By Bill Peters
AIS Network Director of Sales
In my January 24 blog, I provided some responses to frequently asked questions about Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites and licensing SharePoint FIS.
In this second part, we’ll look at SharePoint FIS licensing in a little more depth and also look at some various usage scenarios.* For the purposes of this blog, “internal users” refers to employees, affiliates’ employees, on-site contractors and/or agents. “External users” refers to all others.
What do I need for intranet and extranet sites?
For intranet and extranet networks used to support internal content, SharePoint Server 2010 is required. If only internal users can access the content being stored, it must be hosted on a server licensed with SharePoint Server 2010. It’s important to remember that content is only accessible by users or devices with a Client Access License (CAL) for SharePoint Server 2010. SharePoint Server can still be used to support external content, although each user or device requires a CAL, whether they are internal or external.
What do I need for Internet sites?
For servers used to provide external content (typically) over the Internet, SharePoint FIS is required. If the content being stored and accessed is available to external users, it can be hosted on a server licensed with SharePoint FIS, and users accessing that content will not require a CAL. It’s important to remember that while SharePoint FIS is restricted to external content, it is not restricted to external users. For example, an internal user (e.g., employee) would not require a CAL to access external content on an instance of SharePoint FIS. As you can see, the choice between SharePoint Server and SharePoint FIS for external content is a financial one, unless the external users have anonymous access—in which case, SharePoint FIS is the only feasible option.
Can you show me some usage scenarios?
The following common deployment scenarios are excerpted from a very useful and detailed document entitled, “Microsoft Volume Licensing Brief: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites” (October 2010), which helps in explaining the licensing requirements of SharePoint FIS. Although covered for user-based CALs, these scenarios can also be used for device-based CALs. For a copy of the full document, just email me at the address below.
First, have a look at the color code for the diagrams:
SCENARIO A: Intranet
Description: Internal users access information through LAN or the Internet. No other users (internal or external) have access to information or applications.
Example: A professional sports team sets up an intranet site accessed by managers, the coach, and players. It is also used for support staff such as the physiotherapist who is an on-site contractor rather than an employee. But the therapist still qualifies as an internal user. A news reporter trying to access the SharePoint site is denied access.
- Server — 1 SPS/Running Instance (RI)
- Internal User — 1 CAL/User
Figure 1 – Scenario: Intranet
- Licensing requirements for server and CAL remain the same for internal users based on the location of access (through LAN or the Internet).
SCENARIO B: Intranet Plus Extranet
Description: An organization with information accessible only by internal users (i.e., internal content) chooses to extend access to a limited number of identifiable external users. In this case, the identifiable external users have access to all information, previously accessible by internal users only. The organization may choose to license those external users either via SPS/CAL or SPSFIS for authenticated external users. This decision is typically made based on cost.
Example: The Elm University publishes research papers, which are made available to specific educators from other universities (external users). This situation is assumed to be an intranet plus extranet scenario, even though the Elm University does not have a public-facing Web site.
- Server — 1 SPS/RI
- Internal User — 1 CAL/User
- External User — 1 CAL/User
- Server — 1 SPS/RI (for internal use), 1 SPSFIS/RI* (for external use)
- Internal User — 1 CAL/User
- External User: No additional licenses required.
Figure 2A – Scenario: Intranet Plus Extranet Without SPSFIS
SPS/CAL Plus SPSFIS
Figure 2B – Scenario: Intranet Plus Extranet with FIS
- You can choose between SPS/CAL or SPSFIS based on what is more economical to them given the number of external users.
- The licensing requirement for internal user varies depending on the server license chosen and use (publishing or internal use of information/applications).
- The university chooses to make external content available to selective external users. With SPSFIS licensing, no restriction is made on how many external users access that information.
SCENARIO C: Internet
Description: Internal users are publishing information for external users. It is not possible to identify some or all of external users, so you must license external users via SPSFIS. Because internal users access the same information as external users, all users can be licensed via SPSFIS, and no additional CALs are required.
In another example, a team of internal users is customizing the look and feel of the Web site and testing it before the changes go live in production; CALs are not required if the internal users have MSDN licenses.
Example: News Web site, knowledge forums, and social networking sites
- Server — 1 SPSFIS/RI
- Internal User — Need no CAL
- External User — Need No CAL
- Test/Dev: If users are covered via MSDN, no additional server licenses/CALs are required.
Figure 3 – Scenario: Internet
- SPSFIS/RI is the only license required if internal users are accessing the same sites as external users.
- Each staging server that is posting content requires its own SPSFIS/RI (same licensing requirement as production server). This requirement excludes test staging servers because testing technical changes are covered under MSDN.
SCENARIO D: Intranet Plus Internet
Description: You make some content available only to internal users, while other content is made available to anonymous external users.
You need one SPS/RI for the internal content, one CAL/user for all internal users accessing that internal content, and one SPSFIS/RI for the external content accessed by anonymous external users. SPSFIS negates the need for CALs for internal users only publishing information and all external users.
Example: Woodgrove Bank offers loan information and the option to submit a loan application on its public-facing site, on which only internal users are allowed to view/work.
- Server — 1 SPS/RI for servers for internal information, 1 SPSFIS/RI* for servers for external information
- Internal User (if only publishing) — needs no CAL
- Internal User (otherwise) — 1 CAL/User
- External User — needs no CAL
Figure 4 – Scenario: Intranet Plus Internet
- If internal users are only publishing information and SPSFIS/RI is being used for the servers, CALs are not required for them.
- If the contents/information/applications accessed by internal users are different from those accessed by external users, SPS/CAL licenses are required for internal users.
SCENARIO E: Intranet Plus Internet Plus Extranet
Description: In this scenario, one subset of information is available only to internal users, another subset of information is available to both internal users and authenticated external users, and a third subset of information is available to anonymous external users.
Example: Contoso Pharmaceutials maintains a public Web site accessible by all, offers collaboration with authenticated external users on specific research and development projects, and hosts company’s internal intranet for its internal users.
- Server — 1 SPS/RI for servers for internal information, 1 SPSFIS/RI for servers for external information*
- Internal User (publishing) — needs no CAL
- Internal User (otherwise) — 1 CAL/User, External User à needs no CAL
- External User — needs no CAL
*In the case of dedicated server for extranet, users would have a choice of SPSFIS to cover all authenticated external users or extending CALs to them, as discussed in Scenario 2.
Figure 5 – Scenario: Intranet Plus Internet Plus Extranet
- This scenario shows that the Internet plus intranet plus extranet scenario is no different than the sum of the individual scenarios.
- An organization can choose to make external information available to selective external users. However, with SPSFIS licensing, no licensing restriction is made on how many external users can access external information.
This is so confusing. Isn’t there someone who can help me figure this out?
Yes, as I mentioned in January, if you think SharePoint FIS licensing is confusing, you are not alone. I’m happy to walk you through it and help you assess your organization’s needs.
Call me at 1-888-401-AISN, or email me at: email@example.com. Or, simply leave a comment below. Best of luck!