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 Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be subtle and hard to define precisely, but they are real. The RAM management schemes used in 32-bit operating systems are essentially a technical afterthought that undermines stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes not able to access existing RAM since the O/S cannot assign it effectively. This results in programs shutting down or running fitfully even though a computer appears to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and process twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-intensive application to another faster while using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all computers currently installed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is restricted to a few high-end processors and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Microsoft Office 2010 offers significant improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by previous editions of Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced the same as 32-bit versions, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that offer advanced stability, scalability, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can't be done without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring applications, saving and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical current workstations, and for every PC powered by XP, even the 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there will never be a better time to migrate to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any additional work.
How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping you to evaluate the practical benefits, expenses, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit applications which you want to keep as well as the new 64-bit editions of applications you wish to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist your company to determine which desktop hardware and applications can or should be preserved, and design an upgrade process that is the least disturbing to your network operations.
Additional ways Progent can assist your business to migrate to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Help Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's expertise delivering online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit processing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of data protection and robustness.
- Progent's business continuity consultants can assist you in developing and testing a business continuity plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering experts can help you to configure System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid data restoration.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified security experts can help you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new protection technologies included with x64 servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your company's adherence to industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to use 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware resources, streamline administration, enhance fault tolerance, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a disaster.
- Progent's live online instruction can help bring your network management staff and your office employees up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by delivering remote webinars customized for your network environment and business processes.
For more details about how Progent can assist your business to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.