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SQL Server 64-bit Goes Gold

Microsoft formally finished the code last week on a 64-bit version of its flagship database, SQL Server 2000.

Officially called SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), it is Microsoft's first general release 64-bit database. The database server runs on two Microsoft server operating systems -- Windows Server 2003 Datacenter and Enterprise Editions for 64-bit Itanium 2 Systems -- which also were Released to Manufacturing on Friday.

Previously Microsoft has made beta code available for OEMs wanting to benchmark 64-bit, Windows-based server systems. NEC Corp., for example, ran a TPC-C benchmark using 32 Itanium 2 processors, Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition and 64-bit SQL Server to record the second-best non-clustered system benchmark to date.

However, customer demand for 64-bit editions of Windows servers and SQL Server has been light.

The main enhancement of 64-bit SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition is optimization for the Itanium 2 processor. Some earlier test versions of SQL Server were built for the original Itanium processor.

The code, meanwhile, is based on SQL Server 2000, not the next-generation version of SQL Server code-named "Yukon."

Sheryl Tullis, Microsoft's product manager for SQL Server, says the unified 64-bit software stack that is emerging from Redmond is the main attraction of SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit).

"We think the benefit to customers is really in the whole stack. Now there's this whole stack that can be 64-bit computing, and it has much easier manageability compared to the mainframe," Tullis said.

The database will formally launch along with Windows Server 2003, Visual Studio .NET 2003 and Windows XP 64-bit Edition Version 2003 on April 24 in San Francisco.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.