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My Feature and Metadata Services each use 2 ArcSDE connections, and my Image Service uses 4 ArcSDE connections.
If you take a map or metadata configuration file that was created using an ArcSDE connection, create an ArcIMS Service in Administrator, and then start a Feature or Metadata Service, two ArcSDE connections are made. By default, a virtual FeatureServer or MetadataServer has two instances, thus two connections.
If you start an Image Service, four connections are taken. Like the virtual FeatureServer, the ImageServer has two instances. However, the architecture of the ImageServer also requires two connections for the QueryServer. Thus, the need for four connections.
These connections are taken when you create an ArcIMS Service, it doesn't matter if the Service is stopped or started.
If you do not want all of these connections, you have two options.
<SERVERCOMPONENT type = "FeatureServer"
description = "Internet FeatureServer"
exe = "FeatureServer\aimsfs.dll"
access = "PUBLIC"
connectionsharing = "2" >
<RESOURCEBUNDLE name="aimsfs" path="FeatureServer" />
<PARAMETER name="type" value="FeatureServer" />