Overshadowed, somewhat, by the attention-grabbing debuts of Visual Studio.Net 2003 and Windows Server 2003, there is a third element to today's Microsoft releases: the 64-bit SQL Server 2000.
Note that this is a 64-bit edition of SQL Server 2000. The release of 'Yukon' - the next-generation of SQL Server - is still away on the horizon. It is customised for Intel's 64-bit server processor, the Itanium 2.
The new database is intended to address the need for ever-growing data storage. Whether the applications involve data warehousing, OLAP (on-line analytical processing) systems or simply the transactions of massively-scaled e-business, the idea is that 64-bit computing can provide more scaleable systems. It represents Microsoft's latest challenge to enterprise-focussed vendors such as Oracle and IBM
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