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.
Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may seem vague and hard to quantify, yet they are significant. The memory management schemes utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially an engineering afterthought that undermines stability. Memory-starved applications are often not able to utilize free memory since the operating system cannot allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of software shutting down or performing erratically even when a computer seems to have plenty of unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry application to another faster when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now deployed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is limited to a few advanced CPUs and is intended for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Excel.
Microsoft offers true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed identically to 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that provide high stability, scalability, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can’t be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling application software, saving and restoring data files, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there has never been a better time to migrate to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will require little extra work.
How Progent Can Assist You to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping your organization to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit programs that you want to retain plus the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can assist your company to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or ought to be preserved, and outline an upgrade procedure that is the least disturbing to your business operations.
Other ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's experience delivering online network support services can save you time and expense over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical information sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing environment, that it is simple to track, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and dependability.
- Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in creating and testing a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting experts can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support automated remote backup with the capability of fast system restoration.
- Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified network security specialists can assist you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your company's adherence to industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware, simplify management, enhance dependability, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's live online instruction can help get both your IT support staff and your desktop workers up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by providing remote webinars specialized for your network requirements and operational procedures.
To learn more details about how Progent's engineers can assist your business to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.