Tullis pointed to customers such as Liberty Medicala PolyMedica Corp. company that provides direct-to-home diabetes and respiratory medications and suppliesas the typical of the type of company that will benefit from running SQL Server databases in a 64-bit environment. Liberty Medical has been testing 64-bit SQL Server 2000 to evaluate its potential to process orders that come in by phone or via the Web.
An e-commerce setup like Liberty Medical requires ample RAM in order to accommodate the large numbers of concurrent users who access the Web site to research or order products. SQL Server 2000 for 64-bit has been tested with 512GB of addressable memory spacea considerable boost from the 4GB that Microsoft officials considered the threshold for a large data set prior to 64-bit, according to Tullis. Liberty Medical has benchmarked the 64-bit database and seen 159 percent increased performance in terms of actual transactions being processed, she said.
Other enterprises that stand to gain from the capacity for more concurrent users and faster performance include those handling large data setssuch as are churned out by supply chain management applicationsor those processing complex data models. John Hopkins University is one such enterprise. The Baltimore-based university is testing SQL Server 2000 for 64-bit running huge algorithms used in mapping the sky. According to Tullis, the university is now outputting forecasted sky maps much quicker: Operations that once took six months now take 10 days.
Large business intelligence and data warehousing projects will also get a boost from 64-bit, since the technology enables the building of larger OLAP cubes that present the results of such projects.
But the prospect of running such projects faster and better doesnt lure small, budget-challenged customers to 64-bit, in spite of the fact that the technology is getting commoditized. Robert Lardizabal, a database administrator for a company that services the credit-counseling industry and that he declined to name, said that SQL Server 2000 is running just fine without 64-bit support.
"The problem with 64-bit is you need 64-bit machines to run it on," said Lardizabal, in Columbia, Md. "When we were looking at improving performance on our Web site, we did throw around the idea of implementing a 64-bit solution, but
it would be one solution wed evaluate after we went through all our other options." Those other options wound up being more Web and application servers, rewriting the site in .Net, segmenting Internet connections, and implementing compression technologya smorgasbord of approaches that wound up having a "dramatic" improvement in performance, he said.
Another reason Lardizabals company isnt rushing out to implement SQL Server for 64-bit is, like many companies, it has a wait-and-see attitude. "Our approach to adopting or implementing software, especially from Microsoft, is to allow the technology to settle for eight months to a year and wait for the first service pack to address the bugs that come out," he said.
Customers who now have a SQL Server 2000 license will be able to replace their existing license with the 64-bit version for no additional cost. Another way to get 64-bit SQL Server 2000 will be to purchase equipment from manufacturers including Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Unisys Corp. and NEC Corp.
Oracle9i Database Release 2 for 32- and 64-bit Windows Server 2003 can be downloaded from Oracle Technology Network
This story was changed after it original posting to correct and add to the benchmark information.
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