Domino x86 64-bit

Thursday 22nd December, 2005
Was having a good chat with Colman earlier about hardware, OS etc. and started talking about 64-bit CPUs and the requirement for them. My summary was that I didn't feel that x86 Domino will EVER be ported to a 64-bit platform. I thought it might make for some interesting blog discussion. Here's some of our chatlog after Colman told me he may be buying some new kit:

Ben (12:46:38 PM): AMD...why?
Colman (12:47:05 PM): 64bit....future-proofing. Allows my to experiment with 64-bit Linux OS's too.
Colman (12:47:32 PM): And it's only £75
Ben (12:48:19 PM): are you ever going to use a 64-bit OS in the lifetime of this CPU? what OS do you intend to use? is it 64-bit? are your apps 64-bit? where's the benefit?
Colman (12:48:41 PM): So what would you recommend ?
Colman (12:48:56 PM): Not that I'm accepting your point, just wondering ;-)
Ben (12:49:15 PM): is it multi-threaded for 32-bit?
Ben (12:49:29 PM): i.e. does it install as 2 logical processors?:
Colman (12:49:52 PM): Nope, pay a lot more for that.
Ben (12:50:06 PM): so it's effectively single CPU = sucks
Ben (12:50:19 PM): depends on requirement, but multi-CPU is a vast difference
Ben (12:50:43 PM): gamers love their AMD 64s and more and more games are being optimised for them but for point
Ben (12:51:08 PM): nearly all mainstream apps are still 32-bit, but support multi-threaded platforms
Ben (12:51:40 PM): without a 64-bit OS, it a complete waste really
Ben (12:52:14 PM): you can get 64-bit XP...but there's no software to run on it really
Colman (12:52:34 PM): But that's where Linux comes in. Given that it'll primarily be serving files and running Domino.....!
Ben (12:52:41 PM): Notes/Domino will only ever be 32-bit on x86
Ben (12:52:53 PM): Domino on Linux is 32-bit too
Colman (12:53:08 PM): For now
Ben (12:53:16 PM): repeat, there will be no x86 Notes/Domino code
Ben (12:53:18 PM): ever
Ben (12:53:51 PM): so, i ask again...why 64-bit?
Colman (12:54:17 PM): How come....if server OS's are heading to 64-bit (and Exchange will require 64-bit) then why no 64-bit Domino ?
Ben (12:54:37 PM): that's where workplace comes in
Ben (12:54:45 PM): Domino is 64-bit on AS400
Colman (12:54:57 PM): Domino running in workpalce ???
Ben (12:55:14 PM): workplace is 64-bit and so will be the workplace managed client
Ben (12:55:24 PM): Notes standalone will never be re-written 64-bit
Colman (12:55:25 PM): Yeah, but that's front-end
Colman (12:55:36 PM): Not talking about Notes.
Ben (12:55:59 PM): you think they'll ever bother recoding x86 Domino to 64-bit?
Ben (12:56:04 PM): why? where's the advantage?
Colman (12:56:33 PM): If the market wants it then it should happen. And MS are pushing people that way.
Ben (12:56:47 PM): all it does is raise the 2GB per process memory limitation, anyone well over that is already not on x86
Ben (12:57:49 PM): no intel based Domino customers will ever need 64-bit
Ben (12:57:57 PM): they'll move before that
Colman (12:58:11 PM): Sound like Bill Gates saying 64KB will be enough for everyone ;-)
Ben (12:58:17 PM): haha
Ben (12:58:28 PM): yes, but i'm speaking from knowledge of the market
Colman (12:58:37 PM): And he wasn;t ?
Ben (12:58:40 PM): there aren't any majorly big intel boxes out there
Ben (12:58:48 PM): there wasn't a market when he said it
Colman (12:58:59 PM): Heading that way, especially with virtualisation.

Do you get my point? They're not going to re-engineer the Notes client, that's for sure. By Notes 7.5/8(Hannover) we'll not be running Notes as we know it, instead it will be a plug-in for this workplace managed client that will most likely be available in 64-bit variants. But Domino...well...will they? At the point in the future where 32-bit is regarded 'legacy' where will the Domino market be? As I see it, the massive demanding sights are already running Domino on 64-bit ready platforms but what about the smaller sights...those that are running Domino happily within the constraints of 2GB RAM.

We all know the next Exchange version requires 64-bit but is it ever going to be an option for Domino on x86?

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