SCCM x64 vs. x86 Update

There has been much discussion on the Internet as to whether or not an SCCM server should be x64 or not. One of my very good friends is far more diligent about posting to his blog than I am actually posted much of my long standing opinion here. Much to Jarvis’s chagrin I am going to change my opinion in light of some recent discoveries.

Before I go any further I want to make sure there is a clear understanding about one thing. If you are doing anything but a very small SCCM installation (1000 devices or less) at the very least I would highly suggest offloading SQL to a remote box running x64. This will allow your SCCM environment to scale far better and ensure that SQL Reporting Services will be running remotely, which in turn when SCCM R2 ships will allow your reports to also run in x64. As a more strategic recommendation a strong consideration should be made for a large, centralized, redundant, x64 SQL environment. This type of environment if done properly can have dramatic affects on operational efficiency, costs and virtualization consolidation ratios (more on this in another post some day).

On to the topic at hand; there are two reasons that I no longer recommend x64 for the SCCM site server. First and foremost, if you are monitoring SCCM with SCOM (always a good practice) the SCOM agent will not be able to correctly monitor the 32 bit SCCM processes running on the x64 system. This will result in greatly degraded monitoring and alerting. To me this reason alone pushes me over the edge as SCOM monitoring of SCCM is mandatory in my opinion to maintain a smooth running SCCM site. Secondly, and this should be temporary. When SCCM R2 ships WDS on Server 2008 will allow for multicast distribution points. Currently in the beta the function does not work on an x64 Server 2008 box. While this support has been promised for RTM the fact that it is not in the beta makes me nervous.

For now I think that the safe bet is to install your SCCM site servers in x86 and allow those processes to run natively.

2 Responses

  1. […] (Part 2)Dave on Access Denied (Part 2)Bristol Tim’… on Let’s Go Racing!SCCM x64 vs. x86 Upd… on OS for SCCM Install. 32bit or …Tim on Full Moon at the Swim Meet…Ben on Let’s […]

  2. […] are reasons for the double switch (2003/2008 and 32/64). The 32/64 issue is related to my friend Tim’s post. The 2008 switch is to be ready to utilize OSD Multicast when SCCM R2 […]

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