With our clients looking at ways to maximize the use of memory on their hardware, we recently had the opportunity to deploy Alfresco and Documentum applications on 64-bit Linux and Windows machines respectively. We learned, and were reminded of, a couple of lessons in the process.
First, make sure the whole solution stack is running in 64-bit mode. When deploying a stack of infrastructure and application products, ensure that each is a running in 64-bit mode. For some, the default is a 32-bit compatibility mode for others it can be easy to confuse a 32-bit install with a 64-bit install. If you have a 32-bit app in the stack, you may unknowingly restrict memory usage by your application and it may or may not throw errors.
Second, some products use the same install for both 32-bit and 64-bit processors. Using the same install is common for Java applications, but not so much for others written in languages such as C, which are compiled to a specific machine language and processor architecture. This is because Java applications are written to be interpreted by a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and are abstracted out from machine language. This allows a Java program to run in JVMs targeted to processor architectures. For example, 64-bit machines simply deploy the JVM targeted to the 64-bit processor.
In the case of Documentum, the products that are 64-bit ready are the Java-based products such as the 6.5 SPx DFC, Web Development Kit (Webtop / Documentum Administrator) and Documentum Foundation Services (DFS). For the Content Server, it still needs to run in 32-bit mode even on a machine with a 64-bit processor. This restriction may be due to some of the Content Server not yet being converted to Java. It’s quite possible that in the next release it will be able to run in 64-bit natively.
For Alfresco, it’s built entirely on the Java platform and will run natively on 64-bit machines within a 64-bit Web Application Server such as Tomcat. A quick search for 64-bit at www.alfresco.com turns up a lot of interesting forum and wiki posts on deploying Alfresco to 64-bit machines.
We’d love to hear from others who have been working in 64-bit environments so we’d encourage you to please post and share your experience with us and our blog followers.