I'm helping a client purchase a new server and have a question about single- vs. dual-CPU systems and the number of cores.
The immediate need for the server is not very strict. It will be a Windows Server 2019 host with a DC and a File/Print server as two VMs. I figure that an 8-core Xeon should be more than adequate. Because the client may want to add VMs in the future, I'd like to have more than 8 cores. I have two options to accomplish this with the Dell T440 we're considering.
The first is to use a Xeon 4116, which runs 12 cores at 2.1GHz and has 16M of cache. The alternative is to have two Xeon 4110 CPUs, which have 8 cores each with 11M of cache each, and also run at 2.1GHz. I expected the dual-CPU configuration to be significantly more expensive (both because of the additional hardware as well as having 16 cores total vs. 12 cores), but the difference is negligible in this context ($80).
I realize that 12 cores is likely overkill, but the client likes to buy more than he needs to ensure he can expand the use in the future. This has served him well in the past.
I also realize that we could add a second CPU in the future, but that can turn into an expensive and disruptive upgrade he'd like to avoid. The (list) cost now is about $525 to add the second CPU. That's an acceptable expense to avoid a future upgrade.
My other concern about the 12-core CPU has to do with Windows Server licensing. Though not likely, if we did want more cores in the future (adding a second 12-core CPU), that would require additional Windows Server core licenses, as I read the licensing rules. The minimum is 16 cores, so the dual 8-core CPU arrangement fits in well with the license.
Is there an advantage to the single-CPU 12-core configuration over the dual-CPU 2x8-core configuration? My inclination is to recommend the dual-CPU approach, but want some confirmation that I'm not missing something here.
Thanks to all in advance for useful advice!