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 Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem vague and difficult to define precisely, but they are significant. The RAM memory management schemes used in 32-bit operating systems are basically a technical afterthought that undermines stability. RAM-starved applications are sometimes not able to utilize available RAM because the operating system cannot allocate it effectively. This can be the cause of programs freezing or performing erratically even though a computer appears to have plenty of unused RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical memory than 32-bit systems and process more data per clock cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry program to another faster while running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more competitive.
Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs now installed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is limited to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The new generation of Office offers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by 32-bit versions of Office Excel.
Microsoft offers native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed identically to 32-bit editions, so typically it costs nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that provide advanced dependability, scalability, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring application software, saving and recovering data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current workstations, and for all PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any version of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean installation. This being the case, there will never be a better time to move to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any additional work.
How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping you to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, manage, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to retain as well as the new 64-bit editions of applications you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can assist your company to decide which desktop computers and applications can or ought to be preserved, and plan an upgrade procedure that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.
Additional ways Progent can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit processing include:
Contact Progent to Get Help Upgrading to x64 Computing
- Progent's expertise providing online computer support services can save your business time and money during your x64 migration, and Progent's background working with internal IT staffs and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your support staff.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 processing solution, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high level of data protection and robustness.
- Progent's disaster recovery consultants can help you in developing and validating a workplace recovery plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support professionals can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous remote backup with the capability of rapid data recovery.
- Progent's CISSP and GIAC security experts can assist you create a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your company's adherence to industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on hardware resources, streamline administration, improve reliability, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's live online education can help bring your network support staff and your desktop workers up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by providing remote virtual training customized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
To find out more information about how Progent can assist your business to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.