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IIS - 32bit vs 64bit and load balancing

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

Looking for opinions on 32bit vs 64bit IIS.  Our main internal application is .net/sql with 32bit iis front end, about 1000 users.  This is for internal employees.

Do most people with larger IIS implementations then us stay with 32 bit iis and just implement software or hardware load balancers?   Or do they migrate to 64 bit IIS then do the web farms or load balancers?

I'm leaning more towards staying 32bit and a hardware load balancer like F5's  because of less headache with tool compatibility etc, not to mention the QA involved with going to 64bit.  I'd prefer the hardware load balancing just because it seems to have more control and options but I might be wrong on that.

Just want to make to sure we are moving in the right direction, and get some opinions from people that might have already gone through this.

Thanks a lot
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Question by:FHCSD_IT
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Howe
ID: 35061247
Hi,

The real reason for a 64Bit Host is more addressable memory. If you are noticing that you are hitting memory limits, then upgrade the Bitness.

For example, running 32bit W2K3 Enterprise Edition with 8GB of RAM, there is still a hard limit on what an individual workprocess can consume. In Windows, this limit is roughly 2GB of RAM per running process, no matter how much physical RAM is installed. There are boot switches like /3GB that flip the ration for 3 / 1 and /PAE for physical adress extentions but there is still a virtual limit. As well, IIS is not PAE aware such as SQL.

You Workerprocess with be limited to 2GB each. But you could have a 32GB server with 16 workprocesses consuming 2GB each.

Hope it helps,
Hades666
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Howe
ID: 35061258
As my opinion, upgrade to 64Bit and run in 32Bit mode. It is the default for 2008 (R2) server.

Cheers,
Hades666
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Author Comment

by:FHCSD_IT
ID: 35061872
Hello,

Thanks, I'm sorry I left this info out:  That is why we are investigating this, currently the w3 process gets up to 2gb by the end of the day so there is not much room currently, and sometimes unexpected recycles dureing the day.  Currently the site is under one app pool.

It's getting clearer :)

So with 64bit OS and IIS running in 32, we would just segment some of the heavier use IIS areas into virtual directories or web sites and assign to different app pools?

Is full 64bit IIS stiill limited to 2gb's or can it grab as much as it needs?

Thanks again
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Accepted Solution

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Brad Howe earned 500 total points
ID: 35062155
IIS on 64Bit, runs in 64 mode. The change is within the application pool to run in 32Bit mode.

Next, 64Bit running is 64Bit appPool is limitless to an extent. The limit is 8TB.... not 2GB.  It has a large base for addresses.
That is all.

I would suggest 64Bit and just test your applications. I would say about 90% of all my migrations from 32 -> 64 and IIS6 -> IIS7 have gone through with vary limited issuese that were addressed within a couple of hours.

* By hours, it was downloading some 64Bit versions of iis tools.

- Hades666
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Author Closing Comment

by:FHCSD_IT
ID: 35063159
Thanks again
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