Can I run SQL Server 2005 32 bit on a Windows Server 64 bit ?

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YES, we can run SQL Server 32 bit on windows server 64 bit platforms.

Will there be any changes required in SQL Server Configuration or application to run SQL Server 32 bit on a Windows Server 64 bit ?

NO, no changes are required to run SQL Server 32 bit on a Windows Server 64 bit.  As 64-bit Windows uses Microsoft Windows-32-on-Windows-64 (WOW64) subsystem to run 32-bit programs without modifications.

Most 32-bit software will still function because of a Microsoft emulation layer (WoW64), which enables 32-bit programs to run as though on a 32-bit version of Windows by translating instructions passing in and out of 32-bit applications into 64-bit instructions.

Do I need to enable AWE in 32 bit SQL Server (for using more than 4 GB) on windows 64 bit ?

NO, there is no way to where we can use use more then 4GB of memory for a 32bit SQL-Server on a 64bit windows OS.

I understand, that we can enable the AWE switch to make the SQL-Server use more then 4GB, but this doesn’t work on a 64bit OS

This sound harsh, but here are facts,

  1. Support for AWE is available only in the SQL Server 2005 Enterprise, Standard, and Developer editions and only applies to 32-bit operating systems
  2. AWE is not supported on 64-bit machines
  3. 232 = 4 GB
  4. 32-bit applications on 64-bit platforms can address up to 2 GB, or up to 4 GB with the /LARGEADDRESSAWARE:YES linker flag.

If you need to make SQL Server to use more than 4GB of memory, switch to 64-bit version of SQL Server.


What will be the affect on performance if we run SQL Server 32 bit on a Windows 64 bit systems ?

The Overall performance of the SQL Server 32 bit on windows 64 bit will be same as before but we will experience slow performance when we use following tools, which are 32 bit binaries.

  • SQL Server Management Studio
  • SQL Server Configuration Manager
  • Database Engine Tuning Advisor

Workaround to this identified performance issue

To improve performance, run these 32-bit tools on a computer that is running a 32-bit operating system. Then, connect to a 64-bit server that is running SQL Server.

Adding to this following constraints also apply,

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence Development Studio is not designed to run on the IA-64 64-bit architecture and is not installed on IA-64-based servers. SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence Development Studio is the 32-bit development environment for business intelligence solutions.
  • If you have 64-bit (x64) management tools, SQL Server Integration Services, and SQL Server Notification Services installed as part of a 64-bit instance of SQL Server 2005, you cannot install 32-bit versions of the same components in a side-by-side configuration.

What are limitations on windows 64 bit over windows 32 bit from application prospective ?

64-bit Windows do not provide support for

  • Programs that are compiled for 16-bit operating systems (16-bit binaries) and
  • Kernel-mode programs that are compiled for 32-bit operating systems (32-bit drivers).
  • 32-bit applications on 64-bit platforms can address up to 2 GB, or up to 4 GB with the /LARGEADDRESSAWARE:YES linker flag

Thus, programs that depend on 16-bit binaries or 32-bit drivers cannot run on the 64-bit versions of Windows 64 bit unless the application provides an update for the program.

Adding to this following constraints also apply,

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence Development Studio is not designed to run on the IA-64 64-bit architecture and is not installed on IA-64-based servers. SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence Development Studio is the 32-bit development environment for business intelligence solutions.
  • If you have 64-bit (x64) management tools, SQL Server Integration Services, and SQL Server Notification Services installed as part of a 64-bit instance of SQL Server 2005, you cannot install 32-bit versions of the same components in a side-by-side configuration.
  • If you still uses SQL Server 2000 or prior versions in your environment for some connectivity / link server or remote call, you might need to dig a bit more as you might get some issues with remote queries / distributed queries.

Can we see some error, which might come when we run SQL Server 32 bit on a windows 64 bit ?

Example 1

"The stored procedure required to complete this operation could not be found on the server. Please contact your system administrator."
Msg 7311, Level 16, State 2, Line 1
Cannot obtain the schema rowset "DBSCHEMA_TABLES_INFO" for OLE DB provider "SQLNCLI" for linked server "<ServerName>". The provider supports the interface, but returns a failure code when it is used.

We may receive this error message when we try to run distributed queries from a 64-bit SQL Server 2005 client to a linked 32-bit SQL Server 2000 server or to a linked SQL Server 7.0 server

To Resolution / Workaround is available here.

Conclusion

  1. We can run SQL Server 32 bit on windows server 64 bit platforms
  2. There is no way to where we can use use more then 4GB of memory for a 32bit SQL-Server on a 64bit windows OS
  3. No application level changes required for migrating 32 bit sql server to 64 bit server
EOF - Can I run SQL Server 2005 32 bit on a Windows Server 64 bit ?, SQL Server 2012 , 2008 R2 , 2008 , 2005 , 2000

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