We recently updated our VMWare ESX servers to ESX 5.0 which introduced some new features. One of the features is that you can choose between Virtual Sockets and Cores per Socket. I was wondering what the performance difference was between the two. I found an interesting discussion on the SpiceWorks community that confirms my thoughts.
When you select Virtual Socket, the core will be presented to the VM’s OS as an actual hardware socket. If the application has been optimized for multiple sockets specifically, it will benefit from this. Same goes for selecting multiple Cores. I can’t find any information on what it does to the host’s performance though, but it has been mentioned that there’s no performance change between the two options. The feature was also introduced for software licensing that is socket or cores based.
Microsoft has already announced that many of the new versions will be on a per core license model.