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NCC Members Question: Benefits of running 64bit Windows vs 32bit?

NCC Members can ask relevant questions of the wider NCC membership, moderated by NCC. We collate the responses, where appropriate anonymise them, then publish the results on the website for the benefit of the wider Membership. Can you help with this question from a charity?

“We are currently experiencing performance issues with running SQL Server 2005 Standard edition on Windows 2003 R2 standard edition, both applications are 32bit and running as virtual machines in VMware v4.0 environment. We are interested to know if there is a tangible benefit to be gained by changing the operating system and application from 32bit to 64bit, whilst refreshing the both versions of the respective products. e.g. running Windows 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 64bit?

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