So there I am specifying a some infrastructure for a customer who prefers HP hardware: the pricing/performance sweet spot still seems to be multi-core dual cpu so my choices are Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron. Well despite my normal preference for Opteron it seems that Intel’s 5000 series Xeon’s are offering the best performance and lowest power consumption at the moment.
So Xeon it is then, but behold, the quad cores are finally available with some decent clock speeds, so it seems like a no brainer :- 8 core performance for the price of 4 cores, how cool is that. 🙂
So specification complete, I send it off to the customer and what’s the first thing that comes back ?
We don’t want quad core because we don’t want to spend the extra on Windows 2003 x64 Enterprise edition.
Of course, I get on the phone with them to see what the issue is and discover that the customer is looking at the specification on the MS site, where it clearly states that Standard Edition of 2003 x64 supports only 4 processors.
Immediately I think; “What they really mean is physical processors – number of cores don’t matter”, but to my surprise and frustration I can’t find the answer to my question anywhere. I contact my licensing expert, who can’t help me either. So it seems like I’m stuck with the possibility of having to purchase 2003 Enterprise Edition for a dual processor machine.
So this seems like a good time for a motivational exercise amongst the infrastructure team – the person who finds the answer to the question gets……. well nothing extra actually, but I’ll be really happy.
So several hours and some furious googling later – the facts are revealed and of course I felt it was my mission to share it with you all.
If the Server has….
* 4 single-core processors
* 4 single-core hyperthreaded processors
* 4 dual-core processors
* 4 quad-core processors
…then Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition is currently sufficient.
So here is the document MS Multicore Brief – enjoy 🙂
So it seems that for up to 16 core’s on 4 physical CPU’s Windows Server 2003 Standard will suffice – I almost feel like I’m getting something for nothing here.