Microsoft, Oracle Roll Out 64-Bit Databases for Windows

New software will enable enterprises to scale up their IT systems with access to much more memory.

Microsoft Corp.s fast and powerful SQL Server 2000 for 64-bit database was unleashed Thursday at one of the companys biggest product launches ever, the Windows Server 2003 launch taking place in San Francisco and attended by some 2,500 people.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was joined at the launch even by Intel Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Otellini to announce new TPC (Transaction Processing Performance Council) results that ranked SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) with Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition as No. 1 in two benchmarks.

The TPC-C1 result of 658,277 tpmC (transactions per minute) at a cost of $9.82/tpmC was set by Hewlett-Packard Co., they said. HP scored the result on its 64-processor Superdome system using Intels Itanium 2 chip, SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) and Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition. The cost per tpmC was 66 percent less than the cost of the nearest Unix system result, the officials said.

Siebel Systems Inc., Unisys Corp. and Microsoft also achieved the No. 1 benchmark for Siebel eBusiness Applications with 30,000 concurrent users running Siebel 7 on a Unisys ES7000 server with the 64-bit versions of SQL Server 2000 and Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition.

Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., has plenty of company in the 64-bit database world. Oracle Corp. on Thursday announced general availability of Oracle9i Database Release 2 on 32- and 64-bit Windows Server 2003 at the operating systems launch event.

"This announcement underscores Oracles long-term commitment to providing the best database software available on Windows—at lower costs—for our customers, partners and developers," Andrew Mendelsohn, senior vice president of Database Server Technologies at Oracle, in Redwood Shores, Calif., said in a release. "This means that customers can upgrade their Oracle database servers without any delay and immediately begin building and deploying applications for their Oracle environments."

Sheryl Tullis, product manager for SQL Server, told eWEEK that the market has been clamoring for hardware and software—such as SQL Server for 64-bit—that will enable them to scale up rather than out. Scaling up entails big boxes running fast chips that have gotten more affordable with the releases of Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s 64-bit Opteron and Intels Itanium and Itanium 2 processors. Scaling out involves clusters of database servers.

"Customers are saying two things," Tullis said. "One is that managing the different nodes [in a cluster] is difficult. Its important to scale out for some companies, if they have large e-commerce businesses, but 99 percent of our customers scale up. And two, the great strides that hardwares made. Now you have Itanium chips, Itanium 2 chips, in really good, big boxes. Its much more affordable for customers to buy a big single system now. Its just a market truth out there that most people are looking at server consolidation and [are saying], How do I make this simpler to administer in one box and still have headroom so I can grow?"