64-bit Installations

Running 64-bit Omniscope

Using 64-bit Windows avoids the 32-bit Windows memory addressing bottleneck

Operating systems and programs typically come in two versions; 32-bit (each instruction processed is 32 bits long) and 64-bit (each instruction processed is 64-bits long). Almost all microprocessors are 64-bit capable now, and most data centre servers have already been converted to 64-bit operating systems because of its superior speed and higher memory-addressing limits. The 32-bit version of Omniscope (which can be installed on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows) is restricted by the 32-bit Windows-imposed memory limit, effectively limiting the typical Omniscope file size to about 1.2 million records because Windows/Java is unable to provide Omniscope with access to more than about 1 GB of installed RAM. Running 64-bit Omniscope on 64-bit Windows/Java platforms effectively removes this limit (just like using longer telephone numbers permits more numbers to be issued) and allows Omniscope data sets to scale up to the limits of the physical RAM installed on the machine. 

Benefits of running 64-bit Omniscope

Using 64-bit Omniscope on 64 bit operating systems avoids the 32-bit Windows memory addressing bottleneck, allowing far higher record/column counts in-memory. PCs running 64-bit Windows, 64-bit Java, and 64-bit Omniscope are limited only by the amount of physical RAM memory present in the machine. Running 64-bit rather than 32-bit Windows is not 'just twice as good', it is literally billions of times better, in terms of in-memory data management tools like Omniscope. It is now quite easy to purchase PCs at consumer prices with 8-12GB or more of RAM memory, although the PC must have a 64-bit Windows operating system installed for this additional RAM to be of use. Almost all new installations of Windows 7 and 8 are 64-bit, as are all new Windows 8 mobile tablets.

Customising 64-bit RAM memory allocation

Both 32 and 64-bit versions of Omniscope and the bundled Java Private Virtual Machine (PVM) are available in the same downloadable and portable installer. Omniscope will detect the operating system and offer the correct installation options automatically. By default, the 64-bit version of Omniscope limits Omniscope to 75% of physical RAM memory, unless the machine has more than 8GB of RAM, in which case Omniscope will take all but 2GB, leaving that 2GB of RAM for the operating system. These default allocations can be overridden and scalability and performance further improved by customising Omniscope memory allocation. If you are installing on a server, and anticipate either multiple concurrent users on the same machine, or if you are considering running both Scheduler Server and Mobile Web Server processes on the same machine, you shuold pay special attention to the options for configring Omniscope access to RAM on an account by account basis. Also, if you plan to run Omniscope Server/Publisher as a 24/7 Windows service, you must also ensure consistent settings in the RAM allocation of the wrapper, as discussed here.