At the Esri 2012 User Conference, 64-bit Background Geoprocessing was announced and scheduled to be released with 10.1 service pack 1. Now, with the release of 10.1 service pack 1 the 64-bit Background Geoprocessing installation is available for download from the Support Patches and Service Pack site. The installation is available for both the Desktop and Engine (windows only) products.
After updating Desktop or Engine to 10.1 SP1 (a requirement), look for the appropriate installation:
- ArcGIS 10.1 SP1 for Desktop Background Geoprocessing (64-bit)
- ArcGIS 10.1 SP1 Engine Background Geoprocessing (64-bit) (Windows)
Background processing was introduced at the 10.0 release and allows you to stay productive within ArcMap and ArcCatalog as the geoprocessing task executes in another process. This 64-bit installation (which requires a 64-bit operating system) will replace your current background processing. All scripts, models and tools which execute in the background will use a 64-bit process. Your biggest benefit when using 64-bit Background processing is that using 64-bit applications allow your large processes to take advantage of more memory (if available) than when using a 32-bit application.
To use 64-bit Geoprocessing make sure Background Processing is enabled in the Geoprocessing Options. As long as a tool is capable of running in the background, it will leverage 64-bit processing. While the tool is running or after the job completes, you can use the Results window to monitor tool messages and interact with the result. For example, you can cancel a process or copy the python snippet by right clicking on the result name. The Results window can be opened by clicking on the background status bar in the lower right hand corner of ArcMap while a tool executes or opened from the Geoprocessing Menu and selecting Results (window).
Make sure to read the Background Geoprocessing (64-bit) help topic for detailed information.