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Will VMware use all cores in processor or can I limit them?

Posted on 2014-02-18
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Last Modified: 2014-02-18
I am trying to figure out what the options are to configure processor and cores on a VM.  I am licensed for vCenter and vSphere 5.5 (1 instance/1 cpu) and setting up a new server with 1 processor/6 core.

Can I setup a virtual server to run on 4 cores or will it want to use all 6 cores?  The reason I want to know is because I will be licensing SQL 2012 based on cores and not CAL's.  If I can run the SQL server on 4 cores instead of 6 I will save $3500 on the license.
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Question by:schwientekd
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Abhilash earned 500 total points
ID: 39868022
Yup you can setup VM to use 4 cores. When you setup VM to use 4 cores it will only use four cores.
But you will not know which 4 cores of 6 cores will be used.
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Author Comment

by:schwientekd
ID: 39868040
Is there a downside to doing this and not knowing which cores are being used?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39868068
As far as i understand from licensing, you do not license the host physical CPU. Even if you have a 4 Core CPU and hyper-threading enabled, and you have two VM's running SQL you will have to buy 8 licenses.

So what i feel is that you will be licensing for virtual cores in your VM. So even though your host has 6 cores, you will assign 4 cores to VM and then license it.

I don't see any problem with it. Independant of which core on physical CPU is used for VM. The license will work fine.

Hope i did not confuse you.

Let me know if you got it. Or i'll try putting it in a better way.
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Author Comment

by:schwientekd
ID: 39868092
That makes sense to me and how I thought it should work.  I was just looking for a perspective from someone else.  Thank you very much!
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LVL 119
ID: 39868229
Just be careful, you do not over allocate vCPUs, in a VM.

In can have the non-desired effect sometimes, of reducing performance.

Few VMs require more than 2 vCPU, start at 1 vCPU and add. (you can always remove easily!).
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Author Comment

by:schwientekd
ID: 39868273
That is good advice, much appreciated.
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LVL 119
ID: 39868375
No problems.
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