Multi-processor support in Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003

Multi-processor support in Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003

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[Today's post comes to us courtesy of Justin Crosby]

We sometimes get asked how many processors SBS 2003 supports.  Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 supports 2 physical processors.  These processors can be single-core, multi-core, or hyper threaded.   Using a multi-core or hyper threaded processor you will see more than 2 logical processors.  This will result in the following warning when running SBS 2003 setup:


If you get this error and you have two physical processors or less, all you need to do is click "I acknowledge all warnings" and click next.

 SBS 2003 does not have a limit on logical processors.  For example if you have 2 quad-core processors (without hyper threading) you will see 8 logical processors inside Windows.  SBS will utilize all of your logical processors.  Here are some screen shots from a recent test we performed with two quad-core processors:



If you have the premium version of SBS 2003 and plan on installing ISA 2004 please have a copy of ISA 2004 SP3 or SP2 available when you begin the install.  There is an issue with the pre-SP1 version of ISA 2004 where certain ISA 2004 services (ISACTRL and WSPSRV) would not start on a multiprocessor computer.  For more information on this issue please see:

Please note that just because your operating system supports multiple processors it does not mean that your applications will fully utilize them.  The application must be designed to support multiple processors.  For more information on a specific application please contact that application's vendor.

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  • Today's SBS blog moment brought to you by Justin Crosby The Official SBS Blog : Multi-processor support

  • A little late for me... I had a nightmare weekend where I thought it might have been a limit on the CPU's.   Well it sort of was.  With original SBS 2003 RTM it freaked when it saw the 8 and wouldn't install.

    Happily running SBS 2003 SP1 two QuadCore Xeons presently on that site... ;)

    And it ROCKS.   Don't anybody EVER come with that rubbish that SBS 2003 is slow.  I'd lay odds that a server running the same specs with Exchange 2003 Standard, Sharepoint on Server 2003 Standard would be the same speed (or so blankety blank close it't not even worth mentioning)

  • Thanks for the clarification.  This is a very common misunderstanding.  Would SBS Server continue to support this multi-processor policy as Intel continue to increase logical CPU beyond quad-core?  I see 6 & 8 core around the corner.

  • Banhinc - Yes, we base our requirements off the number of physical rather than logical processors.

  • Cuando se dice que las ediciones de Windows se licencian por procesador, ¿a que nos referimos exactamente?.

  • Даже после выхода Windows Server 2008 многие партнеры интересуются возможностями предыдущей версии серверной