Do we need 64-bit Team Foundation Server yet?

I saw a forum complaint today regarding the lack of 64-bit support in the application tier of Team Foundation Server 2008.

To be honest, although it would be nice, I can understand why not:

  • Resources
    1. Microsoft can dedicate more resources to TFS if it is only targeting one platform (32-bit)
    2. Service packs can appear more quickly
    3. Cool features like the ‘Power Tools’ might take longer to appear if they have to be developed and quality tested for both architectures
  • Requirements
    1. The main advantage of 64 bit is the ability to use more than 4GB of RAM
    2. The application Tier (which uses IIS) would have to handle a significant amount of requests to need even that much RAM
    3. Other 64-bit performance advantages, although subject to much debate, are in reality not significant.
    4. The data Tier of TFS which uses SQL Server does support 64-bit, and that is where the most performance could be derived

 The next release of TFS (Codenamed Rosario) could well be 64-bit only. Personally I have no problem with 32-bit until then, however with IT departments rapidly standardizing on a 64  bit infrastructures then this opinion could change.

Update 04/28/2008: Checkout my follow up post here where I discuss why a seperate server for TFS is a must

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9 thoughts on “Do we need 64-bit Team Foundation Server yet?

  1. A narrow view – take a small dev shop where spending money on separate servers isn’t possible. You want to host SQL, Exchange and TFS on one box. It can only be done using a virtual 32-bit session for TFS – Exchange 2007 won’t install on 32 bit. So you now have the overhead of running a 32 bit OS inside the 64 bit one just to support this limitiation.

  2. Hey Howard,

    Let me be crystal clear on this: You should NOT (never never never) use your TFS box to run any other service.

    For starters it is not supported by MS

    And Exchange 2007 and TFS on the same box??? You really are just asking for trouble. Try doing a DR exercise….

    If your shop is too small to justify a dedicated TFS box, then I respectfully suggest you should not be using TFS at all.

    Consider something for appropriate for your needs.. that is why Visual Sourcesafe is still available.

    Subversion is another good option for TFS like functionality without the overhead…

  3. This is just pure stupidity on Microsoft’s part. Some companies are trying to standardize on x64 (Servers, SQL, etc…). Not sure which component of TFS (Sharepoint, SQL, etc…) does not do x64, but this is a dumb move. Vista, Office 2007, the list of Microsoft blunders continues.

  4. Dude, Microsoft have so many products in a mix of 32-bit and 64 bit flavors. It just isn’t possible to properly test every configuration in a supportable way.

    Your options:

    A) Wait for TFS 2010 (aka Rosario)
    B) Use another system

    If a product doesn’t fit your needs, then there are plenty of alternatives out there…

  5. Plenty of alternatives? Such as? Quick, name 4 alternatives that provide close to the same level of integration with visual studio for version control, testing, planning and work management.

    The question isn’t do we need 64-bit support – the question is why are you still running 32-bit servers?

  6. I noticed that I wrote that blog post this time one year ago, and that 64-bit has certainly become more common. My 2 desktops and even laptop are running 64-bit Windows flavors.

    Still, you kind of answer your own question “same level of integration with visual studio for version control, testing, planning and work management.” TFS 2008 simply does so much that the QA required to make it 64-bit is huge.

    Also I imagine by this time next year TFS 2010 could well be available in 64-bit only version.

    There are other tools out there, there are just not all packaged into one product like TFS is.. It is down to you as an architect/PM/tech lead to implement good practices for the tools you have, and not expect something like TFS will do this magically for you.

    On my last project we had to use the Rational suite of products (which have all those features you were asking for by the way).. the project was able to succeed without anyone getting hung up about TFS 🙂

  7. My gripe is not necessarily that it won’t run on 64, more that you don’t find out untill the last minute of installing.
    You could have wasted a couple of days setting up a physical or hype v virtual machine just to have to start again or set another one up for the application tier.

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