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Technically Lync: Don’t Believe These 8 Licensing Myths

Licensing often comes with more fiction than facts. Don’t be led astray.

As with my previous Technically Lync articles, I have enlisted Dino Caputo, my business partner and newly appointed Lync MVP, to explore some of the more technical aspects related to the important area of Lync server and client licensing.

If you have read any of my previous articles, you should know I strongly advocate documenting and prioritizing your specific business requirements before evaluating solutions. Once you have documented those requirements, understanding the licensing costs associated with different solution alternatives is an important next step associated with truly understanding the total cost of ownership (TCO).

We often get asked questions about Lync licensing, given the considerable amount of confusion around which server roles require which licenses and which client features are associated with different client access license (CAL) types. Truthfully, licensing for any UC solution can be confusing; as such, we thought we would try and debunk a number of common misconceptions related to Lync licensing.

Top 8 Lync Licensing Myths (in no particular order)

Myth 1: You need a Lync Server license for every Lync Server role.

Lync Server requires a Lync Server license for every Front End Server role. So that could mean just a single license if running one Lync Standard Edition Server, or it could mean three licenses if running an Enterprise Edition Front End pool with three servers. If for scale reasons you require six Enterprise Edition Front-End pool servers, then you would require six Lync Server licenses. No other Lync roles require licenses beyond this.

Myth 2: You don't need a Windows Server license for every Lync Server role.

Lync Server licenses don't include Windows Server licenses. At a minimum you require a Standard Server license per Lync Server, so plan accordingly

Myth 3: The Lync Plus CAL includes the Standard and Enterprise CAL.

Lync CALs are additive. You need to purchase all three CALs if you want all available Lync client features. They are the:

  • Standard CAL - The Lync Server 2013 Standard CAL offers instant messaging and rich presence (IM/p) features. It provides users with real-time presence and enhanced IM along with PC-to-PC audio and video communications, as well as authenticated attendee experience for internal Lync Meetings.
  • Enterprise CAL - The Lync Server 2013 Enterprise CAL offers Lync Meetings, including audio, video, and Web conferencing features. It provides users the ability to create, moderate, and join conferences for collaboration with both internal and external users.
  • Plus CAL - The Lync Server 2013 Plus CAL offers enterprise voice capabilities that can enhance or replace traditional PBX systems. These capabilities include common calling features such as answer, forward, transfer, hold, divert, release, and park, along with Enhanced 911 calling for North America, support for analog devices, and a broad range of both IP and USB user devices from partners.

Myth 4: The PSTN audio conference feature doesn't require a Lync Plus CAL.

Audio conferencing is a shared feature of the Enterprise CAL and Plus CAL. To schedule and host Lync audio conferences within your company boundaries, you must have the Lync Standard and Enterprise CALs. If you want to include outside users that dial in using a PSTN connection, then you must have the Plus CAL as well.

Myth 5: You can't use Office 365 licenses for on-premises Lync.

You absolutely can, and many clients are choosing to do this. I view this as a lease-vs-buy scenario. If it makes more sense for your company to consume services in this way, then you can purchase the equivalent Office 365 license for your Lync users. Having said this, figuring out which licenses you will gets complicated. Basically, you have a choice of three Lync Online licenses:

  • Lync Online Plan 1 (similar to Standard CAL features)
  • Lync Online Plan 2 (similar to Enterprise Edition CAL features)
  • Lync Online Plan 3 (allows on-premises Lync Server deployment and includes PSTN calling capabilities) -- still requires you to license Lync Server on-premises as previously discussed

In addition, the "E" series (Enterprise CALs) are license suites for Office 365 and include Lync functionality along with other Office productivity offerings. E1, E2, and E3 licenses line up with the Lync Online Plan licenses as described above.

Myth 6: When using the Lync 2013 client as part of Microsoft Office 365 Lync Online, it's free.

You need to purchase a license for the Lync 2013 client even when consuming Lync Online. Depending on what Office 365 subscription you have, you may be licensed for the Lync Client. For example, the Office 365 ProPlus Suite includes the right to use the Lync 2013 Client. Optionally you can license the client individually.

Myth 7: When you purchase a Lync Qualified or Lync Optimized phone or other device, it comes with the appropriate Lync license.

The purchase of a Lync Optimized IP phone does not include any licenses. You have two choices here. If the device is dedicated to a single user, then the Standard Lync CAL will cover the use of that device. Alternatively, if the device will be a shared or common area phone, then you can buy a Device CAL, as it allows for multiple users of a single device.

Myth 8: Using the Hyper-V hypervisor means fewer Lync licenses.

Nice try, but you still need to license Lync, the server operating system, and any other underlying technologies that Lync leverages (e.g. SQL Server if using Lync Enterprise Edition) whether or not you use virtualization.

Understanding Lync licensing is important in order to determine TCO; the same can, and should, be said for all UC solutions. The best source of Lync licensing information is the Microsoft Lync Licensing Guide. Anyone evaluating or embarking on a Lync project should reference this guide. You also can direct specific licensing questions to your Microsoft account manager or systems integration partner.

Of course, the upcoming release of Skype for Business may bring licensing changes -- and with that will come new Skype for Business licensing myths!

Whether you want to talk licensing or any other aspect of the journey to Lync or Skype for Business, please join me at Enterprise Connect Orlando 2015 on Tuesday, March 17, at 1:30 p.m. for my session, "Living with Lync (and Success with Skype)." (Register now using the code NJSPEAKER and receive $300 off the price of your event pass.) Alternatively, please ask any questions or provide feedback in the comments below.

Follow Kevin Kieller on Twitter and Google+!

@kkieller

Kevin Kieller on Google+

  • Standard CAL - The Lync Server 2013 Standard CAL offers instant messaging and rich presence (IM/p) features. It provides users with real-time presence and enhanced IM along with PC-to-PC audio and video communications, as well as authenticated attendee experience for internal Lync Meetings.
  • Enterprise CAL - The Lync Server 2013 Enterprise CAL offers Lync Meetings, including audio, video, and Web conferencing features. It provides users the ability to create, moderate, and join conferences for collaboration with both internal and external users.
  • Plus CAL - The Lync Server 2013 Plus CAL offers enterprise voice capabilities that can enhance or replace traditional PBX systems. These capabilities include common calling features such as answer, forward, transfer, hold, divert, release, and park, along with Enhanced 911 calling for North America, support for analog devices, and a broad range of both IP and USB user devices from partners.

    Myth 4: The PSTN audio conference feature doesn't require a Lync Plus CAL.

    Audio conferencing is a shared feature of the Enterprise CAL and Plus CAL. To schedule and host Lync audio conferences within your company boundaries, you must have the Lync Standard and Enterprise CALs. If you want to include outside users that dial in using a PSTN connection, then you must have the Plus CAL as well.

    Myth 5: You can't use Office 365 licenses for on-premises Lync.

    You absolutely can, and many clients are choosing to do this. I view this as a lease-vs-buy scenario. If it makes more sense for your company to consume services in this way, then you can purchase the equivalent Office 365 license for your Lync users. Having said this, figuring out which licenses you will gets complicated. Basically, you have a choice of three Lync Online licenses:

    • Lync Online Plan 1 (similar to Standard CAL features)
    • Lync Online Plan 2 (similar to Enterprise Edition CAL features)
    • Lync Online Plan 3 (allows on-premises Lync Server deployment and includes PSTN calling capabilities) -- still requires you to license Lync Server on-premises as previously discussed

    In addition, the "E" series (Enterprise CALs) are license suites for Office 365 and include Lync functionality along with other Office productivity offerings. E1, E2, and E3 licenses line up with the Lync Online Plan licenses as described above.

    Myth 6: When using the Lync 2013 client as part of Microsoft Office 365 Lync Online, it's free.

    You need to purchase a license for the Lync 2013 client even when consuming Lync Online. Depending on what Office 365 subscription you have, you may be licensed for the Lync Client. For example, the Office 365 ProPlus Suite includes the right to use the Lync 2013 Client. Optionally you can license the client individually.

    Myth 7: When you purchase a Lync Qualified or Lync Optimized phone or other device, it comes with the appropriate Lync license.

    The purchase of a Lync Optimized IP phone does not include any licenses. You have two choices here. If the device is dedicated to a single user, then the Standard Lync CAL will cover the use of that device. Alternatively, if the device will be a shared or common area phone, then you can buy a Device CAL, as it allows for multiple users of a single device.

    Myth 8: Using the Hyper-V hypervisor means fewer Lync licenses.

    Nice try, but you still need to license Lync, the server operating system, and any other underlying technologies that Lync leverages (e.g. SQL Server if using Lync Enterprise Edition) whether or not you use virtualization.

    Understanding Lync licensing is important in order to determine TCO; the same can, and should, be said for all UC solutions. The best source of Lync licensing information is the Microsoft Lync Licensing Guide. Anyone evaluating or embarking on a Lync project should reference this guide. You also can direct specific licensing questions to your Microsoft account manager or systems integration partner.

    Of course, the upcoming release of Skype for Business may bring licensing changes -- and with that will come new Skype for Business licensing myths!

    Whether you want to talk licensing or any other aspect of the journey to Lync or Skype for Business, please join me at Enterprise Connect Orlando 2015 on Tuesday, March 17, at 1:30 p.m. for my session, "Living with Lync (and Success with Skype)." (Register now using the code NJSPEAKER and receive $300 off the price of your event pass.) Alternatively, please ask any questions or provide feedback in the comments below.

    Follow Kevin Kieller on Twitter and Google+!

    @kkieller

    Kevin Kieller on Google+

    Myth 4: The PSTN audio conference feature doesn't require a Lync Plus CAL.

    Audio conferencing is a shared feature of the Enterprise CAL and Plus CAL. To schedule and host Lync audio conferences within your company boundaries, you must have the Lync Standard and Enterprise CALs. If you want to include outside users that dial in using a PSTN connection, then you must have the Plus CAL as well.

    Myth 5: You can't use Office 365 licenses for on-premises Lync.

    You absolutely can, and many clients are choosing to do this. I view this as a lease-vs-buy scenario. If it makes more sense for your company to consume services in this way, then you can purchase the equivalent Office 365 license for your Lync users. Having said this, figuring out which licenses you will gets complicated. Basically, you have a choice of three Lync Online licenses:

    • Lync Online Plan 1 (similar to Standard CAL features)
    • Lync Online Plan 2 (similar to Enterprise Edition CAL features)
    • Lync Online Plan 3 (allows on-premises Lync Server deployment and includes PSTN calling capabilities) -- still requires you to license Lync Server on-premises as previously discussed

    In addition, the "E" series (Enterprise CALs) are license suites for Office 365 and include Lync functionality along with other Office productivity offerings. E1, E2, and E3 licenses line up with the Lync Online Plan licenses as described above.

    Myth 6: When using the Lync 2013 client as part of Microsoft Office 365 Lync Online, it's free.

    You need to purchase a license for the Lync 2013 client even when consuming Lync Online. Depending on what Office 365 subscription you have, you may be licensed for the Lync Client. For example, the Office 365 ProPlus Suite includes the right to use the Lync 2013 Client. Optionally you can license the client individually.

    Myth 7: When you purchase a Lync Qualified or Lync Optimized phone or other device, it comes with the appropriate Lync license.

    The purchase of a Lync Optimized IP phone does not include any licenses. You have two choices here. If the device is dedicated to a single user, then the Standard Lync CAL will cover the use of that device. Alternatively, if the device will be a shared or common area phone, then you can buy a Device CAL, as it allows for multiple users of a single device.

    Myth 8: Using the Hyper-V hypervisor means fewer Lync licenses.

    Nice try, but you still need to license Lync, the server operating system, and any other underlying technologies that Lync leverages (e.g. SQL Server if using Lync Enterprise Edition) whether or not you use virtualization.

    Understanding Lync licensing is important in order to determine TCO; the same can, and should, be said for all UC solutions. The best source of Lync licensing information is the Microsoft Lync Licensing Guide. Anyone evaluating or embarking on a Lync project should reference this guide. You also can direct specific licensing questions to your Microsoft account manager or systems integration partner.

    Of course, the upcoming release of Skype for Business may bring licensing changes -- and with that will come new Skype for Business licensing myths!

    Whether you want to talk licensing or any other aspect of the journey to Lync or Skype for Business, please join me at Enterprise Connect Orlando 2015 on Tuesday, March 17, at 1:30 p.m. for my session, "Living with Lync (and Success with Skype)." (Register now using the code NJSPEAKER and receive $300 off the price of your event pass.) Alternatively, please ask any questions or provide feedback in the comments below.

    Follow Kevin Kieller on Twitter and Google+!

    @kkieller

    Kevin Kieller on Google+

  • Lync Online Plan 1 (similar to Standard CAL features)
  • Lync Online Plan 2 (similar to Enterprise Edition CAL features)
  • Lync Online Plan 3 (allows on-premises Lync Server deployment and includes PSTN calling capabilities) -- still requires you to license Lync Server on-premises as previously discussed

    In addition, the "E" series (Enterprise CALs) are license suites for Office 365 and include Lync functionality along with other Office productivity offerings. E1, E2, and E3 licenses line up with the Lync Online Plan licenses as described above.

    Myth 6: When using the Lync 2013 client as part of Microsoft Office 365 Lync Online, it's free.

    You need to purchase a license for the Lync 2013 client even when consuming Lync Online. Depending on what Office 365 subscription you have, you may be licensed for the Lync Client. For example, the Office 365 ProPlus Suite includes the right to use the Lync 2013 Client. Optionally you can license the client individually.

    Myth 7: When you purchase a Lync Qualified or Lync Optimized phone or other device, it comes with the appropriate Lync license.

    The purchase of a Lync Optimized IP phone does not include any licenses. You have two choices here. If the device is dedicated to a single user, then the Standard Lync CAL will cover the use of that device. Alternatively, if the device will be a shared or common area phone, then you can buy a Device CAL, as it allows for multiple users of a single device.

    Myth 8: Using the Hyper-V hypervisor means fewer Lync licenses.

    Nice try, but you still need to license Lync, the server operating system, and any other underlying technologies that Lync leverages (e.g. SQL Server if using Lync Enterprise Edition) whether or not you use virtualization.

    Understanding Lync licensing is important in order to determine TCO; the same can, and should, be said for all UC solutions. The best source of Lync licensing information is the Microsoft Lync Licensing Guide. Anyone evaluating or embarking on a Lync project should reference this guide. You also can direct specific licensing questions to your Microsoft account manager or systems integration partner.

    Of course, the upcoming release of Skype for Business may bring licensing changes -- and with that will come new Skype for Business licensing myths!

    Whether you want to talk licensing or any other aspect of the journey to Lync or Skype for Business, please join me at Enterprise Connect Orlando 2015 on Tuesday, March 17, at 1:30 p.m. for my session, "Living with Lync (and Success with Skype)." (Register now using the code NJSPEAKER and receive $300 off the price of your event pass.) Alternatively, please ask any questions or provide feedback in the comments below.

    Follow Kevin Kieller on Twitter and Google+!

    @kkieller

    Kevin Kieller on Google+

    In addition, the "E" series (Enterprise CALs) are license suites for Office 365 and include Lync functionality along with other Office productivity offerings. E1, E2, and E3 licenses line up with the Lync Online Plan licenses as described above.

    Myth 6: When using the Lync 2013 client as part of Microsoft Office 365 Lync Online, it's free.

    You need to purchase a license for the Lync 2013 client even when consuming Lync Online. Depending on what Office 365 subscription you have, you may be licensed for the Lync Client. For example, the Office 365 ProPlus Suite includes the right to use the Lync 2013 Client. Optionally you can license the client individually.

    Myth 7: When you purchase a Lync Qualified or Lync Optimized phone or other device, it comes with the appropriate Lync license.

    The purchase of a Lync Optimized IP phone does not include any licenses. You have two choices here. If the device is dedicated to a single user, then the Standard Lync CAL will cover the use of that device. Alternatively, if the device will be a shared or common area phone, then you can buy a Device CAL, as it allows for multiple users of a single device.

    Myth 8: Using the Hyper-V hypervisor means fewer Lync licenses.

    Nice try, but you still need to license Lync, the server operating system, and any other underlying technologies that Lync leverages (e.g. SQL Server if using Lync Enterprise Edition) whether or not you use virtualization.

    Understanding Lync licensing is important in order to determine TCO; the same can, and should, be said for all UC solutions. The best source of Lync licensing information is the Microsoft Lync Licensing Guide. Anyone evaluating or embarking on a Lync project should reference this guide. You also can direct specific licensing questions to your Microsoft account manager or systems integration partner.

    Of course, the upcoming release of Skype for Business may bring licensing changes -- and with that will come new Skype for Business licensing myths!

    Whether you want to talk licensing or any other aspect of the journey to Lync or Skype for Business, please join me at Enterprise Connect Orlando 2015 on Tuesday, March 17, at 1:30 p.m. for my session, "Living with Lync (and Success with Skype)." (Register now using the code NJSPEAKER and receive $300 off the price of your event pass.) Alternatively, please ask any questions or provide feedback in the comments below.

    Follow Kevin Kieller on Twitter and Google+!

    @kkieller

    Kevin Kieller on Google+

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