64-bit Windows Advanced Server Limited Edition Available
- By Scott Bekker
Microsoft Corp.'s interim version of 64-bit Windows server went into general availability Tuesday. Customers will only be able to buy the operating system through hardware vendors selling complete 64-bit systems.
The general availability of the 64-bit Windows Advanced Server, Limited Edition, delivers on a schedule Microsoft set in late May, saying the operating system would be ready by the time hardware vendors began shipping servers for Intel's 64-bit Itanium processor in the third quarter.
According to Microsoft, hardware manufacturers Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM will be shipping systems running Windows Advanced Server, Limited Edition, in the next 30 days. Unisys, NEC, Fujitsu, Hitachi and Mitsubishi will ship systems later this year.
Both Unisys and NEC have hardware ready that will allow for greater-than-eight-processor scalability on the 64-bit processor if they choose.
Microsoft will support up to eight processors and 64 GB of RAM with Windows Advanced Server, Limited Edition. The 64-bit edition of Windows .NET Advanced Server, on which the Limited Edition code is based, will carry the same support limits. However, Unisys and NEC could opt to give customers beta code of 64-bit Windows .NET Datacenter Server if any customers are interested in pushing the scalability envelope beyond an eight-way system.
Microsoft did not disclose a suggested price for the 64-bit operating system. The software vendor has committed to giving customers who buy the Limited Edition a free upgrade to 64-bit Windows .NET Advanced Server when that ships.
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.