Exchange 2007: 32-bit vs. 64-bit

In reading through comments regarding Exchange 2007's lack of 32-bit support and confusion around why Microsoft decided to provide a 32-bit "test" version of Exchange 2007, I thought I'd offer some facts about this version and some possible reasons that Microsoft went 64-bit-only with Exchange 2007.

First, as advertised, the 32-bit version is for testing only. Many people like to test server software in a virtual environment before making the production plunge. Take note that Virtual Server 2005 R2 does not support 64-bit guests virtual machines. Even VMware ESX 3.0 only had experimental support for 64-bit guest operating systems. ESX 3.0.1 now includes full support for 64-bit guests, but this is a recent release. Sure, desktop virtualization packages have supported 64-bit guest OSs for a while now, but the enterprise-variety virtualization offerings are just catching up to this.

In short, had Microsoft opted to skip a 32-bit testing version, they would have locked out anyone who wanted to test the product on older servers -- those that do not support 64-bit. I don't think that releasing a 32-bit unsupported test version was irresponsible and it shouldn't be confusing. It's for testing, runs on just about any hardware you have laying around and is easily available.

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So testing a 32-bit program guarantees that the results are the same for the 64-bit version?

Wow, I wish I could've told that to my previous employer--I could've saved *months* of development time porting my apps to x64!

The trial can be upgraded to full.
SP1 will only included 32bit management tools.

This is totaly a smart move. Server needs to go 64bit and it needed to happen sooner. Anyone that run exchange for more then one client will see improvements. When you boot 32bit windows with the /3gb exchange only keeps in memory the indexs and pointers. It now becomes slow cause its using the HD more. With 64bit version you get better memory and I/O performance. Now you bump up to a company that has a 1000 exchange users this becomes even better. Exchange needs this upgrade to 64bit as much as SQL needed it in SQL 2005. Its also easier for a company to manage 1 product line vs 2. 32bit systems can have diffrent problems then 64bit ones.

The costs to upgrade will be too high for a lot of companies.

Do you still need a separate CAL for every device accessing your mailbox (OWA, Mobile (Smartphone) or 2 client PC's, VPN)? And a separate one for Outlook 2007

What a silly comment, no one is forcing you to do anything. And if you are a big enough shop to really use Exchange you should be drifting toward a 64 bit server OS anyway. Unless you are giving your users POP/IMAP mail, any groupware suite has some level of lock-in, and I would take Exchange over Lotus Notes any day.

Well, I run Exchange on my Windows Server 2003 32 bit machine which is just a Athlon 2000+ with 1GB of memory. I use it for 2 email accounts linked to my local domain I use for my business and to store all my emails from other accounts which are then accessed from either OWA, Mobile (Smartphone) or 2 client PC's. I can also VPN into my Server. It is more than powerful enough for the purpose it serves.

This move will force me to upgrade to a 64bit machine while I planned to implement a Pentium 4 3.2GHz Hyperthreaded, 2 GB machine to Windows Server 2008 with Exchange 2007 (better push technology). So although you think it's silly, it isn't because I don't feel my business and personal use requires me to go out and get the latest 64bit machine in order to run Exchange 2007.

Neobond said,
Well, I run Exchange on my Windows Server 2003 32 bit machine which is just a Athlon 2000+ with 1GB of memory. I use it for 2 email accounts linked to my local domain I use for my business and to store all my emails from other accounts which are then accessed from either OWA, Mobile (Smartphone) or 2 client PC's. I can also VPN into my Server. It is more than powerful enough for the purpose it serves.

This move will force me to upgrade to a 64bit machine while I planned to implement a Pentium 4 3.2GHz Hyperthreaded, 2 GB machine to Windows Server 2008 with Exchange 2007 (better push technology). So although you think it's silly, it isn't because I don't feel my business and personal use requires me to go out and get the latest 64bit machine in order to run Exchange 2007.

1. You don't have to upgrade.

2. There are many ways to manage to email accounts without using an Exchange server. I like to get my geek on too, but you are not MS primary customer for Exchange and I doubt any groupware will ever cater to your needs.

3. Since you have a Petium 4 3.2 I don't see where you are being forced to run out and get the latest 64 bit machine?

4. Did I metion you don't have to upgrade? Exchange 2003 isn't near EOL yet so the only reason you "need" to upgrade is that you want to play with the latest and greatest (me too).