I need advice on vCPU configuration of Linux box in VMWare 5.5 environment

I have a Linux server that is constantly maxing out CPU usage on my daily SolarWinds monitoring report. I checked the box out and it is part of our network team. They call it a "Radius/Tacacs and NAC. Networking asked me if I could just simply add my CPUs, so I checked out the configuration and it is configured with 6 virtual sockets all single core.
I doubt it is as simple as just adding CPUs. If I had set up this server I would have probably done 2 slots/2 core per slot, but that is only because that is how I have seen other virtual Linux boxes configured in the past. Can someone give me some suggestions and how I can prevent CPU from maxing out on this device? I know this is kind of vague but any trouble shooting suggestions would be welcome. Also does adding CPUs affect licensing?
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Also does adding CPUs affect licensing?

You can add as many as you like, but is the bottleneck CPU ?

Have you checked all the other benchmarks and performance ?

HOW TO:  Performance Monitor vSphere 4.x or 5.0

6 virtual CPUs a lot..... you could add another 2 and see if performance is affected, what process in the VM is causing high CPU ?

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
How many Cores total in the box?  Generally, you want FEWER CPUs not more... unless you REALLY need more.  I wonder if the performance hit could be because the hypervisor is having trouble allocating enough cycles to a block of 6 CPUs.

More info:
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.