MS SQL server CAL licenses for several SQL server installations

Peter Nørregaard Rasmussen 41 Reputation points


I have a question for license rules regarding MS SQL CAL licenses, let me describe:

If have different installation of MS SQL server Standard installed on different servers internally, and it is the same users that are accessing these different SQL servers, do each user need to have a CAL license for each installation or is one CAL per. user enough?

Thanks in advance :-)

SQL Server
SQL Server
A family of Microsoft relational database management and analysis systems for e-commerce, line-of-business, and data warehousing solutions.
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  1. Bjoern Peters 8,776 Reputation points

    Hi Peter,

    This is no legal advice! You must ask a Microsoft representative if you want an official Microsoft statement.

    For questions regarding pricing/licensing, please get in touch with a Microsoft sales partner or licensing expert.

    Call (1-800-426-9400), Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM PST, to speak directly to a Microsoft licensing specialist.

    My personal opinion on your question:

    According to the SQL Server 2019 license guide, you just need a server license for each SQL Server and additionally one (!) CAL license for each accessing user... doesn't matter which SQL Server that person is connecting to.

    Each SQL Server CAL allows access to multiple licensed SQL Servers, including Standard Edition and legacy Business Intelligence and Enterprise Edition Servers.

    I hope my answer is helpful to you,


    Bjoern Peters

    If the reply was helpful, please upvote and/or accept it as an answer, as this helps others in the community with similar questions. Thanks!

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