Microsoft Extends SQL Server 64-Bit Support With New Service Pack

Users running SP4 on Windows Server 2003 64X Edition in what Microsoft calls Windows on Windows emulation or WOW64, will realize some 64-bit benefits, a spokeswoman said.

With this service pack, the database gets access to a full four gigabytes of RAM, rather than sharing it with the operating system, the spokeswoman said.

While there might be a slight performance hit from the emulation, it could be more-than overcome by the faster underlying platform, one solution provider said.

The upcoming SQL Server 2005, code-named Yukon, will offer native 64-bit support. It is still expected by year's end, the spokeswoman said.

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Frank Cullen, principle at Blackstone and Cullen, an Atlanta-based Microsoft solution provider, said most of his customers are moving their databases to 64-bit servers within the next two years. "We're already running betas of Yukon's DTS [data transformation services] stuff and it's working great," he said.

Partners and customers can download Service Pack 4 now from this Microsoft Web site.

In other Microsoft news, the company posted a beta of Windows Server 2003 R2, at this site for public download.