Exchange Server 2007 Enterprise CALs: Let Microsoft do the filtering

by Bharat Suneja

Microsoft introduced the concept of Standard and Enterprise Client Access Licenses (CALs) for Exchange Server 2007. In previous versions, only the server part of Exchange came in Standard or Enterprise flavors, the latter allowing you the use of enterprise features like more number of Storage Groups and Stores, no limits on Store sizes, clustering, etc.

With a lot more features and functionality in Exchange Server 2007, the Client Access Licenses come in both flavors as well.

If you’re planning to buy Enterprise CALs for your Exchange Server 2007 deployment, these come with an interesting benefit. Yes, Microsoft’s ForeFront for Exchange is part of the deal, and though it’s a good product (its predecessor – Sybari Antigen for Exchange, was for long considered the best of breed anti-virus products for Exchange), that’s not the interesting benefit.

That distinction goes to Microsoft Exchange Hosted Filtering, which is part of the Enterprise CAL offering. Yes, this is Microsoft’s software product + services play – you can outsource your anti-spam and anti-virus filtering headaches to Microsoft. You may not have to deploy any Edge Transport servers (depending on your organization’s security policies, of course.. ).

If you’re wondering what the new Standard and Enterprise CALs offer, this page has it all. (Well, almost… – the nuances of Exchange Server 2007 licensing are lost to many, so always get a quote and details from your software vendor or Microsoft rep.).

Things to note:
– the Enterprise CAL is an add-on to the Standard CAL.
– Depending on Exchange Server features used, not all users need an Enterprise CAL.
Standard Journaling, which offers the same granularity as Exchange Server 2003 – that of journaling at the Store level, does not require an Enterprise CAL
Premium Journaling: Per user or per distribution list journaling – you need an Enterprise CAL for only the users that’ll be subject to/use premium journaling.
Simply because you require or have Entperprise CALs for users doesn’t necessarily mean you require Enterprise Edition licenses for Exchange Server. The Enterprise Edition is required only if you want to scale up beyond 5 Storage Groups/Mailbox Stores, or if you want to use clustering using Exchange Server 2007’s Single Copy Cluster (SCC) or Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR).
– As Paul Robichaux notes in WinITPro’s “Exchange and Outlook UPDATE” newsletter, there has been a licensing change in CAL requirements: Managed Default Folders like Inbox, Deleted Items, Junk Mail, etc. no longer require an Enterprise CAL, restoring the equivalent of Exchange Server 2003/2000 Mailbox Manager policies (i.e. Recipient Policies with Mailbox Manager settings) without an additional licensing cost. Managed Custom Folders feature, which allows you to create and manage custom folders in user mailboxes, requires an Enterprise CAL.

Note: Mailbox and Public Folder Stores in Exchange Server 2007 Std. Edition do not have size restrictions like the 16 Gb. limit in previous versions. The limit was raised to a max of 75 Gb. in Exchange Server 2003 SP2, and removed completely from Stores in the Std Edition of Exchange Server 2007.

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