Per Server licensing

Definition of Per Server licensing in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Per Server licensing?

A licensing mode in which a client access license (CAL) is assigned to a particular server computer running a particular Microsoft BackOffice server product.

Each CAL allows only one connection per client computer to the particular BackOffice product. Per Server licensing can be applied to only the following BackOffice products: Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Windows NT Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SNA Server, and Microsoft Site Server.


Consider a server computer on a network running Windows 2000 Server that has 25 Windows 2000 Server Per Server CALs. A total of 25 client computers can simultaneously connect to the Windows 2000 Server and access its services. If a twenty-sixth client tries to connect, it will be denied access and an entry will be written to the application log.


One client computer can connect to multiple shares on the server, but this is counted as only one connection for licensing purposes.


Per Server licensing is the preferred mode of licensing on small networks. However, you must purchase licenses equal to the maximum number of simultaneous connections you anticipate on each server for a particular BackOffice product. If you are not sure whether to use Per Seat or Per Server licensing, choose Per Server licensing. As more servers are added to your network, you can perform a one-time, one-way conversion of Per Server to Per Seat licenses as required. However, you cannot convert Per Seat licenses to Per Server licenses.

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