Overview of 64-bit Processing
The release of Microsoft Office 2010 represented a milestone in information technology. After that, all of Microsoft's most popular operating systems, application servers, and office productivity software have been available in 64-bit versions for the same price as the 32-bit editions. This includes Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, System Center Operations Manager, and other key platforms.
Meanwhile, all server, workstation, and laptop computers sold in the last few years already have the ability to run in 64-bit mode. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping businesses carry out network-wide upgrades, Progent can help you understand the costs and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient migration strategy that minimizes operational disruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote support to assist you in upgrading your existing computers and software.
The advantages of 64-bit computing go beyond gigantic spreadsheets. Software is more stable, system performance improves, memory capacity expands, security can be more extensive, and more servers can be consolidated through virtualization. These advantages equate to more uptime, increased productivity, better data protection, and lower equipment costs. Yet for most small businesses, 64-bit computing is still a great untapped resource.
Sticking with 32-bit software and under utilizing 64-bit hardware seems to make no business sense, but in fact there are serious obstacles to migrating to 64-bit computing that have prompted companies to hold back. There is no seamless path for replacing a 32-bit operating system with a 64-bit equivalent. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing applications, backing up and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. In some cases, it can be difficult or impossible to find 64-bit drivers for older peripherals. To avoid business disruption and minimize technical risk, a 64-bit migration demands careful planning and extensive experience.
Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are real. The memory management schemes used in 32-bit systems are basically a technical afterthought that limits stability. RAM-hungry applications are sometimes not allowed to utilize available RAM since the O/S is unable to allocate it efficiently. This results in programs freezing or performing fitfully even when a computer seems to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical memory than 32-bit systems and process more data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry program to another faster when you are running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.
Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all computers currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is limited to a few advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The latest family of Microsoft Office 2010 offers significant improvements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by previous versions of Excel.
Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced identically to their 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that provide advanced dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can't be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reconfiguring applications, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical current desktop PCs, and for every PC running XP, even the 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there has never been a better time to migrate to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any additional effort.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you to understand the business benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to retain as well as the new 64-bit versions of software you plan to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade consultants can help you to decide which workstation computers and applications can or should be retained, and plan an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.
Other ways Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent for Support for Upgrading to x64 Processing
- Progent's expertise delivering remote computer consulting and support can save your business effort and money during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience working with internal IT staffs and delivering technical information sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is configured to accommodate your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to track, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of security and reliability.
- Progent's business continuity engineers can help you in developing and testing a business continuity strategy that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting experts can help you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous remote backup with the capability of rapid system restoration.
- Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security consultants can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the new protection mechanisms included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or confirm your company's compliance with industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve equipment, simplify management, enhance dependability, lower colocation expenses, and reduce restoration time in case of a disaster.
- Progent's online training classes can help get your IT support team and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online webinars customized for your computing environment and operational processes.
For more information about how Progent's engineers can help your business to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.