How many processor cores will Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 use

Discussion in 'Windows Server' started by Adrian, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    I have been trying to find out how many processor cores Windows Server 2003
    x64 Standard Edition will use, but come across contradictory information.

    This link
    http://download.microsoft.com/downl...-b86e3f24e08f/multicore_hyperthread_brief.doc
    suggests Windows 2003 Standard can have four Quad core processors and use
    all the cores. However this link
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/features/comparefeatures.mspx
    suggests to me that it is only going to use 4 'cores' maximum.


    Any ideas?



    Thanks,



    Adrian
     
    Adrian, Mar 9, 2007
    #1
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  2. Hello,

    Thank you for using newsgroup!

    Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition can have up to four processors. For
    most currently shipping Microsoft software with processor limits, each
    processor counts as a single processor regardless of the number of cores
    and/or threads that the processor contains. For example, Windows Server
    2003 Standard Edition can be used on a four-processor system, whether the
    processors in the system are single-core, hyperthreaded, or multicore.

    I have readed the following document:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/features/comparefeatur
    es.mspx

    It describes the same limitation that Windows Server 2003 Standard has up
    to four processors, regardless of the number of cores. In fact, there is no
    limitation in the number of cores for Microsoft software.

    Related information
    =============
    http://blogs.technet.com/labrat/

    Hope this is cleanly.

    Mike Luo

    Microsoft Online Partner Support
    Get Secure! - www.microsoft.com/security

    =====================================================
    When responding to posts, please "Reply to Group" via your newsreader so
    that others may learn and benefit from your issue.
    =====================================================
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
     
    Mike Luo [MSFT], Mar 12, 2007
    #2
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  3. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    Mike,

    Thanks for your reply, but I am still not entirely clear.

    I understand that Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition is licensed for up to
    4 physical processors (whether they are all single core or all quad core.
    However the Microsoft article you refer to says that Windows Server 2003
    Standard Edition has "up to 4-way symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) support".
    To me that suggests that it will use a maximum of 4 cores even on a server
    with 4 quad core processors. Or is my understanding incorrect? I confess to
    not understanding exactly what the definition of 'symmetric multiprocessing'
    is (even after reading the Wikipedia definition).

    Adrian
     
    Adrian, Mar 12, 2007
    #3
  4. Adrian

    Herb Martin Guest

    I believe (but haven't checked) that this 4-processor limit is strictly a
    LICENCING issue and not really related to the way the (thread)
    scheduler works so the previous info you received about 4 physical
    processors with as many cores as are present seems to make sense.
    It's very simple (so perhaps I should go and edit that article <grin>)....

    Symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) merely means that ANY thread can
    run by default on ANY processor.

    In asymmetric multiprocessing certain threads (usually the OS itself) get
    their own processor(s) which cannot be shared by other processes even
    when these (OS) threads aren't really using it.

    Windows schedules threads onto each processor on a first come, first
    served basis at any particular PRIORITY level. There are actually
    32 such levels ( 0=idle to 16=lowest realtime, to 31=for only the most
    critical threads) each with a (possibly empty) queue of threads waiting
    to run.

    The Scheduler goes down the priority levels and picks the higher priority,
    first item and so on -- when a thread finishes with a CPU or is removed
    due to "preemption" due to exhauding its "quantum" the scheduler sticks
    that thread back at the END of the queue for the priority level in which it
    is running.

    Make sense? (IF not, maybe I shouldn't edit the Wikipedia <grin>)
     
    Herb Martin, Mar 12, 2007
    #4
  5. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    Herb,

    Thanks,

    So to simple me Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition can legally be run on a
    server with 4 quad core processors, but it will only use four of the sixteen
    available cores. Or am I still confused ;)

    Adrian
     
    Adrian, Mar 12, 2007
    #5
  6. Adrian

    Herb Martin Guest

    Different subject -- I said SMP was simple.
    I don't think the above is accurate but haven't tested it. The previous
    poster said it would use 4 PHYSICAL processors with whatever
    cores they contain -- so I am assuming 16 in the case of 4x4.
     
    Herb Martin, Mar 13, 2007
    #6
  7. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    Herb,

    Thanks.

    But if Microsoft says "has up to 4-way symmetric multiprocessing (SMP)
    support" does that not mean it is only going to support 4 cores in total
    (out of 16 for example if 4 quad core processors), or does it mean it will
    support 4 cores PER processor?

    Sorry to labour the point....

    Adrian
     
    Adrian, Mar 13, 2007
    #7
  8. Adrian

    Herb Martin Guest

    I have indicated that *I* do not know for sure that that is what Mike
    said.

    Do you have the machine? Have you tried it?

    The 4-processors is mostlly a licensing issue so it is quite possible this
    is going to work just fine as Mike indicated.
     
    Herb Martin, Mar 13, 2007
    #8
  9. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    Herb,

    Thanks.
    We are looking to purchase one, and we are trying to decide whether we
    should buy 2 dual core processors or consider buying 2 quad core processors.
    We are a small company so do not have the finance to have test servers etc.

    Adrian
     
    Adrian, Mar 14, 2007
    #9
  10. Adrian

    Herb Martin Guest

    Try asking the vendor -- will they be selling you Windows Server with the
    hardware?

    Or call your local Microsoft sales office (most large US Cities have one)
    and ask.

    You have the case of 2 x 4.

    BTW, what are you going to do with a 2 x 4 server?
     
    Herb Martin, Mar 14, 2007
    #10
  11. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    Herb,

    Thanks.

    I have rung Microsoft (in the UK) and they did not know! They have said they
    will get back to me.

    Our vendors think it will use a maximum of 4 cores.

    We plan to use it mainly for Exchange 2007, accounting software, & file
    server. I am sure 2 dual core Xeons will be plenty, but I would like to know
    as 2 quad cores is probably not much more expensive (depending on the type).
    We have about 30 users.

    Adrian
     
    Adrian, Mar 14, 2007
    #11
  12. Thanks Herb.

    Hi Adrian,

    If you install 4-way symmetric multiprocessing processors which contains 4
    cores, that also is supported; you only purchase 4 CPUs' license. But if
    you upgrade single processor system to 4-way symmetric multiprocessing
    processors, you need to purchase additional license.

    Hope this helps.

    Mike Luo

    Microsoft Online Partner Support
    Get Secure! - www.microsoft.com/security

    =====================================================
    When responding to posts, please "Reply to Group" via your newsreader so
    that others may learn and benefit from your issue.
    =====================================================
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
     
    Mike Luo [MSFT], Mar 15, 2007
    #12
  13. Adrian

    Herb Martin Guest

    No, that confused me (again.)


    Ok:

    4 CPU license
    4 Physical CPUs
    4 Cores PER CPU

    Does he get to use them all this way?


    Or only one CPU with 4 cores with a 4-CPU license?
     
    Herb Martin, Mar 15, 2007
    #13
  14. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    And me ;)

    It is not really the licensing I was asking about the maximum number of
    cores that Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition can USE.

    If I have a server with 4 quad core processors & install Windows Server 2003
    Standard Edition will Windows Server use:

    a) All 16 cores

    b) Only 4 cores

    If it is possible to answer "a" or "b" that would be great. I can understand
    that!

    Adrian
     
    Adrian, Mar 15, 2007
    #14
  15. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    Herb,

    Below is the reply I received from Microsoft. I think that makes it clear!

    "Thank you for your query on Windows Server 2003 Standard with dual core
    processors, I have detailed this below for your reference.

    Windows Server 2003 standard use Dual core processors. Windows Server 2003
    ST 64 bit can be installed unto a machine with up to 4 processors; please
    confirm if Windows Server was put unto a machine with a dual Core processor
    whether it would use up all 8 processors or not?

    Answer:

    Windows Server is licensed per physical processor, irrespective of how many
    cores are on the processor.

    Standard Edition Windows support 4 processors. These processors can be
    single, dual or quad core today. Windows will use all cores on all
    processors that it supports.

    For example, if a server has 4 processors, and each is dual core, the
    customer can install Windows Server Standard Edition and it will use all 8
    cores. Task manager will show 8 CPUS and applications can leverage all 8 .

    Another example, if the server had 4 Quad Core CPU's installed, then the
    customer could install Windows Server Standard edition and use all 16 cores.

    I hope this is useful for you, please let me know if you need anything
    further."

    Adrian
     
    Adrian, Mar 15, 2007
    #15
  16. Adrian

    Herb Martin Guest

    That is what I thought. Thanks.
     
    Herb Martin, Mar 15, 2007
    #16
  17. That is right.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Mike Luo

    Microsoft Online Partner Support
    Get Secure! - www.microsoft.com/security

    =====================================================
    When responding to posts, please "Reply to Group" via your newsreader so
    that others may learn and benefit from your issue.
    =====================================================
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
     
    Mike Luo [MSFT], Mar 16, 2007
    #17
  18. Adrian

    Mike Myers Guest

    Thanks for the great posting. I had the same question and finally saw the answer. Thanks to all.
    Mike Myers


    EggHeadCafe.com - .NET Developer Portal of Choice
    http://www.eggheadcafe.com
     
    Mike Myers, Mar 21, 2007
    #18
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