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Why are 32-bit worker processes recommended?

In this article Walter states that it is recommended to enable 32-bit worker processes in IIS. (even though it's not the default) He says it is better for compatibility, performance, and memory consumption. I don't fully understand why then I'd want to not enable this setting and there is no guidance for when it's best to keep 32-bit disabled.

The reason I bring this up is because I have an IIS application that historically works with 32-bit disabled but some clients enabled it for 3rd party component compatibility. It's a very busy app and is running into crashes due to out of memory exceptions at these sites. I'm trying to determine from a "best practices" standpoint whether or not I should prioritize disabling 32-bit support at those clients or if I should prioritize setting up web gardens and allowing for more than one worker process.

Any suggestions/recommendations would be much appreciated.


windows-server-iis
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lextm avatar image
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lextm answered KevinStevens-8875 commented

If "It's a very busy app and is running into crashes due to out of memory exceptions at these sites", then clearly you cannot stay with 32 bit mode. "Not only its compatibility better than the native 64-bit, performance and memory consumption are also better" is rather an advice for small web apps that won't take too much memory. You can find quite a lot of discussions years ago when everyone migrate from 32 bit to 64 bit, (like https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2378399/are-64-bit-programs-bigger-and-faster-than-32-bit-versions)

Microsoft uses similar reasons to delay the creation of 64 bit Visual Studio for Windows, citing how 64 bit version does not give better performance, but in 2021 they create VS2022 a 64 bit version and sell it hard.

BTW, stay away from web gardens. In your case, 64 bit pools and load balancing setup are necessary to handle heavy load.

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Thanks for the quick response! This is what I figured, but really glad to get more confirmation and details.

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