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Inside Windows® Server 2003 by William Boswell

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Functional Description of Windows Server 2003 Architecture

Let's start with a peek behind the curtain to see how Windows Server 2003 is built. This topic focuses on areas of the Windows Server 2003 architecture that affect stability and performance, including memory allocation, legacy application support, memory protection, process protection, I/O handling, and Plug and Play. Each section includes the differences between the IA32 and IA64 versions of Windows Server 2003.

IA32 Memory Management

The IA32 versions of Windows Server 2003 can directly address 232 bytes of memory, or about 4GB. Enterprise and Datacenter Editions can extend this address space. We'll see how that works in a moment.

The 4GB address space is divvied into two 2GB parcels. ...

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