Implenting new Server, use 32bit or 64bit? Adv, disadv?

So I am upgrading our current domain controller running window 2000 to a new Windows 2003 domain controller. We bought a new server including the Dual Xeon 3.2ghz processor. The question is, should I go for the 64bit or stick with the 32bit version of 2003 server standard R2? What is the advantages and disadvantages? If this is a simple file server, domain controller, 64bit won't be any different than 32bit right? We don't have any 64 bit applications


Any input greatly appreciated
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shankshankAsked:
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NJComputerNetworksCommented:
Actually, there are two versions of x64:

1) Windows 2003 x64 bit- Can run X32 bit programs as well as X64 bit compiled programs
2) Windows 2003 Itanium - Pure x64 bit platform -  can only run x64 compiled programs
More info:  http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/64bit/bulletin.mspx

Very few environment are using Itanium.  This is mainly for extremely high end server that demand a high level of performance and a high level of specific drivers and applications.  I would stay away from this version unless you have a direct need.

However, Windows 2003 x64 bit is a great operating system that can be used today.  No need to wait... check to make sure your server hardware is compatible with x64 but if this is a newer server (less then two years old), it probably has the extensions needed to run x64.    This version of windows can run all of your windows programs...  here is a compatibility list:  Note: some manufacturers have upgraded the program and created a 64bit compiled version of the software.  Other programs have been tested in 32 bit mode on the Windows 2003 x64 platform.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/64bit/x64/app64catalog.aspx


You might as well start using x64, in my opinion, it is the future.  The next version of Exchange, for example, will only be available as a x64 version.

advantages of 64 bit os :http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/x64benefits.mspx


some faq:  http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/64bit/x64/faqs.mspx







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Jay_Jay70Commented:
Hi shankshank,

then i wouldnt bother with 64 bit.... there are a lot of programs so far that do not have support for 64 bit yes everything has 32bit support, i will be waiting quite some time before even looking at using 64bit purely due to the lack of supprted SW

i cant see any advantages of using it as yet...

Cheers!
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mcsweenSr. Network AdministratorCommented:
If you are only going to run Windows on this server I would go for the 64 bit version.  While there isn't a ton of applications that support 64bit OS it appears you only want to share files and run AD, well 64bit hardware with a 64bit OS is going to make for better performance.

One thing you want to check is that 64bit drivers are available for all of your hardware.
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mcsweenSr. Network AdministratorCommented:
Oh, and yes...the 64 bit version of Windows has the same functionality as the 32bit.
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