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We are hitting the 25 connection limit of Windows 10, so the only fix is moving to Server. 
 

Many questions but the main things I’m trying to figure out is licensing and what I’m going to have to set up. We have 25 computers that all use the same log-in. Nobody needs a user account so the plan is to just have each computer with its own login. So trying to determine if I need device CALs in this case or still user CALs?  Plan on running it in a VM on Hyper-V. Do I have to license a replica as well? 
 

For setup I assume I’ll need to set up Active Directory and a Print Sever. Then Group Policies for each computer so they have the correct share and printer access. I’m assuming that this isn’t to difficult but I’ve been wrong before. Anything else I might be missing?

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18 minutes ago, dsavitsk said:

Is there a reason you don't want to use Samba? If all you need from AD is share and printer access, it should be pretty trivial.

Our practice management software also has to run on the server. So it has to be Windows. 

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I've had the pleasure of negotiating an EA for my of my customers.  It's been 5 or 6 years, but I'll try to help.

You can use either device or user CALs depending on what you need.  The CALs are independent of how many servers or whether you're running in a VM.

If you have 25 devices and less than 25 people, you would likely go with user CALs (e.g. 10 people using 25 different computers would only require 10 user licenses).  The opposite applies as well (e.g. 40 people using 25 devices, you'd get just the 25 device CALs).

The server licensing is an interesting and separate consideration.  I'm pretty sure that if a server is used for DR/BCP then you don't need separate licenses for it.  Just the primary active servers need licenses.  On the other hand, if you're distributing the workload across several servers, you'd need all of them to be licensed.  I don't think this is the case for you.

Any particular reason you're planning on using VMs? It's not a bad idea, just wanted to understand the drivers.

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11 minutes ago, Kerry said:

I've had the pleasure of negotiating an EA for my of my customers.  It's been 5 or 6 years, but I'll try to help.

You can use either device or user CALs depending on what you need.  The CALs are independent of how many servers or whether you're running in a VM.

If you have 25 devices and less than 25 people, you would likely go with user CALs (e.g. 10 people using 25 different computers would only require 10 user licenses).  The opposite applies as well (e.g. 40 people using 25 devices, you'd get just the 25 device CALs).

The server licensing is an interesting and separate consideration.  I'm pretty sure that if a server is used for DR/BCP then you don't need separate licenses for it.  Just the primary active servers need licenses.  On the other hand, if you're distributing the workload across several servers, you'd need all of them to be licensed.  I don't think this is the case for you.

Any particular reason you're planning on using VMs? It's not a bad idea, just wanted to understand the drivers.

Thanks, that’s makes sense. 
 

Active server will just be on one machine. With the VMs I can do replication. Server fails, the replication server will pick up its IP address and become the active server. Automatic with very little down time and very little if any loss of data. Plus it makes them easy to move since they are hardware agnostic for the most part. 

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1 minute ago, Kerry said:

Also, you might consider Windows Server 2019 Essentials.  It supports 25 users and up to 50 devices.  It's < $560 and doesn't require any CALs.

From my research it seems to have the same 25 connection limit that Windows 10 has. 

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Yeah, you'll likely need to get the full server version then.

Also, my personal preference is not have shared credentials across users.  I get that there are some use cases that lend themselves to this :) 

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5 minutes ago, Kerry said:

Yeah, you'll likely need to get the full server version then.

Also, my personal preference is not have shared credentials across users.  I get that there are some use cases that lend themselves to this :) 

I would have a riot if it was any other way. 

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9 minutes ago, Kerry said:

Also, my personal preference is not have shared credentials across users.

x2 on this. Once you are in the deep end of running and paying for AD, you might as well lean in and get the benefits of the system.

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2 minutes ago, dsavitsk said:

x2 on this. Once you are in the deep end of running and paying for AD, you might as well lean in and get the benefits of the system.

Our use case doesn’t make sense. 20 vet techs and receptionists bouncing around from computer to computer all in a hurry. They don’t use anything but the practice management software (where they do all have a unique login) and maybe Chrome. 

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Why not give each user a token and have them use NFC (or plug it into the computer) to switch accounts. Something like:

https://www.yubico.com/blog/password-less-login-with-the-yubikey-5-comes-to-microsoft-accounts/

https://support.yubico.com/hc/en-us/articles/360013708460-Yubico-Login-for-Windows-Configuration-Guide

Edited by luvdunhill
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14 minutes ago, luvdunhill said:

 I have to keep it simple, adding steps will just complicate things without really adding any real benefits. For the most part they are not tech savvy. 

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7 hours ago, naamanf said:

 I have to keep it simple, adding steps will just complicate things without really adding any real benefits. For the most part they are not tech savvy. 

I would think that option would pretty low tech.. ok, what about Windows Hello? It’s the facial detection login.

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