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Maximum number of processor sockets in Windows Server 2012 Datacenter and Standard RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have found no documentation on the technical number of supported processor sockets supported by Windows Server 2012 for the Standard and Datacenter editions.

    Some donation websites like Techsoup claim that Datacenter supports 64 physical processors and Standard 8, but I can find no authoritative confirmation of this and those look like extrapolation from Windows Server 2008 R2.

    So what are the maximum supported # of processor sockets, assuming you have licenses for all of them, for Datacenter and Standard? Do they differ by edition?

    In addition, is it true that the total # of supported logical processors in a single system is 640 w/o Hyper-V? It was originally reported to be that, but since Hyper-V's number doubled from 160 in the Beta to 320 in the RC and RTM, did this double too?




    • Edited by WSUser Sunday, September 30, 2012 8:01 PM more specific
    Sunday, September 30, 2012 7:59 PM

Answers

  • This blog post may not be not formal documentation, but seems to have an answer:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/matthts/archive/2012/10/14/windows-server-sockets-logical-processors-symmetric-multi-threading.aspx

    Windows Server 2012 Maximums

    Windows Server 2012 x64 with Hyper-V Enabled
    •Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition supports up to 64 sockets and up to 320 logical processors
    •Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition supports up to 64 sockets and up to 320 logical processors

    Windows Server 2012 without Hyper-V Enabled
    •Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition supports up to 64 sockets and up to 640 logical processors
    •Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition supports up to 64 sockets and up to 640 logical processors


    Don
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    • Marked as answer by WSUser Sunday, October 14, 2012 6:32 AM
    Sunday, October 14, 2012 5:57 AM
  • You might find some of the information you are looking for here - http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/C/A/2CA38362-37ED-4112-86A8-FDF14D5D4C9B/WS%202012%20Feature%20Comparison_Hyper-V.pdf.  I know there is one change that is not reflected there.  Recently the maximum number of virtual machines supported in a cluster was raised to 8,000 instead of the 4,000 reflected in this document.

    The maximum number of sockets for Standard would be two because that is the maximum number that the license supports.  Standard has never supported 8.  Prior to 2012, it supported 4, and then the licensing changed with 2012 so that Standard would be sold per processor (socket) with a maximum of two.  Technically, the binaries are the same for Standard and Datacenter, so you can most likely get it to run with more somehow, but it is not a supported configuration.

    The maximum number of sockets for Datacenter would be 64 - that has not changed from 2008.  I make this statement based on the fact that Datacenter supports a maximum of 64 virtual CPUs when run as a virtual machine.  Virtual machines don't have the distinction of socket versus hyper-thread versus core.  They see what is presented to them as a processor.  But, I doubt very much that you will find any off-the-shelf 64 socket systems; most vendors are relying on the core densities instead of socket density in order to deliver the horsepower.  The above referenced document still shows 320 as the maximum number of logical processors, with or without Hyper-V.


    tim

    • Marked as answer by Lawrence, Friday, January 4, 2013 6:19 AM
    Monday, October 1, 2012 10:30 PM

All replies

  • You might find some of the information you are looking for here - http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/C/A/2CA38362-37ED-4112-86A8-FDF14D5D4C9B/WS%202012%20Feature%20Comparison_Hyper-V.pdf.  I know there is one change that is not reflected there.  Recently the maximum number of virtual machines supported in a cluster was raised to 8,000 instead of the 4,000 reflected in this document.

    The maximum number of sockets for Standard would be two because that is the maximum number that the license supports.  Standard has never supported 8.  Prior to 2012, it supported 4, and then the licensing changed with 2012 so that Standard would be sold per processor (socket) with a maximum of two.  Technically, the binaries are the same for Standard and Datacenter, so you can most likely get it to run with more somehow, but it is not a supported configuration.

    The maximum number of sockets for Datacenter would be 64 - that has not changed from 2008.  I make this statement based on the fact that Datacenter supports a maximum of 64 virtual CPUs when run as a virtual machine.  Virtual machines don't have the distinction of socket versus hyper-thread versus core.  They see what is presented to them as a processor.  But, I doubt very much that you will find any off-the-shelf 64 socket systems; most vendors are relying on the core densities instead of socket density in order to deliver the horsepower.  The above referenced document still shows 320 as the maximum number of logical processors, with or without Hyper-V.


    tim

    • Marked as answer by Lawrence, Friday, January 4, 2013 6:19 AM
    Monday, October 1, 2012 10:30 PM
  • http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/27/using-task-manager-with-64-logical-processors.aspx and http://www.winsupersite.com/content1/tabid/2936/catpath/windowsserver8/topic/windows-server-8s-scalability-numbers-140931 are older, but say the maximum supported number is 640. In Windows Server 2008 R2, the 256 logical processors supported was greater than Hyper-V's 64.

    Also, http://www.connectingup.org/donortec/microsoft/microsoft-windows-server-2012-standard-edition-includes-software-assurance seems to contradict what you just said about Standard, though I don't know of its reliable.

    I don't really know of the statement about virtual machines seeing no difference between logical processors and physical processors, because Hyper-V supports matching the host NUMA regardless of VM virtual processor count.


    Your link appears to be broken for me, so I can't see it... :(
    • Edited by WSUser Tuesday, October 2, 2012 12:47 AM broken link
    Tuesday, October 2, 2012 12:46 AM
  • The maximum number of sockets for Standard would be two because that is the maximum number that the license supports.

    This is not true with Server 2012.

    Each Standard license allows you 2 sockets and 2 VMs. But by buying multiple licenses for a single host, you can increase this.

    So, e.g. with 4 Standard licenses, you can license a host for 8 sockets and 8 VMs. You may want to do this if you are running e.g. SQL Server on an 8-socket host, with a limited number of VMs as well. No need for Datacenter for large hosts unless you also want a large # of VMs.

    See http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=13090 for detailed examples

    I don't know that you can buy a Server 2012 machine with >8 sockets (i.e. more than HP DL980G7 or IBM x3850/x3950), so anything over that I think would be an integrated OEM solution and would likely come with the right number of Datacenter licenses. However if anyone knows of 16 or more socket x64 server, I'm interested!
    Tuesday, October 2, 2012 5:39 PM
  • Well, SeaMicro's servers easily beat 8 sockets, and are probably the only readily-available servers that can do 64.

    The question still remains: what are the edition-specific supported sockets? Is Standard really limited, technically, to 8? (this would seem to contradict the notion that the only difference between the two is the # of licensed VMs).

    • Edited by WSUser Saturday, October 13, 2012 2:39 AM not answered
    Saturday, October 13, 2012 1:40 AM
  • SeaMicro is interesting - thanks for the info. But it doesn't look like it runs Windows (at least, not yet). Linux only for now.

    So is there is a vendor that actually sells a server with more than 8 sockets that will run (and support) Windows Server?

    Saturday, October 13, 2012 3:24 AM
  • They say that Windows is a supported OS (and thus, likely, Windows Server 2012).

    http://www.seamicro.com/node/223


    • Edited by WSUser Saturday, October 13, 2012 10:14 PM (Windows in general)
    Saturday, October 13, 2012 10:07 PM
  • Are you sure that is a single 64-socket server? It looks to me like 32 separate 2-socket servers in a 10U chassis. i.e. essentially a denser version of a blade system.

    In which case, running Windows on each 2-socket server shouldn't be a problem.

    This looks interesting for scale-out if you are setting up a cluster of servers for high-performance computing. But for scale up (e.g. a large SQL single Server installation), you need a single server with many sockets. Unless this is that, I still haven't found one with more than 8 sockets.

    Saturday, October 13, 2012 11:05 PM
  • This seems to be one server... otherwise, it makes no sense to have 10 10Gb ethernet links that 64 servers would have to share. Yes, these are fully 64 sockets.

    Regardless, though, that's not my original question.

    Saturday, October 13, 2012 11:43 PM
  • This blog post may not be not formal documentation, but seems to have an answer:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/matthts/archive/2012/10/14/windows-server-sockets-logical-processors-symmetric-multi-threading.aspx

    Windows Server 2012 Maximums

    Windows Server 2012 x64 with Hyper-V Enabled
    •Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition supports up to 64 sockets and up to 320 logical processors
    •Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition supports up to 64 sockets and up to 320 logical processors

    Windows Server 2012 without Hyper-V Enabled
    •Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition supports up to 64 sockets and up to 640 logical processors
    •Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition supports up to 64 sockets and up to 640 logical processors


    Don
    (Please take a moment to "Vote as Helpful" and/or "Mark as Answer", where applicable.
    This helps the community, keeps the forums tidy, and recognises useful contributions. Thanks!)

    • Marked as answer by WSUser Sunday, October 14, 2012 6:32 AM
    Sunday, October 14, 2012 5:57 AM
  • Agreed this is not your original question. But I was curious as to why you were asking the question about the limits, given there is no hardware (today at least, that I know of) that scales up beyond 8 sockets.

    I talked with a SeaMicro sales engineer as I was interested if it was truly a single 64-socket server. Unfortunately (at least for me), it is not.

    Instead, it is 64 single-socket servers in a single chassis. So it does run Windows, but as 64 separate instances. A way to think about it is that it's a very compact blade system with a bunch of integrated networking and storage. It's designed for Hadoop and other scale-out applications. But not for scale-up.

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012 8:14 PM
  • I know this is about one and a third years after I first asked this, but I just discovered that Bull Bullion servers can do up to 16, which would've made the more-than-eight question pertinent again. Just for the record. In fact with 10-core Westmere-EX on all 16 sockets w/ hyperthreading, the 320-logical-processor limit would easily be exhausted.
    Friday, February 21, 2014 10:03 AM
  • True, but my understanding is that there is nothing in the operating system that prevents more processors, but that the supported and TESTED limit is 320.  At the time the statement was made, the largest system Microsoft could test on was 320.

    Microsoft has been constantly increasing the number of supported processors as hardware has become available.  I'm pretty confident that we will see the number increasing in a future release as the larger machines become available.


    .:|:.:|:. tim

    Friday, February 21, 2014 9:55 PM
  • That's not necessarily true.

    In Windows Server 2008, the limit was 64 logical processors, and apparently that was a hard limitation before the introduction of processor groups. One thus wonders how many processor groups of 64 logical processors each a particular instance of Windows can have.

    Sunday, February 23, 2014 2:10 AM