Saturday, August 28th, 2010

FolderSizes 5 Native 64-bit Support

From a feature perspective, FolderSizes 5 is easily the most compelling version of our flagship disk space analysis and reporting software ever released. New features such as concurrent analysis of multiple file system paths, support for saving and re-loading XML file system analysis data, calculated date/time fields, and rules-based search are garnering rave reviews from our customers.

But the feature of which we’re most proud is perhaps a bit less flashy, and yet still critically important in the age of multi-terabyte storage subsystems. It’s a feature that required changes to every single aspect of FolderSizes – from the disk space visualization and reporting mechanisms down to the proprietary in-memory file system database that drives them.

That feature is native 64-bit support.

Earlier releases of FolderSizes would indeed run on 64-bit systems, and it did so through the magic of WoW64, a compatibility layer that allows 32-bit applications to operate in 64-bit environments. Which sort of begs the question – if FolderSizes has always worked in 64-bit environments, why does the new native 64-bit support matter at all?

There’s a one-word answer for that question: scalability. FolderSizes is designed from the ground up to store file system analysis data directly in system memory. This approach has a number of important benefits, the most important of which is performance – using system memory instead of a back-end database provides FolderSizes with serious performance advantages, allowing our customers to solve real-world storage analysis problems faster and with greater efficiency.

So how does the FolderSizes in-memory database design relate to scalability? The answer lies in a fundamental limit of all 32-bit processes – they can only address (access) around 2-3GB of system memory, regardless of how much memory is actually present in the host computer.

From a software perspective, this addressable memory cap represents an arbitrary limit to scalability. For enterprises with large, multi-terabyte storage systems, our customers need FolderSizes to scale without such limits. If the host computer running FolderSizes has 8 or 16 GB of system memory, then that memory should be usable by running applications (including FolderSizes) to solve real-world business problems. 64-bit systems have experienced massive gains in market share recently, precisely because memory is cheap and scalability is more critical than ever.

The 64-bit edition of FolderSizes 5 blows away the scalability limits of the 32-bit world. Current 64-bit system architectures allows access to 256 TB (yes, that’s terabytes) of memory address space, further positioning FolderSizes as the leader in enterprise-class storage analysis software.

If you’re ready to solve real-world storage analysis problems with amazing performance and without arbitrary limits, then FolderSizes 5 is waiting for you.

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