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The official announcement has come out that the next versions of Exchange and SBS will be 64-bit only. I'm really excited about this - most of the new server hardware deployed today is 64-bit (and virtually all of the OEM offerings are), so there will be a good number of customers ready to take advantage of this. One thing to be aware of in our space, however, is that this means your next upgrade will be a migration. The performance enhancements, especially in terms of I/O reduction in Exchange, will mean that this next generation of software and hardware will be significantly faster where it counts - database manipulation, search, indexing.
From the article:
As part of its commitment to 64-bit computing, Microsoft has been delivering products that are optimized for 64-bit, including the newly released SQL Server™ 2005, Visual Studio® 2005 and Virtual Server 2005 R2. To help customers take full advantage of the power of 64-bit computing, products including Microsoft® Exchange Server “12,” Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, Windows Server™ “Longhorn” Small Business Server, and Microsoft’s infrastructure solution for midsize businesses, code-named “Centro,” will be exclusively 64-bit and optimized for x64 hardware.
cougar will be 64bit only. now the smb consultants can work on migrating to 64bit since an inplace upgrade is no longer possible. personally i like to do migrations only. one can always take a fresh approach and stop bringing the legacy mistakes or errors forward.
Again mirosoft thinks that money and Time are non issues in the SMB market, I have just now convince most of my clients to use /upgrade to SBS 2003 (over the NT-Back office, WIN2k SBS)each and every one has been unique in its issues - migration - network, not to mention in some cases new hardware, it's unlikely therefore that my current clients will even consider a new purchase, nor could I faithfully recommend such expentitures with the path define by MS, sure I love freash installs but unfortunitly until TRUE Migration is painless (not hours digging in to dns or hacking some hive key ect.)this will limit upgrades for most
There's always a trade-off. I feel pretty secure in saying that Microsoft Support experience, and that of the community as a whole, has been that migrations are much less problematic than in-place upgrades. If you are talking about a single, dedicated server, upgrades are fine. We all know that's not how SBS works in the real world - everyone adds tons of software on top of the installed suite, misconfigurations are rampant, etc, etc. Jeff Middleton and others have written about this subject ad nauseum in the newsgroups. The money you save on new hardware can quickly be eaten up with consulting fees as you try to troubleshoot each individual, non-standard component.
I really don't buy the other arguments you've stated for why an upgrade versus a migration is easier. If you are having DNS, network, or hardware issues with your existing box, these need to be fixed before you upgrade. If your foundation is broken, it doesn't make any sense at all to either build a new house or add an addition to your existing house.
Anyway, My $0.02.
I've seen a couple of posts recently that make me thing that folks have missed the headlines so I'll