Hyperthreading – To enable or disable?

If you have been dealing with BizTalk 2009 or prior, you must have observed that it was always advised to turn off hyperthreading to get optimum performance in BizTalk. This is what is stated in the BizTalk Server 2009 Operations Guide:

  • It is critical that hyper-threading be turned off on BizTalk Server computers. This is a BIOS setting, typically found in the Processor settings of the BIOS setup. Hyper-threading makes the server appear to have more processors/processor cores than it actually does; however, hyper-threaded processors typically provide between 20-30% of the performance of a physical processor/processor core. When BizTalk Server counts the number of processors to adjust its self-tuning algorithms, the hyper-threaded processors cause these adjustments to be skewed, which is detrimental to overall performance.
  • Hyper-threading should be turned off on SQL Server computers because applications that can cause high levels of contention (such as BizTalk Server) may cause decreased performance in a hyper-threaded environment on a SQL Server computer.

However, one should make this decision about enabling or disabling hyperthreading based on the hardware. So,  with Intels Nehalem+ hyperthreading, is this advice still valid?

As per some tests carried out by the the CAT team, this is no longer the case….

Read more here!

The latest guide on improving server performance is available here.

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