Windows Server User CAL for Second Passive DC Site

Candra Utama 20 Reputation points


I would like to ask about Windows Server User CAL.

I have 2 site of Data Centers (main DC and second DC), running Windows Server 2019 on top of VMware vSphere. All VM's on main DC are active, and no active VM's on second DC (active-passive VM replication). I have bought Windows Server User CAL for 200 users in my company.

If one time, I change the active DC to second DC, which all VM's on second DC are powered on and all VM's on main DC are powered down, my questions are,

  1. Does the Windows Server User CAL cover both main DC and second DC?
  2. Do I need buy another 200 User CAL for second DC Site (passive DC, powered down Windows Server) ?

I really appreciate of your advice.

Thanks in advance.

Windows Server
Windows Server
A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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  1. Limitless Technology 44,091 Reputation points

    Hello Candra,

    Thank you for your question and for reaching out with your question today.

    The licensing requirements for Windows Server User CALs depend on the specific licensing agreement you have with Microsoft. However, I can provide you with some general information that may help guide your understanding.

    1. User CALs cover users, not specific data centers or physical locations: Windows Server User CALs are assigned to individual users and allow them to access Windows Server resources across your organization's network. The CALs are not tied to specific data centers or physical locations. As long as the users are accessing Windows Server resources, whether from the main DC or the second DC, they are covered by the User CALs.
    2. Active-passive VM replication: If you have an active-passive VM replication setup, where all VMs on the second DC are powered on while the main DC VMs are powered down, the users accessing the VMs in the second DC would still be covered by the User CALs you have purchased. The User CALs cover the users regardless of the underlying infrastructure or whether the VMs are active or passive.
    3. No need for additional User CALs for the passive DC: Since the User CALs cover the users and not the specific DCs or VMs, there is typically no need to purchase additional User CALs for the passive DC. As long as the users are licensed with User CALs, they are allowed to access Windows Server resources wherever they are located within your organization's network.

    It's important to note that licensing terms and conditions can vary, so it's always recommended to review your specific licensing agreement or consult with Microsoft or a licensing specialist to ensure compliance with licensing requirements for your particular scenario. They can provide you with accurate and up-to-date information based on your licensing agreement and any specific circumstances of your deployment.

    I used AI provided by ChatGPT to formulate part of this response. I have verified that the information is accurate before sharing it with you.

    If the reply was helpful, please don’t forget to upvote or accept as answer.

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