FAQs on 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 the 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 still 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 management 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. the core licenses are only available as 2-packages.
3. 8 packages with 2-core licenses each must be purchased to license a server.
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 of SQL Server Standard that still offers a choice between Core-based and CAL-based licensing. An exception is the Datacenter Edition licensing from version 2016 - which is also available with CALs.
With this, Microsoft also offers those users an opportunity to use the SQL Server functions whose server has a lower performance - such as those used in smaller companies. Licensing with access-based licenses - CALs - thus represents a more economical way of using SQL Server for these companies in particular, as they only have to purchase as many client access licenses in addition to the server license as they actually need.
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.
Microsoft license management thus separates between server licensing and individual user licensing. 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 issued either for a specific user as a so-called User CAL or for a defined Windows end device as a Device CAL. It is neither 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 allows access to either a server licensed with the same version of SQL Server 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 offered by both CAL types. These are determined by the type of server access that is customary in individual cases and the number of users who use it regularly.
Many companies differ from one another in the number or use of workstations and the usual workflows for projects. While for certain projects several employees share a single computer or use it in shifts, in a different work environment one and the same user regularly uses completely different devices that are to be connected to the SQL server.
What advantages does the User CAL offer?
As the user license is not tied to a specific terminal device but to a specific person, this person is free to decide via which Windows terminal device he or she wishes to access the corresponding SQL Server features - provided that access is always alternately provided from a single device.
Compared to the device-dependent CAL, this has the additional 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, for example from a stationary PC, and outside with a laptop, tablet or smartphone, for example 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-related license has certain advantages, especially in smaller companies. It entitles a very specific individual terminal device to access the Windows server. Here, too, the device type can be chosen completely freely - provided that it can execute 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 license 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, the individual, flexible and at the same time needs-based rights management for server services is possible for every company or organisation. However, there is not always a homogeneous use of server services, so that possibly the combination of Device CALs and User CALs best reflects 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 of all regulations 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 contains access rights only for administrators to manage the server services, but none for employees.
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 or as a device CAL for a specific terminal device
4. once assigned, CALs cannot be transferred to another person or device.
4. likewise, 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. 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 allowed 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 - everything from one source
At Wiresoft you will find not only the server licenses for SQL Server 2012 to 2019 but also all corresponding CALs for users as well as end devices - and all 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 products are original Microsoft programs and access licenses from European companies - they are used, but fully operational and have no limitations 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 access license needs, please contact us by phone, email or chat.