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 Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to define precisely, but they are significant. The RAM management techniques utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that limits system stability. Memory-hungry applications are sometimes not allowed to access available RAM because the operating system is unable to allocate it effectively. This results in programs freezing or executing fitfully even when a computer seems to have plenty of available memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow much more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is restricted to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The new family of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Excel.
Microsoft offers native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit versions, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that provide advanced dependability, capacity, and performance. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling application software, backing up and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most current workstations, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean install. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to move to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will require little extra effort.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping you to evaluate the practical benefits, expenses, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can assist your company to decide which desktop hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and design a migration process that is minimally disturbing to your network operations.
Other ways Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent for Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's expertise providing remote computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with internal support staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support team.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of security and fault tolerance.
- Progent's business continuity engineers can help you in developing and testing a workplace recovery strategy that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering professionals can assist you to configure System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified security specialists can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the powerful security mechanisms included with x64 servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your company's adherence to mandated security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your equipment, simplify administration, improve fault tolerance, cut colocation and hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's live online instruction can help bring your IT management team and your office workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by providing online webinars customized for your network requirements and business procedures.
To find out additional information about how Progent can help you to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.