Win 2000 Server To Support 64 Gbytes Of Memory - InformationWeek

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Win 2000 Server To Support 64 Gbytes Of Memory

Microsoft disclosed yesterday that the highest-end version of Windows 2000 Server will support up to 64 Gbytes of memory, enabling users to consolidate applications running on multiple NT servers today onto a single box. That could make it simpler to manage NT applications because it is easier to administrate one large machine than many smaller ones, Microsoft officials say.

Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, which will run on up to 16 processors in a single machine and will ship 60 to 90 days after the other versions of Windows 2000, will take advantage of Intel processors' ability to use up to 36 bits in memory addressing instead of merely 32 bits. With 32 bits, the limit that a high-end Intel processor--Pentium Pro or Pentium II--can address is 4 Gbytes, NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition's current limit.

However, by taking advantage of a driver developed by Intel, operating systems can use 36-bit addresses to directly address 64 Gbytes, according to Michel Gambier, Microsoft product manager for Windows 2000 Server. Some Unix operating systems already do that.

Datacenter Server will let users of existing applications use as much as 3 Gbytes of memory for each application--the current limit. Additionally, Datacenter Server's programming interface will include four new function calls that will enable developers to write applications that can use more than 3 gigabytes.

Additionally, Microsoft will consider whether to add the 36-bit address support to Windows 2000 Advanced Server, but since it is about to enter the third and final beta test, that is less likely.

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