Licensing How To: Using Office 365 user licenses to meet CAL requirements

Licensing How To: Using Office 365 user licenses to meet CAL requirements

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Summary:  If you deploy workloads into Office 365 and maintain existing on premises workloads, or in some cases, deploy additional on premises servers to support a hybrid configurations- how do you maintain access to on premises servers.  It really doesn’t matter if your long term goal is to move to the cloud entirely, or maintain a hybrid configuration going forward – the licensing is the same.  In this Licensing How To post, we cover a concept sometimes called “on premises access rights,” “dual use rights”, and “on premises use rights.”  There really isn’t an official term, but the overall use right is to leverage your Office 365 licenses to access on premises servers, instead of buying CALs.

The Licensing How To series posts are provided by our Customer Service Presales and Licensing team members.  These scenario based licensing topics are written on trending topics and issues based on their interactions with customers, Partners and field sellers.  For more posts from the Licensing How To series, search the “Licensing How To” tag on this blog.

A frequently asked Office 365 licensing question that we address on our Team is: what happens if I buy Office 365 but continue to run on premises workloads for certain products? We’ve seen Office 365 Community Forums and other sites light up with something called “dual use rights,” “on premises use rights,” or “on premises access rights.” What does this mean, and how does it apply to me?  Well, the short answer is, it depends.  The basic licensing concept is if you’ve purchased a User Subscription License (User SL, or USL) for an Office 365 Service, that user is licensed to access the equivalent workload(s) running on premises.  While the applicable application server CALs are not included in the Office 365 User  subscription License, a CAL equivalency use right is included to access the on premises application server. 

At a high level, it works like this: Users licensed for applicable/eligible Office 365 services have use rights equivalent to a CAL for the purpose of accessing equivalent on premises workloads.  For example, a user licensed for Exchange Online Plan 2 can use their USL to access Standard and Enterprise CAL features of an on premises Exchange Server.  Below is a table with the three Office 365 services which have “on premises access rights.”  On the left and center columns we listed the on premises product and CAL type.  On the right column, we note the Office 365 User SL with rights equivalent to the on premises product and functionality.

 

On Premises Product

On Premises functionality

Office 365 User SL equivalent

Exchange Server

Standard CAL

  • Exchange Online Plan 1 User SL
  • Exchange Online Plan 1G User SL
  • Exchange Online Plan 2 User SL
  • Exchange Online Plan 2A User SL
  • Exchange Online Plan 2G User SL
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1-E4 User SL
  • Office 365 Education A3-A4 User SL
  • Office 365 Government G1-G4 User SL

Enterprise CAL

  • Exchange Online Plan 2 User SL
  • Exchange Online Plan 2A User SL
  • Exchange Online Plan 2G User SL
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3-E4 User SL
  • Office 365 Education A3-A4 User SL
  • Office 365 Government G3-G4 User SL 

SharePoint Server

Standard CAL

  • SharePoint Online Plan 1 User SL
  • SharePoint Online Plan 1G User SL
  • SharePoint Online Plan 2 User SL
  • SharePoint Online Plan 2A User SL
  • SharePoint Online Plan 2G User SL
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1-E4 User SL
  • Office 365 Education A3-A4 User SL
  • Office 365 Government G1-G4 User SL 

Enterprise CAL

  • SharePoint Online Plan 2 User SL
  • SharePoint Online Plan 2A User SL
  • SharePoint Online Plan 2G User SL
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3-E4 User SL
  • Office 365 Education A3-A4 User SL
  • Office 365 Government G3-G4 User SL 

Lync Server

Standard CAL

  • Lync Plan 1 or 1G User SL
  • Lync Plan 2, 2A or 2G User SL
  • Lync Plan 3, 3A or 3G User SL
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1-E4 User SL
  • Office 365 Education A3-A4 User SL
  • Office 365 Government G1-G4 User SL 

Enterprise CAL

  • Lync Plan 2, 2A or 2G User SL
  • Lync Plan 3, 3A or 3G User SL
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1-E4 User SL
  • Office 365 Education A3-A4 User SL
  • Office 365 Government G1-G4 User SL
  • Live Meeting Standard User SL
  • Live Meeting Professional User SL 

Plus CAL

  • Lync Online Plan 3, 3A or 3G User SL
  • Office 365 Enterprise E4 User SL
  • Office 365 Education A4 User SL
  • Office 365 Government G4 User SL 

Please note that applicable CAL Suite Bridge licenses may be required for on premises access
to workloads not included (i.e. Windows Server) in the Office 365 User Subscription License,
see the applicable product specific sections in the
Product Use Rights document 

 

A few important notes to mention before closing: 

  • The plans listed above are the only current Office 365 licenses with “on premises access rights.”  Other Office 365 Plans, such as the Small/Midsize Business and Kiosk Plans do not have the same use rights.
  • You are responsible for licensing the on premises server instances under their traditional license models.  For example, if you have 4 instances of SharePoint Server running on premises, you will need to have 4 licenses for SharePoint Server, as well as the underlying Windows Server licenses and applicable Windows Server CALs.
  • Due to software license dependency, your Office 365 licensed users are still required to be licensed with underlying and supporting products – such as Windows and/or SQL Server CALs.
  • Your Office 365 User SLs (as covered above) can be used to access your licensed servers deployed on third party shared servers/datacenters via License Mobility through Software Assurance.
  • “On premises access rights” work for current versions of the above server products, as well as earlier versions (licensed or via downgrade rights)
  • Office Web Apps Server has similar rights, where users licensed for Office 365 Plans which contain Office 365 ProPlus have rights to edit using an on premises Office Web Apps Server.  See our How to license Office Web Apps Server post for more details.

This is one scenario and licensing situation. Each customer scenario can vary by deployment, usage, product version, and product use rights.  Always check your contract, and the current Products Use Rights document to confirm how your environment should be fully licensed.  The blogging team does not warrant that this scenario will be the right licensing solution for other similar cases.

Comments
  • In your second bullet under "important notes to mention before closing" you really need to point out for SharePoint you also need the appropriate SQL server licensing as well as SQL CAL licensing - many people, myself included unit recently, really don't understand the whole license multiplexing thing so pointing it out would be hugely valuable.

  • is it correct to say that Office ProPlus SL via E3 or E4 does not allow customers to use "downgrade" versions of on-premise Office?  

  • @ Scott - it depends. If a customer has no perpetual license for what they want to run locally and instead have Office Pro Plus rights via Office 365, they generally may not downgrade. However, customers with OPP on their EA/EA-S prior to GA of Office Pro Plus for Office 365 may qualify for an exception. Tony Mackelworth discusses the issue here: microsoftlicensereview.com/.../office-2013-downgrade-rights

  • Are on premises access rights valid for E plans through MOSA as well?

  • If we have exchange plan with office 365 and having a sharepoint enterprise in our premise do we need to have cal access for users to access the sharepoint intranet portal?

  • Hi,
    Just to double check. The "on-prem access rights" means that if a customer buys, for example, E3 plans, they'll be covering use rights not just the current version (2013), but for older versions as well?

    This particular customer has Exchange 2007 and will migrate to Exchange Online within the next 12-18 months, but their EA renewal happens on april, so they want to make sure that if they add E3 plans and remove the Exchange CALs in the renewal, they will be covered for the time they remain on-premises.

  • Do the same rules apply if the servers are hosted by a Hosting Service Provider?

  • ...and you ask why we're moving towards Google Docs.....

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  • Would our on premise CALs cover the use of 365? We have recently purchased user CALs for each of Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync and are looking to move to the online versions.

  • I cannot find Lync Online Plan 3 anywhere. Can you provide a link with information about the Lync Online Plan 3 ?

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  • Is there any licensing document constituting those rights mentioned above? I cannot find any text in the PUR or OST from which these rights could be deducted. Thank you in advance.

  • I'm interested in the answers to Jan & Nicholas questions above. Is anyone replying to these comments?

  • What a convoluted and unnecessarily complex disaster this whole licensing debacle has become.
    Even our local Microsoft representatives are unsure and get different answers to the same question if asked twice.

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