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Alteryx Server Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Server experts.

How Alteryx defines cores for licensing our products

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

It is very common to be confused by the vast amount of technology terms, especially when many terms mean the same thing. With the expanding array of hosting options provided by virtualization technology or cloud providers, it can be even more confusing. This article is intended to clarify how we define a core so that you know how many licenses will be needed for your Alteryx infrastructure. In addition, this article will help clarify how common cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud define their instances so that you can understand what that means from a cores perspective.


How does Alteryx define a core?

Alteryx Connect, Promote, and Server are licensed by cores. For example, the initial purchase of Server comes with a 4-core license. So, what is a core? We define a core as a physical core. A physical core is an actual hardware core of a CPU (central processing unit). In other words, we are not charging for logical cores that are enabled by technologies such as Intel hyper-threading. Before we move to the next section, please feel free to scroll down to the Core related terminology section to get further clarification on the terms that may be confused with cores.


How do I know how many cores I have?

With all the various ways to run a server these days, it is not always obvious how many physical cores you are running on. Here is an easy way to check on any Windows server, physical or virtual, without having to know any hardware specifics. On your Windows server, open a command prompt and type in the following command.


WMIC CPU Get NumberOfCores


The command will output a single number to indicate the number of physical cores on your server. This is the number of cores we license for.


For the major cloud providers, how do I know how many cores they use?

For the most part, the major cloud providers offer cloud instances with Intel hyper-threading enabled. With this feature enabled, you divide by 2 to get the number of physical cores. Here is a table describing some of the major cloud providers:


Cloud Provider Terms they use for sizing Calculating physical cores Vendor explanation
Amazon Web Services vCPU or virtual cores 1 core = 2 vCPUs Virtual Cores by Amazon instance
Microsoft Azure vCPU 1 core = 1 vCPU * Azure Compute Unit (ACU)
Google Cloud vCPU 1 core = 2 vCPUs Google Cloud Machine types

* Azure offers cloud instances without Intel hyper-threading enabled, which is why you see a 1 to 1 ratio. However, they do offer a handful of instances with hyper-threading enabled so please confirm via the included link.


References and Additional Information

 Information from one of our Product Managers about licensing Alteryx -> How to License Alteryx


Core related terminology

  • CPU
    • Central Processing Unit (aka: brains of the computer)
  • Socket
    • Physical component of a motherboard that accepts CPUs.
  • Physical processor (aka: CPU)
    • Can have 1 or more physical cores
  • Physical cores
    • Actual hardware cores of a CPU
  • Intel hyper-threading
    • Allows a single physical core to behave like two logical cores via threads
  • Logical cores
    • Logical cores = # of physical cores x # of threads that can run on each core using Intel hyperthreading
  • Logical processors = virtual cores = logical cores
  • vCPUs (virtual CPUs) = time slots on logical processors