How many CPU cores can SQL Server use?

SQL Server and CPU core usage How many CPU cores can SQL Server support should be a simple question, you might think. However, judging by how often this question is asked on the SQL Server forums its clear that there is a lot of confusion about exactly how many CPUs a particular edition of SQL Server can use. The problem is due mainly to incorrect assumptions about Microsoft’s licencing policy, combined with the prevalence of multi-core CPUs.

SQL Server memory configuration

[NOTE: This is an old post that is no longer actively maintained and covers versions of SQL Server that are no longer in support. I’m leaving it up because it’s generated a lot of comments over the years which may contain useful information for those folks having to maintain legacy systems.] Correctly configuring SQL Server memory settings is critical for server performance, but one of the things that I frequently come across when reviewing SQL Server installations whilst working in CSS for MS, is just how many of them had not been set up with appropriate memory configuration settings, or, as in many cases, not set up in the way the administrators of the system had assumed they were; usually the DBAs thought the system was set up to use all e.