Moving towards 64-bit computing
Between now and the end of 2006, most enterprise IT shops ought to begin forging
a migration path from 32-bit server OSs to 64-bit. The move stems from the same
reasons that prompted the market to shift from 8-bit to 16-bit and then 32-bit
Memory-hungry applications are constrained by 32-bit technologys 4 GB
memory limit. Depending on the 64-bit processor technology in a server, the
memory limit moves to about 1 TB, a figure thats sufficient for virtually
any of todays business applications.
Says Mukund Ramaratnam, Country Manager, AMD, Apart from dual core processing
and virtualisation, a significant trend thats picking up among the enterprise
is that of performance per watt. It balances power consumption and performance.
This increases computing capacity without increasing the power consumption on
high-end database-intensive or multi-threading applications.
Dual core AMD Opteron processors offer significant performance gains while operating
with the same power and cooling infrastructure as single core ones. This can
allow fewer servers to do the job, and so lower operating costs. The company
says that PowerNow technology can reduce CPU power consumption by 75 percent
during idle time, thus decreasing the strain on data-centre cooling and ventilation
systems and helping minimise overall power consumption of enterprise IT and
Power efficiency is one of a set of emerging components that is redefining the
TCO for data centre solutions. According to Ramaratnam, 64-bit processors can
increase server performance by anything from 30 to 130 percent without increasing
power consumption. About future trends in this space Ramaratnam said, Native
virtualisation of x86 architecture will lead to increased performance overheads.
Such chip-level innovation could lead to as much as 21 percent power savings
for the enterprise.