Q: What's the maximum number of virtual CPUs in VMware vSphere 5?

A: On the same day Microsoft announced virtual CPU limits for the next version of Hyper-V, VMware released details on the new limits in vSphere 5, and some changes to licensing (which now includes memory limits). Currently, the top version of vSphere 4, Enterprise Plus, supports 8 virtual CPUs per virtual machine (VM).

The new limits break down as follows:

  • Standard - 24GB of memory allocated to all VMs and up to eight vCPUs per VM.
  • Enterprise - 32GB of memory allocated to all VMs and up to eight vCPUs per VM.
  • Enterprise Plus - 48GB of memory allocated to all VMs and up to 32 vCPUs per VM.

Today VMware licenses only on the socket, but the new scheme means that if you have a large amount of memory in a server, you might need to purchase more licenses just to allow access to all the memory.

The free version of vSphere ESXi 5 has an 8GB memory limit.

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