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Recommendation for 64-bit support

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  • Recommendation for 64-bit support

    Hi David (and others). Quick question:

    With the new Exchange 2007 RTM released I need to create a good working lab for my VMs. Currently I use Microsoft's Virtual Server R2 on a nice IBM server. The server has dual CPUs and is 64-bit, it has 4GB of RAM and 2 disks in a RAID1 configuration. The server is installed with Windows 2003 R2 (64-bit).

    I need your recommendation for setting up my lab for 640bit VM support. I don't think that Microsoft supports 64-bit VMs right now (the new VM server will do so, but that's beta and I don't want to test my testing environment, I need that to be stable).

    What about VMware? Is GSX server 64-bit capable? Can I install it on top of my current Win2003 R2 64-bit OS, or will I need to format the server? I don't want to do that right now.

    Any other recommendation?

    Daniel Petri
    Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services

  • #2
    Re: Recommendation for 64-bit support

    Hi Daniel

    ESX will run on 64 bit servers in 32 bit mode. Fingers crossed for the 64 bit version release.

    Sorry if you already know this.



    • #3
      Re: Recommendation for 64-bit support

      Hi Daniel,

      This is a good question. I haven't done a lot with 64 bit OS & VM's yet because I have watched one of my co-workers reinstall a 32 bit OS after trying to use 64 bit OS's in for various uses. It just seems like he always runs into some reason that he has to rollback - a critical driver or something that isnt' compatible.

      Anyway, you are correct, MS VS R2 supports 64 bit HOST OS's but not GUEST OS's. Can you really run 64 bit guest OS's in the Beta of VS 2005? Here are the new features but I don't see it -
      It would make sense that you could but I'm not sure you can.

      About Vmware Server, it DOES support 64 bit GUEST OS's. Here is the data sheet- and here is an KB article about 64 bit Guest OS's:

      You should be able to install it on your Win 2003 R2. I'm not sure that it is R2 compatable but , as I understand it, R2 really is just Win 2003 with SP's and a modified setup. Its basically the same OS (as far as I know).

      I love Microsoft products and never bash them but when there is a truely superior product available I would use it (especially if it is free). In this case, I would recommend VMware Server because I am pretty sure it will get you what you need - 64 bit Guest OS support.

      As always, let us know how it goes. I am excited to learn more about Exchange 2007 and any of the virtualization products you can use to test it are great solutions. You could, in fact, even download the fully functional exchange 2007 VHD and import it into Vmware (they have a import VHD option).

      Take care,
      David Davis - Petri Forums Moderator & Video Training Author
      Train Signal - The Global Leader in IT Video Training - Free IT Training Products
      Personal Websites: &


      • #4
        Re: Recommendation for 64-bit support

        I would also like to be kept informed of developments here as I too need to test 64-bit operating environments.

        Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
        Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

        We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.


        • #5
          Re: Recommendation for 64-bit support

          we are currently running ibm blades on a DS4700 with ESX 3.x and VC20 with both 32 and 64 bit systems. we run quad AMD opterons with 4 gigs of DDR on a 3.5 T fiber enclosure.

          there is an instance of SQL 2005 64bit running on a 64bit 2003 R2, and it has not had a problem yet.

          there is also a 32 bit 2003 with SQL 2005 32 bit as well. you can see the difference in the two boxes getting pounded....
          its easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
          Give karma where karma is due...


          • #6
            Re: Recommendation for 64-bit support

            Hi James,
            That is great info!
            Very helpful!
            Thanks for your post!
            David Davis - Petri Forums Moderator & Video Training Author
            Train Signal - The Global Leader in IT Video Training
   - Free IT Training Products
            Personal Websites: &