I've got a VMWare VM that runs Windows Server 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014 Standard Edition, IIS (hosting custom web application), and SentryOne Monitoring. The VM is configured with 4 cores and 128GB of RAM, which is the maximum for the entry license for Standard Edition.

If I give the VM more cores and more RAM, will SQL Server try to use them, or will it ignore them?

This is my demo box for my company, I want to give the VM extra resources so the Web Application (IIS), and SentryOne can function quickly and reliably. But I don't want to violate licensing.

I know I can restrict SQL's Memory usage, but what about CPU usage?


2 Answers 2


Per Brent Ozar Unlimited (linked below), the recommendation for SQL Server Standard 2014 is 192GB RAM. SQL Server will only use up to 128GB of it and the rest is to accommodate the overhead of OS and other processes.

This being said, 64GB may be far more than necessary to allow for the of SentryOne and the IIS application overhead.

How Much Memory Does SQL Server Need?

I believe that, for the cores, you must license each core that is allocated to the VM. You can limit the CPU's using the CPU page on the Server Properties. enter image description here


Wes is right about RAM, so let's talk about those vCPUs. Standard Edition 2014 can use a maximum of

  • 16 cores
  • Four sockets

This leads to all sorts of configuration shenanigans that people screw up, like assigning one core per socket across 16 sockets -- SQL can only use four of them.

Configurations that can work:

  • 1 socket, 16 cores
  • 2 sockets, 8 cores per socket
  • 4 sockets, 4 cores per socket

But it all depends what you're licensed for, which is a minimum of four vCPUs (cores).


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