Going to 64 Bits
Administrators of large-scale database systems will want to keep an eye out for Windows 2003 Server for 64-Bit Extended Systems. This version of Windows Server will use the 64-bit Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s and Intel Corp.s x86 architecture CPUs (not Itanium) and will be based on the SP1 version of Server 2003. Click here to read more about how Microsoft is planning around 64-bit servers. Microsoft has made claims of performance improvements over 32-bit Server 2003 ranging from 17 percent on large databases to more than 100 percent for Active Directory throughput, which, if true in real-world use, will make this 64-bit version a must-have for large enterprises that rely heavily on Active Directory.And frankly, worrying about Longhorn now is just a waste of energy for anyone other than developers. Given the way technology changes, it would be very surprising if the version of Longhorn that ships in 2007 will bear more than a passing resemblance to the preview versions available today. One of the things I liked most about the announcements was the "we will ship it when its ready and not a moment sooner" attitude that seemed to pervade the Windows roadmap. Its always made more sense for the products to ship when they were ready and complete rather than attempting to adhere to some arbitrary release schedule, regardless of how much more marketing-friendly product release date announcements can be. Of course, then I read Peter Gallis piece in which Jim Allchin talks about syncing up the release dates of Longhorn client and servera process that failed miserably when attempted with Windows XP and Server 2003. It would seem that there is still a vocal group at Microsoft that likes the idea of syncing the releases and doesnt shiver every time the phrase "cutting features to make a deadline" is uttered. Frankly, I have little concern about getting my client and server releases of the operating system at the same time. A staggered release gives me, as an administrator, that much more time to plan deployments and get the architectural changes in place to take advantage of new operating-system features. Ship it when its ready. Anything else is just a disservice to the buyer. Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at http://windows.eweek.com for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis. Be sure to add our eWEEK.com Windows news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:
These are the short-term changes that Windows network administrators will need to concern themselves with before they even need to start worrying about the Longhorn announcementswhich wont become product any sooner than 2007, with the server version shipping nine months after the client version.