Exchange server provides email solution for enterprise which runs on Windows servers. Before you deploy Exchange server in your organization, it is better to know about Exchange 2016 editions and licensing information.
Exchange 2016 Editions and Licensing
Microsoft provides two different editions of Exchange 2016 which are Standard and Enterprise. Both Standard and Enterprise editions provides same functionality and management features. The only difference is number of mailbox database supported by each editions.
- Exchange Server 2016 Standard: – Standard edition support up to 5 mountable mailbox database. If you have Exchange 2016 Standard edition server in DAG (Database Availability Group) and have one active mailbox database and one passive mailbox database then you now have 3 remaining database count that you can create. You can create more than 5 mailbox database but only 5 can be mounted at any time. This edition is designed to provide email solution for small to medium businesses. The database count includes both active and passive database.
- Exchange Server 2016 Enterprise: – Enterprise edition support up to 100 mailbox database including all active and passive copies of database. This edition is designed to provide email solution for large businesses.
Use following powershell cmdlet to view current Exchange server version and edition,
PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Get-ExchangeServer | fl name,edition,admindisplayversion
You can activate your trial copy of Exchange 2016 to Standard edition or Enterprise edition. You can also upgrade your copy of Exchange 2016 to Enterprise edition from Standard edition. But you can not downgrade from Enterprise edition to Standard edition. Note: when you change product key in Mailbox server you need to restart Microsoft Exchange Information Store service.
Clients accessing Exchange servers also require license. This license is called client access license (CAL). CALs are not something you would activate in client machine or server. It is just a license that you need to purchase so that clients or users can access the Exchange server legally. There are two types of CALs, Standard or Enterprise CAL. With either edition of Exchange server, any CAL can be used. Both CALs can also be used to make use of full features of Exchange server.
- Standard CAL: Standard CAL allows clients to access most of the Exchange features and functionalities like emails, calendar, outlook on the web, and so on.
- Enterprise CAL: Enterprise CAL allows clients to access more enterprise features like, in-place archive, in-place hold, data loss prevention, unified messaging, journaling and so on. You can’t purchase Enterprise CAL only. Enterprise CAL are sold as add-on to Standard CAL. So to access full enterprise features of Exchange 2016, you need to purchase both Standard CAL and Enterprise CAL.
So make sure you purchase both Exchange license and CAL license to use all the features of Exchange server.