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We are about to build a new server and I was wondering what would the impact on NUMA with the options available.

The system will be built using a Proliant DL380 Gen9 8SFF which has 2 sockets, and 12 memory banks per socket.

The question I have is what would be better configuration 2 CPU's with 6 cores and memory evenly distributed across NUMA nodes or a a single 12 core CPU and all memory in that NUMA node.

Should I expect bandwith problems using a single Intel Xeon E5-2690Wv3 and 192GB (4 * 32GB + 4 * 16GB) memory and go for the 2 CPU option or should I avoid the complexity and go for the single CPU solution and have all RAM sit in the banks allocated to that socket?

No virtualization will be used, the machine will run Windows 2012 R2 and SQL 2014 both of which are NUMA aware.

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Good question.

This is going to depend on your application and how much RAM is needed. I come from the Linux and VMware worlds where the applications/OS are NUMA aware.

HP have a guide on NUMA considerations for ProLiant servers and Linux. Also a more detailed description of the latency considerations.

But:

  • If your core count is satisfied with one physical CPU...
  • and you can fit the RAM you need onto one NUMA node...
  • and you're sensitive to the latency from cross-node memory accesses...
  • AND you don't need to use a second PCIe riser board/cage (requires second CPU)...

...then you're okay going with one CPU.

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    It's also worth bearing in mind that the SQL Server licensing for a large number of cores will be quite expensive. Assuming you're using EE, if you can fit your workload onto a single 4-6 core CPU then you can save a few bob on licensing over a two socket machine with more cores. – ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Feb 11 '16 at 9:35
  • @ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Thanks, I know but the choice was between 1x12 core or 2x6 core so licensing should be the same in current SQL Versions. That may change again in future versions if they switch back to socket licensing I agree – Tom V Feb 11 '16 at 13:56

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