Exchange Server is email and personal information management software that runs on Windows Server. It provides a collaboration environment for secure messaging inside and outside a charity or an organization. It also supports group scheduling capabilities, discussion groups, team folders, mobile and web access, and a host of other features.
You can use this guide to find the Exchange Server edition and licenses appropriate to your organization's needs.
Exchange Server is offered in both Standard and Enterprise editions.
In the 2016 version, the only significant difference between the Standard and Enterprise products is the number of mailbox databases each edition allows. The Standard edition allows up to 5 mailbox databases, while the Enterprise edition allows up to 50. Thus, you should request the Enterprise edition if your charity or organization is fairly large.
Other product functionality depends on whether you request Enterprise client access licenses (CALs) in addition to Standard CALs. Both Standard and Enterprise CALs can be used with either server edition, but the Enterprise CALs can be used only in conjunction with Standard CALs to access certain Exchange Server features. For more information, see the Licensing section below.
Both editions of Exchange Server 2016 require 64-bit (x64) hardware (Intel EM64T or AMD64), which makes more efficient use of memory and storage than 32-bit hardware.
Below are some of the major licensing requirements for Exchange Server.
Exchange Server is a server application, not a server operating system, so it must be used along with a server operating system. For each instance of Exchange Server, you must also have a Windows Server license.
An Exchange Server device or user CAL is required for each device or user accessing or using the server software. Microsoft offers both Standard and Enterprise user and device CALs for Exchange Server through TechSoup. However, you do not need CALs for
For both the Standard and Enterprise editions of Exchange Server, the Standard device or user CALs authorize one user or device to access Exchange Server.
Enterprise CALs are also available for use with both versions of Exchange Server. Enterprise CALs can be used only in conjunction with Standard CALs to access certain Exchange Server features. These features include integrated archiving, in-place hold, data loss prevention, and unified messaging features. For a complete list, see the
Exchange Server Licensing page
Enterprise CALs do not need to be requested for users or devices that do not need to access these additional features.
Additionally, a Windows Server CAL is required for each Exchange Server user or device CAL in all scenarios.
For help in upgrading from Exchange Server 2013 to Exchange Server 2016, you can use Microsoft's web-based
You can use Software Assurance to upgrade Exchange Server and associated licenses to any version released during the two years your Software Assurance is in effect. The actual upgrade does not have to take place within those two years. You can upgrade at any time in the future, as long as Microsoft still makes the new version available to users. You cannot, however, upgrade to versions that Microsoft releases after your Software Assurance expires.
CALs obtained through TechSoup will work with the new version since they have their own Software Assurance.
For more information, see
Volume Licensing Service Center – Software Assurance Benefits.
You can downgrade Exchange Server to any version that Microsoft continues to make available at its Volume Licensing Service Center website on your organization's Licensed Downloads page. Downgrading does not depend on Software Assurance; it is a benefit of Volume Licensing.
CALs obtained through TechSoup will work with the downgraded version.
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