Monday, September 12, 2011

Understanding and Enforcing Licensing for the Lync Standard User CAL–Part 1

I think we can all agree that Microsoft licensing is confusing.  Most products have two types of user CALs: Standard and Enterprise.  Lync is even more confusing with three different user CALs: Standard, Enterprise, and Plus.  This article explains all the different CALs and what functionality is contained in each.  I have read the reference many times and can still walk away with my head spinning. 

Part 1 - Explain and point out some of the misconceptions about the Standard CAL. 

Part 2 – Show how to configure Lync to enforce the features of the Standard CAL. 

I will never profess to be a licensing expert and encourage others to leave comments based on their interpretations.

Let’s start by taking a look at the features mentioned in the article for the Standard CAL:

  • PC-to-PC and multi-party IM
  • PC-to-PC and multi-party File Transfer
  • PC-to-PC computer audio
  • PC-to-PC computer video
  • Group Chat
  • Skill Search
  • Rich Presence
  • PC-to-PC IM, audio, and video with federated and PIC contacts
  • Ability to attend conferences as an attendee (not a presenter) and participate with audio/video, view shared applications, view/write on whiteboard
  • View application sharing session

So, I was previously under the impression that all PC-to-PC communications is allowed with the Standard CAL, but this is not the case.  What is missing from this list?  The following PC-to-PC communications are listed in the Enterprise CAL section:

  • Initiate ad-hoc application sharing (P2P or multi-party)
  • Initiate ad-hoc whiteboarding (P2P or multi-party)

Basically, as a Standard CAL user, you have the right to:

  • All PC-to-PC communications except initiating a desktop/application sharing session or whiteboarding
  • Multi-party IM and file transfer
  • Attend web conferences as a participant only

Anytime you want to add a third+ person to a conversation or web conference that will require an Enterprise CAL.  Anytime you want to schedule a meeting or audio conference that will require an Enterprise CAL.

How do we enforce the Standard CAL list of features?  Stay tuned to Part 2.

Again, comments are welcome on your interpretation of the licensing features.