Embedded Technology Guide Tech What Are Cals in Windows Server 2012

What Are Cals in Windows Server 2012


What Are CALs in Windows Server 2012?

Windows Server 2012 is a powerful operating system designed to manage and provide various services for businesses and organizations. However, in order to access and utilize these services, Client Access Licenses (CALs) are required.

CALs are licenses that grant users or devices the right to access the services provided by Windows Server 2012. These licenses are separate from the server license itself and are necessary to legally access the server’s resources.

CALs can be divided into two categories: User CALs and Device CALs. User CALs are assigned to individual users and allow them to access the server from any device. On the other hand, Device CALs are assigned to specific devices and allow any user accessing the server from that device.

CALs are essential for organizations with multiple users or devices that need to access the server. Without the appropriate number of CALs, users or devices may be denied access to the server, potentially causing disruptions to the organization’s operations.


1. How do I know how many CALs I need?
The number of CALs required depends on the number of users or devices that will access the server. Each user or device accessing the server needs a separate CAL.

2. Can I mix User CALs and Device CALs?
Yes, organizations can choose to use either User CALs or Device CALs, or a combination of both, depending on their needs.

3. Do CALs need to be renewed annually?
No, CALs do not expire. Once you purchase CALs, they are valid indefinitely for the version of Windows Server they were purchased for.

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4. Can CALs be transferred to another user or device?
CALs are assigned to users or devices and cannot be transferred to another user or device, except in certain situations like hardware failure or replacement.

5. Can CALs be used across multiple servers?
No, CALs are specific to the version of Windows Server they were purchased for and cannot be used on multiple servers.

6. Are CALs required for remote access?
Yes, CALs are required for remote access to the server, regardless of whether users or devices are accessing it from within the organization’s network or externally.

7. Can I use CALs from an older version of Windows Server?
CALs are version-specific, meaning CALs for previous versions of Windows Server cannot be used with Windows Server 2012. Each version requires its own set of CALs.

In conclusion, CALs are essential for organizations using Windows Server 2012 as they grant users or devices the right to access the server’s services. Understanding CALs, their types, and licensing requirements is crucial to ensure compliance and uninterrupted access to the server.