Sql server licensing

GARCIA CAÑETE JUAN MANUEL 20 Reputation points

I have sql server on a server. This is connected to 5 PCs and these PCs take information from 15 devices and save it in the database. I wanted to know if I have to purchase 15 CAL or if I am fine with 5

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. Michael Taylor 50,111 Reputation points

    Depends on the licensing model you're using. If you are using per-device CALs then each device that connects to SQL needs its own license. If 5 PCs are talking to 1 SQL then you need 5 device CALs. It doesn't matter where the PCs get their data from. Note that this is a concurrent count so if you have 5 PCs talking to SQL but no more than 2 at any one time then you only need 2 CALs.

    If, however, you're using per user CALs then each unique user who connects to SQL needs their own CAL irrelevant of how many devices they use. If each PC is being used by a different user then you'd need 5 CAL licenses, one per user. However if you are using a single user account on 5 different PCs then you'd need only 1 CAL.

    Here is one of many articles that discuss the differences and when you should choose one vs the other. In general per user CALs are easier to manage as you simply get 1 CAL per unique user and you're done. Per device is harder because you have to have enough licenses to account for the max # of devices that might connect at the same time.

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