Administrative & Service Account CALs

Q: (from Chip)

I have a client looking to renew some licensing and I have a CAL question.

The question is that he has Exchange server and had user CALS for his people but he has servers like his Blackberry Server, CA Backup Server that require logins to function properly.  Does he need user licenses for them?  (That is what he has been doing)   Distribution said to get user CALS for the users and device CALS for the servers’ “service” accounts.  Does the “Admin” user also require a CAL?


According to our Windows Server licensing datasheet:

We confirm that only users or devices need CALs:

Client Access Licenses (CALs) are required for every user or device accessing a server. See the Product Use Rights for details.

For an administrative account – we can assume that they are also a user of the environment, so they would be covered by the User CAL. And for system service accounts – no CAL is required.

You can verify this the same way I did, contact our Licensing Help Desk at – ask the question and make sure you get them to provide a citable Microsoft document so you can see/read the rules for yourself.

SDeming Face  Steve

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