FAQs about licensing Microsoft SQL Server with CALs
SQL Server, the powerful database software from Microsoft, is available for all versions from 2012 onwards with server plus client access licenses in addition to core (or processor) licensing. This means that even small and medium-sized companies can professionally manage their data stocks and use them for business-critical applications. The following section explains exactly how licensing SQL Server with CALs works and what you need to keep in mind.
How does the Microsoft licensing system work?
All Microsoft SQL Server versions available from Wiresoft are available in different editions, which reflect the different requirements of companies and organizations with regard to performance and scalability of services. Depending on the edition, Microsoft offers different forms of licensing.
What is the difference between Core Licenses and CALs?
While the previous version SQL Server 2008 was licensed based on the number of processors, the successor version 2012 is based on the number of server cores. This applies above all to the frequently used SQL Enterprise Edition, which is more scalable and offers more extensive functions for the administration and analysis of data, as used primarily by larger companies. Microsoft defines the following rules for core-based licensing:
The basis for calculating the server licenses is not only the actual number of cores - a minimum of 16 cores is always specified, even if the actual core number is lower.
2. core licenses are only available as packages of 2.
3. therefore, to license a server, at least 8 packages with 2-core licenses each must be purchased.
3. no further access licenses are necessary for core licensing.
The licensing per server/CALs consists of a server license and a variable number of client access licenses.
Why are the SQL Server Standard also available with server/client access licenses?
Microsoft is usually the only edition that still offers the choice between core-based and CAL-based licensing for the SQL Server Standard. An exception is the Datacenter Edition Licensing from version 2016 - which is also available with CALs.
Microsoft thus also offers those users an opportunity to use the SQL Server functions whose server has a lower performance - as used for example in smaller companies. Licensing with access-based licenses - CALs - thus represents a more economical way of using SQL Server, especially for these companies, as they only have to purchase exactly as many client access licenses as they actually need in addition to the server license.
What are the special features of licensing with CALs?
Microsoft's licensing model with Client Access Licenses regulates the usage rights for SQL Server, which include access to the licensed server as well as the services available with it. The prerequisite for access via CAL is the implementation of a corresponding server license of the same version. This licensing model is therefore also referred to as Server/CAL licensing.
The Microsoft license management thus separates between the licensing of the servers and the individual users. These users are only authorized to use the SQL Server by the CAL. The client access license thus offers pure access rights in a client/server environment, no prior installation of software is necessary. However, it must also be purchased for a fee.
What types of CALs are available for SQL Server?
The client access license is a single license, which can be assigned either for a specific user as a so-called User CAL or for a defined Windows end device as a Device CAL. It is not possible to change the user or the device, nor to change the type of assignment. This restriction offers greater security, which prevents misuse of the CALs, for example if unauthorized employees or strangers try to access business-critical data of the company or customers.
Both the SQL Client Access License for a user and for an end device only allow access to either a server that is licensed with the same SQL Server version or to an older version of the same SQL software. A CAL for a lower version does not entitle the user to use the server services that run with a higher version. In any case, a CAL must be purchased.
What are the differences between User CALs and Device CALs?
There is no difference between the client access license for users and that for end devices. However, the differences are the advantages that both CAL types offer. These are determined by the type of server access that is common in individual cases and the number of users who use it regularly.
Many companies differ from each other in the number or use of workstations and the usual workflows in projects. While for certain projects several employees share a single computer or use it in shifts, in a different work environment the same user regularly uses completely different devices to be connected to the SQL server.
What advantages does User CAL offer?
Because the user license is not bound to a specific end device, but to a specific person, that person is free to decide which Windows end device he or she wants to use to access the corresponding SQL Server features - provided that access is always alternately from a single device.
Compared to the device-dependent CAL, this has the further advantage that it is not locally bound. As long as the respective end device of the licensed user has access to the Internet, he can access the SQL Server both inside the company, e.g. from a stationary PC, and outside with a laptop, tablet or smartphone, e.g. on a business trip or in the home office. The User CAL therefore offers such users a flexible and mobile use of the server services, who often work from different locations and constantly connect to the SQL server.
What are the advantages of the Device CAL?
The Device CAL as an exclusively device-based license also has certain advantages, especially in smaller companies. It entitles a very specific individual end device to access the Windows server. Here, too, the device type can be chosen completely freely - provided it can perform the typical Windows. Access can also be local at the workstation or from on the road.
The device client access license is the more economical licensing solution in such work environments where several employees share a single terminal device and therefore do not need to access the server services constantly. It is therefore not necessary to equip each person with their own personal CAL.
Device CAL or User CAL - which is the better license for me?
By offering two different CALs, individual, flexible and at the same time demand-oriented rights management for server services is thus possible for every company or organisation. However, there is not always a homogeneous use of the server services, so that the combination of Device CALs and User CALs may best reflect the actual license requirements. Accordingly, Microsoft allows the parallel use of both CALs.
Before you make a decision about the type and number of Device and User CALs you need, it is advantageous to get an overview of your exact licensing needs. Please contact us for a comprehensive and individual license consulting on SQL-Server in your company.
Overview of all facts for Server/CAL Licensing for SQL Server
Below you will find a summary overview of all conditions and features that play a role in the Microsoft licensing model for server/CALs:
1. the basis is the licensing of the server This also includes access rights for administrators only to manage the server services, but none for employees.
2. in addition, each employee needs a separate client access license to use the SQL Server services and functions.
3. a CAL can only be assigned once - either as a User CAL for an individual person or as a device CAL for a specific terminal device
4. the CALs cannot be transferred to another person or another terminal device after they have been assigned.
4. a Device CAL cannot be used as a User CAL - and vice versa.
5. however, it is possible to combine both CALs for parallel access to the licensed server.
6. the server license and client access license must correspond in the SQL version. It is not possible to access a server licensed with a higher version with a CAL of a lower SQL Server version (upgrade).
In contrast, the reverse case is permitted to access a server licensed with a lower version with a CAL of a higher SQL server version (downgrade).
Which SQL Server editions can be licensed with CALs at Wiresoft?
The following overview shows you which SQL Server editions including CALs can be purchased from Wiresoft - for all editions mentioned, we offer here the particularly practical single licenses:
- SQL Server 2019: Standard
- SQL Server 2017: Standard
- SQL Server 2016: Standard
- SQL Server 2014: Standard
- SQL Server 2012: Standard, Business Intelligence
License purchase and license consulting for SQL Server at Wiresoft - all from one source
At Wiresoft you will find, in addition to the server licenses for SQL Server 2012 to 2019, all corresponding CALs for users as well as end devices - and this at a particularly favourable price! For this purpose, we offer all CALs as particularly practical individual licenses, with which you can license your SQL Server in a customized and at the same time economical way for your employees and computers.
You also benefit from the reduced price of all our software products compared to the original price. Our software offer includes original Microsoft programs and access licenses, which come from European companies - they are used, but fully operational and have no restrictions compared to new products. With the software purchase at Wiresoft you are therefore always on the safe side and profit at the same time from our competent consultation.
If you have any questions about your correct need for access licenses, simply contact us by phone, email or chat.