Solved

Advantages of 64-bit server?

Posted on 2006-06-19
7
769 Views
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Hello, We are planning on adding a new file server to our network and I was just wondering whether there are any advantages of using windows server 64-bit edition over the normal version? Will it improve the speed of the server?

Thanks,
Jonathan
0
Comment
Question by:alumwell
7 Comments
 
LVL 95

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 130 total points
Comment Utility
I don't think you'll see all that much improvement in a file server.  Serving files is not a processor intensive task and the speed of the hard disks are usually your bottle neck.  If you were making a database server or email server and were handling MANY users, then it would probably be worth it to use a 64 bit OS. As it is, due largely to driver availability issues, I'd probably say stick to 32 bit for now (maybe upgrade in a year or two).
0
 
LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:jer2eydevil88
jer2eydevil88 earned 130 total points
Comment Utility
To start you might want to browse around http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/64bit/bulletin.mspx if you want to see all the features in Windows 2003 x64.

I switched to XP 64 on my Desktop for a few months and found nothing but headaches.  I have a Windows 2003 32bit server that would not share the printer with my 64bit client and even worse my soundcard's drivers were beta at best.

In your case it would depend on what the server is going to be primarily used for.  Are you running 64-bit Applications / Databases that would actually use that extra computational capability?  Does the server have to interact with other 64 bit clients as well as 32 bit machines or is it primarily going to work with 32bit workstations as clients?

If you are using this server to handle lots of databases or to handle a large 64-bit application then it would make sense to set it up with Windows 2003.  If you are only going to use this is a file/print server then you can probably save some time by just using Windows 2003 32bit.

If you are curious to try it out before you buy then try this site
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/64bit/x64/trial/default.mspx
0
 
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:jhance
jhance earned 130 total points
Comment Utility
The biggest advantage to useing a 64-bit system coupled with a 64-bit operating system is the removal of the 4GB physical RAM limitation imposed by the design of 32-bit operating systems.  In fact with Windows you are usually limited to 2GB of physical RAM (although in some cases you can get up to 3G) but with x64 there is no problem at all.

So when using a memory intensive software application like MS SQL (or another DBMS) or something like MS Exchange you can apply much more RAM to the problem and get better performance in many cases.  Of course WIN32 applications STILL have a 4GB virtual space limit even when running on x64 but there are now appearing true x64 versions of these applications - i.e. MS SQL Server 2005 is already available in x64.

Much has been mentioned about driver availability, and it _is_ true that 32-bit hardware device drivers CANNOT be used wih x64 but with a bit of planning when aquiring your hardware you can ensure that all your hardware is supported under x64.  The best way is to purchase a server system from a vendor who offers x64 as an option.  Then you will get a complete package including x64 compliant hardware.

Having been running a few x64 system for a few months now I can tell you that it's an excellent platform and, in my opinion, represents the future of computing.  Almost all hardware being shipped today uses an x64 CPU and it's clear that Microsoft intends to make a big push for x64 when Vista begins being shipped by system vendors.  I expect that they will provide big incentives for Vista x64 to be the de-facto standard.

In the server market, x64 and Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition is the way to go NOW.  I think it would be short-sighted to purchase a new server now and go with 32-bit unless you have a need to maintain hardware compatibilty with some legacy devices that will not have x64 support.
0
What Security Threats Are You Missing?

Enhance your security with threat intelligence from the web. Get trending threat insights on hackers, exploits, and suspicious IP addresses delivered to your inbox with our free Cyber Daily.

 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:jer2eydevil88
Comment Utility
I forgot to mention that you will need an x64 antivirus should you decide to got with Windows 2003 x64 and I feel that Symantec has a real head start in this area.

http://www.symantec.com/about/news/release/article.jsp?prid=20050425_01

It won't be cheap but you can always roll it out to all the clients on your LAN (if you are running on a domain).
0
 
LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:hstiles
hstiles earned 55 total points
Comment Utility
The next version of Exchange will be 64-bit only.  I can only assume that the next version of SQL will be the same.  Whilst driver support for XP Pro x64 is poor (HP don't support yet for example and won't), Windows 2003 Server x64 is a different beast.  Driver development for SCSI controllers, fibre channel cards is much more established.  NIC drivers used to be a problem, but these have been ironed out.
0
 
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:Naser Gabaj
Naser Gabaj earned 55 total points
Comment Utility
0
 

Author Comment

by:alumwell
Comment Utility
Thank you for all of that information. From what you have said, I agree that we would be best waiting until x64 is supported a bit better by manufacturers and software vendors before we look into implementing it. And it probably wouldn't be suitable for a file server.

Thanks,
Jonathan
0

Featured Post

Free camera licenses with purchase of My Cloud NAS

Milestone Arcus software is compatible with thousands of industry-leading cameras for added flexibility. Upon installation on your My Cloud NAS, you will receive two (2) camera licenses already enabled in the software. And for a limited time, get additional camera licenses FREE.

Join & Write a Comment

Some time ago I was asked to set up a web portal PC to put at our entrance. When customers arrive, they could see a webpage 'promoting' our company. So I tried to set up a windows 7 PC as a kiosk PC.......... I will spare you all the annoyances I…
Don’t let your business fall victim to the coming apocalypse – use our Survival Guide for the Fax Apocalypse to identify the risks and signs of zombie fax activities at your business.
Here's a very brief overview of the methods PRTG Network Monitor (https://www.paessler.com/prtg) offers for monitoring bandwidth, to help you decide which methods you´d like to investigate in more detail.  The methods are covered in more detail in o…
This video gives you a great overview about bandwidth monitoring with SNMP and WMI with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor (https://www.paessler.com/prtg). If you're looking for how to monitor bandwidth using netflow or packet s…

763 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

12 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now