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Microsoft EES - Core CAL Suite vs Enterprise CAL Suite

By marksams, 01/05/2012 - 11:21

Note: A more recent blog post including changes to the CAL Suites introduced in August 2015 can be found here: Core CAL Suite vs. Enterprise CAL Suite

The Education Desktop can be purchased with either the Core CAL Suite or the Enterprise CAL Suite. The choice is dependent upon your requirements and the use of certain features within each Microsoft product. Sometimes it is worthwhile evaluating the cost of a CAL Suite vs. CAL Suite components if you require the majority of components.

December 2012 changes to the Enterprise CAL Suite

  • ForeFront EndPoint Protection has been renamed to System Center EndPoint Protection.
  • ForeFront UAG & ForeFront Protection Suite have been removed.
  • Exchange Online Archiving has been added in.


  • From Jan 2013, the Core CAL Suite remains equivalent to the following licenses:
    • Windows Server CAL,
    • Microsoft SharePoint Server Standard CAL,
    • Microsoft Exchange Server Standard CAL,
    • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Client Management License,
    • System Center Endpoint Protection (antivirus client and subscription service)
    • Microsoft Lync Server Standard CAL


  • From Jan 2013, the Enterprise CAL Suite is equivalent to the following licenses:
    • All of the components of the Core CAL Suite (listed above), plus,
    • Exchange Server Enterprise CAL,
    • SharePoint Server Enterprise CAL,
    • Lync Server Enterprise CAL,
    • Windows Rights Management Services CAL,
    • System Center Client Management Suite
      • System Center Operations Manager Client Management License,
      • System Center Service Manager Client Management License,
      • System Center Data Protection Manager Client Management License,
      • System Center Orchestrator (formaly Opalis) Client Management License.

Summary Table


Core CAL Suite 

Enterprise CAL Suite 

Windows Server 2008 R2

Active Directory

File and Print

DirectAccess and BranchCache

Virtualise servers and desktops

+ Information Protection (Active Directory Rights Mangement)
Exchange Server 2010

Web access to mail

Messaging with conversation view

Calendar Sharing 

+ Exchange Enterprise Features:

Unified Messaging

Improved protection and compliance

SharePoint 2010 Collaboration

Enterprise Content Management

+ SharePoint Enterprise Features:

Enterprise Search

Business Insights

Reporting and Analysis

System Center

Desktop and Device Management (SCCM)

EndPoint Protection

+ Additional Client Management Suite Components (SCSM, SCOM, SCDPM)
Lync Server 2010

Instant Messaging, Presence

Peer-to-Peer Voice and Video Chat

+ Lync Enterprise Features:

Multi-party audio, video and web conferencing

Desktop, application and content sharing

Source: Microsoft's CAL Suites Web Site. Last updated December 2012.


Further Details

Microsoft have an updated document called 'Licensing the Core CAL Suite and Enterprise CAL Suite' that provides a more detailed description of the the summary provided here. If you still have any questions after reading this document, please do not hesitate to contact us, and if we can't answer them, we'll contact Microsoft on your behalf.





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