Hyper-V Licensing

Client Access Licenses and External Connectors

Most Microsoft servers require Client Access Licenses (CALs) and have an optional external connector (EC). The CAL and EC requirements are the same whether an instance is running in a physical or virtual OSE. CALs are required for each device or user that accesses an instance of server software directly or indirectly.

You do not need CALs for up to two devices or users to access your instances as long as these users or devices are only administering the instances. In the case of Windows Server 2008 only, you do not need a CAL to access an instance of the server software running on the physical OSE that is being used solely to:

I. run hardware virtualization software,
II. provide hardware virtualization services, or,
III. run software to manage and service operating system environments on the licensed server.

However, you do need the appropriate CAL to access instances of the server software in any virtual OSEs on the server.

In addition, Windows Server 2008 does not require CALs or ECs for any user or device that accesses your software instances only through the Internet without being authenticated or otherwise individually identified through any means.

Users and devices licensed with a CAL can access any instances (physical and virtual) running on any physical server. Outside of the exceptions above, each physical server that requires external user access must have an EC assigned to it. Each EC permits external users to access any instance running on a server whether it be in a physical or virtual OSE. You do not need additional ECs for each virtual instance on a physical server.

In general, you may reassign an EC license, but not on a short-term basis. However, you may reassign an EC license sooner if you retire the server to which it was assigned due to permanent hardware failure. In addition, there is a rule that permits greater EC license mobility, under certain conditions, within a server farm. For the server farm definition and more information about the server software license mobility rule, including a list of eligible server and EC licenses, please read the Application Server License Mobility Volume Licensing brief.

Multiplexing hardware, software, or connections does not reduce the number of CALs required to access servers.

Multiplexing. Hardware or software you use to:

  • Pool connections,
  • Reroute information,
  • Reduce the number of devices or users that directly access or use the product, or
  • Reduce the number of devices or users the product directly manages   (sometimes referred to as “multiplexing” or “pooling”)?does not reduce the number of licenses of any type that you need.
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