All About CAL -- Client Access License

Question: I am getting the following error: "The remote computer disconnected the session because of an error in the licensing protocol. Please try connecting to the remote computer again or contact your server administrator" I am trying to connect to our campus server with a thin client. Help!

The IT Guy says:
I am not sure what server OS you are running, but you may need to purchase additional Client Access Licenses (CALs) for the computer(s) you are trying to connect with. If insufficient CALs have been purchased, you will not be able to connect more computers to the server than the number of installed CALs you have bought and configured on the server.

Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 servers have different client license requirements and purchasing options. Generally, licenses can be purchased per seat or per server. Info about Windows2000 CALs is on Windows 2000 Client Access Licensing Overview

An overview of Windows 2003 Server client licenses is available on Windows Server 2003 Client Access Licensing Overview

It is possible you may need to reconfigure your server for the number of CALs you already own, but it sounds more likely that you are going to need to purchase additional CALs.

A somewhat dated but still helpful article explaining the origin of Client Access Licenses with the Windows NT operating system is available on Understanding client Access Licensing

If you are looking at upgrading your server, you may want to consider a Macintosh Xserve solution, even if you are in a predominantly Windows-based environment. The Xserve G5 is not only blindingly fast and virus free, but it also does NOT have any client access licensing fees. More info is on Apple Servers: File and Print.

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