Archive for the '64 bit architectures' Category

SharePoint 2010 – 64bit support only

The preliminary system requirements have been released on the SharePoint Team Blog: here

The key points are:

  • SharePoint Server 2010 will be 64-bit only.
  • SharePoint Server 2010 will require 64-bit Windows Server 2008 or 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • SharePoint Server 2010 will require 64-bit SQL Server 2008 or 64-bit SQL Server 2005.

So, what can you do today to get into the best shape for SharePoint Server 2010?

  1. Start by ensuring new hardware is 64-bit.  Deploying 64-bit is our current best practice recommendation for SharePoint 2007.
  2. Deploy Service Pack 2 and take a good look at the SharePoint 2010 Upgrade Checker that’s shipped as part of the update.  The Upgrade Checker will scan your SharePoint Server 2007 deployment for many issues that could affect a future upgrade to SharePoint 2010.
  3. Get to know Windows Server 2008 with SharePoint 2007, this post is a great starting point.
  4. Consider your desktop browser strategy if you have large population of Internet Explorer 6 users.
  5. Continue to follow the Best Practices guidance for SharePoint Server 2007.
  6. Keep an eye on this blog for updates and more details in the coming months.

It might be an expensive migration for my organisation as server real estate is getting a little old now, and I’m unsure on whether they’d support 64bit Windows. Something to get an early grasp of!


Windows 7 - Build 7000, Beta 2… Testing testing 1-2-3

Happy new year all!

I’ve started the year rather slowly, so I haven’t had anything blog-worthy to write as of yet, however I thought I’d share some screenshots of the Windows 7 (x64) Beta 2 install and a very brief test.

If you are an MSDN subscriber with the relevant subscription, you should be able to join me in the Beta test of Windows 7.

I’m going to be testing Windows 7 using VMware Workstation, version 6.5.1. VMware workstation detects the ISO image of Windows 7 (x64) as Windows Vista (x64). I have left the default settings where possible.

Figure 1 - VMware workstation, configuration and version.

We begin the install, VMware boots from the ISO image.

Figure 2 - the install begins

You are greeted with a flashy animation, which morphs into the Windows icon, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 3 - you are able to select which version you’d like to try out. I selected Windows 7 Ultimate.

Figure 4 - the installer shows a progress bar at the bottom.

Figure 5 - following the install, the computer reboots and displays this screen

Figure 6 - The new windows desktop, and the windows update screen. I was unable to detect any updates when I ran this

Figure 7 - Internet Explorer 8 Beta

Figure 9 - The new task bar, that now shows you each tab in IE8. Tasks are now shown by Icon and grouped.

Figure 10 -  The new task bar shows Calculator and ‘Sticky Notes’ running under their icons.

Figure 11 - the gadget sidebar from Vista is gone, you can now place your gadgets wherever you like!

I am surprised to report that Windows 7 (x64) seems more responsive than Windows Vista (x64) when running in a Virtual Machine. Could Microsoft have tuned this OS a little better? I hope so!

The speed could be down to the core i7 chip that is in my host PC so I would be grateful if you could let me know how you get on with your own Beta tests.

Figure 12 - information about the Virtual Windows 7 PC

I hope to do a little more delving into the changes implemented in this new OS. I will keep you posted.


Installing VMware Server 1.0.6-91891 on Vista x64 SP1

VMware unfortunately requires the installation of unsigned drivers.

Figure 1: vmnetbridge.sys

It also requires

  1. vmnewuserif.sys
  2. vmx86.sys
  3. hcmon.sys

There appear to be numerous fixes for this on the web

Reading between the lines, the only fix for SP1, is to click the ‘ignore driver signing’ option by mashing F8 on bootup, however I’ve tried this as still can’t get VMware server installed.

I will continue to investigate


Intel Core i7 Processor

I took delivery of my new toy this morning, it features the new Intel Core i7 (64 bit) processor. This is the successor to the Core 2 processors that hit the market in the last couple of years.

Key features include a replacement for the (Pentium) northbridge, meaning the processor has direct access to your triple channel DDR3, running at an obscene MHZ!

I don’t claim to be any kind of hardware expert, so if you are interested, check out these links:

As a software engineer, I enjoy looking at all those processing threads I can be running, with four cores, hyperthreading! Shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: four cores, hyperthreaded! :-D

Looks like I might be able to run multiple virtual machine images now, so I can test out a distributed SharePoint, BizTalk or K2 farm without giving the guys a work resource overload!


Next Version of SharePoint available in 64 bit architecture only!

If you want to do the background reading that I’ve done on the subject it will be worth your while looking at

  1. Steve Smith’s Blog - link
  2. Microsoft’s TechNet Service Pack 1 documentation - link, and also mirrored on this site here
  3. Gary Bushey’s Blog - link
  4. .. and on the SharePoint User Group UK - here

All of this has definitely got me thinking about what specification our next farm server needs to be… and I’ll be pushing the Hardware guys at my company all the way now to make sure we get 64 bit hardware to satisfy the requirements of the next release of SharePoint.

Microsoft outlays the reasons for using a 64 bit architecture - here, however for those like me out there who are being asked to tighten the purse strings on hardware are having to make use of older 32bit machines, who’s original task was to host SharePoint versions 1 and 2. This all in all means I’m going to have to be one damn good salesman when I have this discussion with the people with the money :-D

The great thing is that this shouldn’t affect developers too much, so I’m happy… why you ask… well I use VMware visualizations extensively and it’s great to know that you can host a 64 bit guest on a 32 bit host - see here. I’m not sure whether Microsoft Virtual PC supports something similar, but my guess is if it doesn’t now, it will do in the future. VMware versions 5.5 upwards support this feature.

There are some things that you need to be aware of though, your host machine will need a supported CPU (and motherboard in some cases), personally I’d make sure you have an Intel chip for the following reasons, your 32 bit CPU must support the EM64T standard along with support for Intel VT (Virtualization Technology or Vanderpool Technology).

AMD chips do support this feature, but I’ve only tried this so far with Intel chips. You need to make sure your AMD supports the AMD 64bit virtualization feature (AMD-V for short)


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