5 little questions to settle a heated debate..! RRS feed

  • Question

  • I was sitting down with a CRM consultant friend of mine the other day who claimed to understand MS CRM licensing. We were talking about multiple installations of CRM and the licensing impact. I disagreed with his answer at the time. It almost came to him throwing his coffee over me! (Long story). Now I'm not so sure. This whole area appears to be as clear as mud...!

    NB. This relates to a company under tender NDA's so I can't disclose the name and any comparisons drawn are unintentional.


    A company, let's call them Northwind for now, has a volume license agreement. They also have an MS partner network competency which specifically entitles them to 2x CRM 2013 server CALs and 50x CRM 2013 user CALs.

    Beyond this their licensing position is entirely unknown.

    Let's assume that they have 2x separate on-premise CRM installations which are fully virtualised. Each installation has a front-end server running the application role, including async and email router and a backend server for the SQL database, SSRS & CRM reporting services data connector.

    Now, let's throw into the mix that one of the installations is actually CRM 4.0 and the other is CRM 2011. To keep it simple; whilst both installations are running the enterprise variant of the product, there is only one CRM organization per installation. I.e. the multi-tenant facility is not being used.

    Now it gets interesting...

    Let's say that there are 200 enabled full-access users in each CRM organisation. They are the same 200 users but they are enabled in both systems.


    1. If a CRM user account is enabled as a service account (I.e. email router or async service accounts, reporting user for scheduled SSRS etc.) does it require a CAL?
    2. If a single AD user account i.e. DOMAIN\jbloggs is enabled as a CRM user in both systems, does it require 1 CAL or 2 CALs?
    3. In the scenario above, do the CRM 2013 server and user CALs apply at all?
    4. In the scenario above, would Northwind require 2 server CALs or 4 server CALs?
    5. If it turns out they've been under-licensed for X period of time, would they need to back-date any purchases or just get themselves back to a supported position?

    My thoughts

    1. Yes
    2. 2
    3. Yes
    4. 4
    5. Just get supported as of now

    His view

    1. No
    2. 1
    3. No
    4. 2 (he doesn't think the SQL server needs a CRM license)
    5. Backdated for all years under-licensed

    Guys - over to you please. Help me win this argument!! Thanks in advance

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014 6:08 PM

All replies

  • bump*  ... anyone?  Thanks in advance!
    Thursday, February 27, 2014 2:10 PM
  • Licensing is always such a grey area. My guess is that most people don't want to go "on record" for fear that they could be wrong.

    1. Service accounts shouldn't require a CAL (my assumption) as they cannot be used to interact with CRM either through the UI or through the webservices (I've had issue with attempting to add those service users in CRM as Users causing CRM to crash and become irreparable.

    2. I believe for OnPremise, a single CAL will give you access to all ORGs within your domain (regardless of version)

    3. I would think that the CRM 2013 CALS would be applicable to any previous versions.

    4. I'm not understanding how they could need 4 server CALS. The SQL server does not need a CAL (but do all of the users who are accessing CRM????))

    5. I plead the 5th. (But I would recommend getting yourself supported asap)

    Please note, I don't handle licensing but based on my experience these are all of my best guesses.

    Thursday, February 27, 2014 10:04 PM
  • James - thanks for replying, I'm quite surprised at the lack of general activity on anything licensing related in this forum. I was really hoping for some more guesses to be able to build up a qualitative picture.

    1. Service accounts - these are not NETWORK SERVICE, LOCAL SYSTEM type accounts. They are named AD accounts which have been created for the purposes of being able to set SPN's for installation during load balancing etc. So basically they are AD account and are also enabled as CRM users with a security role for other reasons. This is why I think they need a license.

    4. Are you sure? I thought it was any server which has CRM software installed on it and the CRM reports connector is CRM software.

    Either way thanks for your input! The floor is open................... so, bump ** !!!

    Friday, February 28, 2014 2:14 PM