just buy the newer CALs and ignore the downgrade issue. At least you'd be able to show you made an attempt to remain legal if you were ever audited. You'd also have the CALs if that system is ever replaced or upgraded to 2011.

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1  
SBS 2011 Std+ can be downgraded to a Server 2008 Standard Edition license, but not to a previous version of SBS. SBS has always had more restriction on downgrade rights for a variety of reasons. –  Chris S Jun 1 '12 at 17:52
    
Are SBS 2003 CALs strictly enforced, or not? If they are, buying newer licenses that can't be downgraded probably won't help from a functional perspective. –  Skyhawk Jun 1 '12 at 18:23
    
SBS 2003 CALs are enforced, but not strictly. We have 5 CALs and we can connect 12 computers, no more. –  Gregory MOUSSAT Jun 1 '12 at 21:21

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