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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

We're running a SBS 2011 standard edition server and have got seven employees on different full and part time contracts and are now going to hire another person. I'm not sure if I've understood how the CALs work (googling a bit, it seems I'm not alone in that, at least...), but I'd like to be sure that we're not going to exceed our user limit when the new employee comes in next week. As I understand it, the licenses are "simultaneous connected users"? In SBS 2003 there was a "License manager" (my translation, english versions might call it something else) where I could see the number of installed licenses, and the maximum number used so far. Since people might overlap in work hours, I'd like to be able to see how many licenses we are currently using, so where can I see that in SBS'11?


There is no longer a license manager in SBS 2008. It is totally on the honor system. If you get audited you need to supply a manually created list detailing how you have each of your CALs provisioned, but there is no hard data to show.


Concerning the question "Do you per chance know the definition of 'simultaneous users'?" I'm hesitant to give out licensing advice, for both of our benefits. For my benefit, I can't be blamed for passing potentially bad info. For yours, you need to have someone official to rely on in case something hits the fan. Having said that, in my experience, a CAL is used anytime a username and password is passed for authentication. Check with your reseller's licensing department and/or call Microsoft licensing itself to get the low-down. Be prepared to get conflicting info, though. Write down who said what and when they said it in the same document that you use to track your license allocation. Make sure to document the namesnd and phone numbers of those involved with the information.

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    Aha. Do you per chance know the definition of "simultaneous users"? Does having a smartphone checking mail count as connected, or is it "Currently logged on to a workstation"? Or even "acually doing work"? Since everybody gets their mail to the phone, most leave their computers logged in, but mostly just 3-4 people are acually working at the same time, it will make some difference in the requirements... – carlpett Sep 13 '11 at 7:08
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    @carlpett, as Wesley said it's really hard to give out any good licensing advice. MS "concurrent use" is almost exclusively tied to a user account; so someone with Outlook open on their computer and a Smart Phone checking their e-mail would normally count as a single concurrent use (since I don't know your exact situation, this can only be generic advice). – Chris S Sep 13 '11 at 19:15
  • @Chris: Thanks. If smart phones count, then I guess all users are always logged in. Or at least could be, so I should probably make sure to have CALs for all users, just to play it safe. – carlpett Sep 14 '11 at 7:01
  • @Wesley: Re. the edit: Thank you. I'll contact my reseller. Most likely they'll advice me to just get a few more, and from your and Chris's comments that seems like the way to go. Thanks again! – carlpett Sep 14 '11 at 7:04

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