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Understanding Server Licensing Issues

Another aspect of planning your Windows Server 2008 installation is determining how you will license the clients that log on to your network servers. There are two licensing modes in terms of network clients: per server and per seat. It’s important that you choose the licensing mode that best suits your networking plan and the potential growth of your user base.

In per server mode, you are licensed for a certain number of concurrent connections to the server. If you have 50 licenses, 50 clients can connect to the server. Per server mode is the best choice when you have a small network consisting of only one domain (and one domain controller). It also works best for networks when only part of your client base is connected to the server at any one time. For example, if you run different shifts at your company, you need only a per server license that covers the number of users connected to the server at any one time (not your entire employee population).

In per seat mode, you purchase a license for each network user on the network. Each of these users can connect to any and all the servers on the network. As far as large networks go, per seat mode is probably the best licensing strategy, especially if network resources are spread across a number of Windows Server 2008 servers.

Microsoft has created some new licensing schemes for Microsoft Windows Server 2008. A new User Client Access license enables a user to connect to network services using any device, including computers and devices such as PDAs. (This does not replace the Device Client Access licensing scheme currently in use in Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2008.) External Connector licenses are also new and can be used by customers or partners to connect to licensed network services in the domain. Whatever licensing you use, you need to make sure that you have the appropriate number of licenses for your Windows Server 2008 domain. For more information on Microsoft licensing, check out http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/Default.asp.

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