As a part of the broad initiative across Microsoft to support 64 bit versions across many of its product lines, the next release of OCS will support 64-bit operating systems only. This decision will help meet customer demand and is a natural progression of the product that aligns with the same approach taken by the Exchange team (with Exchange 2007) and the SharePoint team (with SharePoint 2007) to support 64 bit operating systems only.
For the next release of OCS, Microsoft will support deployments on 64 bit operating systems - Windows Server 2003 x64 (R2) and Windows Server 2008 x64.
Based on customer feedback, Microsoft’s goal with the next release of OCS is to simplify deployments by reducing the number of servers needed for deployment. Customers are also telling us they are pushing the limits of existing hardware with their “mission critical” communications solutions.
The x64 Advantage
By leveraging x64 hardware, we are able to use inexpensive memory to support more concurrent processing of real-time media streams (audio, video, conferences) on smaller number of servers. With the change to x64, we can simplify and consolidate OCS deployments while supporting additional capabilities in the 64-bit server hardware is broadly available in the market today and is offered by major hardware vendors. The benefits of adopting 64 bit hardware are not limited to high scale OCS customers.
Guidance for OCS 2007 customers
The majority of server hardware being sold today is x64-based and many businesses are already enjoying its advantages and will not need to purchase new hardware to deploy the next release of OCS. Customers who are using 32-bit hardware systems to run OCS 2007 will need to upgrade to x64 systems to install and run the next release of OCS.
The OCS team is continuing work on the next release and we look forward to sharing more details as soon as we can…stay tuned!