@@MAX_CONNECTIONS in SQL Server returns maximum number of simultaneous user connections allowed. Maximum user connections allowed by SQL Server by default is 32,767; this number also depends on application and server hardware limits. This cam also be configured at server-level to avoid too many connections.
@@CONNECTIONS returns number of connection attempts (successful/failed) made to SQL Server since SQL Server is started. Since this include all attempts it can be greater than @@MAX_CONNECTIONS.
SELECT [ConnectionAttempts] = @@CONNECTIONS,
[MaximumAllowed] = @@MAX_CONNECTIONS
(1 row(s) affected)
As you can see from the example above number of connection attempts can be higher.
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Filed under: SQL Configuration, SQLServer, SQLServer 2005, SQLServer 2008, SQLServer 2008 R2, SQLServer 2012