Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta Released
I know many of you are still entrenched in Windows Server 2003-land, but it's important to point out that Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta was made available through MSDN and TechNet this week. While R2 is not due out for awhile as RTM, what makes it noteworthy is not any of the improvements to things like failover clustering, but the fact that it is the first release of a Windows Server product that will be 64-bit (x64 and IA64) only. There will be no 32-bit (x86) version of Windows Server 2008 R2.
What does this mean? Anyone who is still only using 32-bit should really start to think about preparing for 64-bit deployments of Windows and SQL Server. Yes, you can still use Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 (RTM, that is) in all of their x86, 32-bit glory for the forseeable future, but do not use that as an excuse to not go 64-bit. Typically, the barriers to 64-bit have nothing to do with SQL Server. It is everything underneath SQL Server (drivers for components, 64-bit equivalents for software like monitoring tools and anti-virus, getting new standard Windows builds, establishing new administrative procedures) that more often than not is the barrier. There can be other reasons, such as some applications may not support 64-bit, but if you are configuring standalone or clustered SQL Servers deployments with nothing else running on them other than SQL Server, there's really no reason to use 32-bit anymore. 64-bit is mature.
Below are some links which you can reference and show to the folks responsible for Windows builds in your company. Just because you may be the DBA doesn't mean you can't take the initiative to help start your company's move to the 64-bit world.
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