A: With the availability of processors that now have many CPUs, there are physical processors (or sockets) and logical processors (cores on a processor). With logical processors, hyper-threading, if it's used, can double the number of logical processors.
Windows Server 2008 R2 supports a varying number of sockets based on the edition:
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Web and Standard support four sockets.
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise supports eight sockets.
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter supports 64 sockets.
The maximum number of logical processors supported is 256. However, remember Hyper-V only uses up to 64 logical processors.
These numbers are changing for Windows Server 8, which in the developer preview supports 640 logical processors and 160 logical processors for Hyper-V. These could change for Windows Server 8 RTM.
Read FAQs about Windows, virtualization, systems management and more at John Savill's FAQs for Windows.