Although 64-bit computing has been around for years, only now has it become truly mainstream, offering processing power previously only available in high-end systems. Thanks to the efforts of AMD and Intel, 64-bit computing is becoming affordable.
And during last week's Tech Ed conference in Amsterdam, Microsoft discussed how the next version of its SQL Server database will make the most of this cheap processing power. 64-bit computing promises almost unlimited memory. It means database applications such as SAP can use as much memory as a user is prepared to install: the more installed memory, the greater the performance.
However, even though 64-bit server prices are tumbling, IT directors face the prospect of costly application migration to make the most of what the new hardware has to offer.
For anyone considering 64-bit technology it is important to assess how it will add value to the business, set aside a budget and plan the migration.