Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the last version of Windows
Server to support the Intel Itanium architecture. SQL
Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 are also the last
versions to support Itanium, Microsoft said.
Current support for Itanium remains unchanged, Microsoft
addeed. Each of these products fully support the
recently-released Itanium 9300 ("Tukwila") processor, and
Microsoft?s support for these products will continue ?
following the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
Mainstream support for Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based
Systems (and R2) will end, in accordance with that policy,
on July 9, 2013, while extended support will continue until
July 10, 2018.
Why the change? "The natural evolution of the x86 64-bit
("x64") architecture has led to the creation of processors
and servers which deliver the scalability and reliability
needed for today?s "mission-critical" workloads. Just this
week, both Intel and AMD have released new high core-count
processors, and servers with 8 or more x64 processors have
now been announced by a full dozen server manufacturers.
Such servers contain 64 to 96 processor cores, with more on
the horizon," Dan Reger, Senior Technical Product Manager
Windows Server wrote at the Windows Server division blog.
Windows Server 2008 R2 was designed to support the
business-critical capabilities these processors and servers
make available. It supports up to 256 logical processors
(cores or hyper-threading units), so it?s ready for the
ever-increasing number of cores. It supports technologies
such as Intel?s Machine Check Architecture, which allow for
the detection and correction of bit-level hardware errors.
And NEC just published a new world record TPC-E benchmark
for online transaction processing of 3,141.76 tpsE on a
system with 8 x64 processors ? a result more than 50% higher
than the previous record.
Microsoft said that it would continue to focus on the x64
architecture, while they continue to support its Itanium
customers for the next 8 years as this transition is