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 Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and difficult to define precisely, but they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering afterthought that undermines system stability. Memory-hungry programs are sometimes not able to access existing RAM since the O/S is unable to assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or executing erratically even when a machine appears to have plenty of available RAM. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow much more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and process twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive application to another faster when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.
Microsoft's x64 Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology works with the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is restricted to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Office 2010 delivers significant improvements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by previous releases of Microsoft Office Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced the same as 32-bit editions, so typically you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that provide high stability, capacity, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade canít be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by XP, any edition of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a clean install. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will involve little additional effort.
How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you to understand the practical advantages, expenses, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit programs which you intend to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of applications you wish to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can help you to decide which desktop computers and programs can or ought to be retained, and outline a migration process that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.
Other ways Progent can help you to migrate to 64-bit processing include:
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to x64 Processing
- Progent's expertise providing remote computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and expense over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's background working with in-house support personnel and delivering technical information sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is configured to support your x64 processing solution, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high level of data protection and reliability.
- Progent's business continuity consultants can assist 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 consulting experts can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide automated online backup with the advantage of fast system recovery.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified security specialists can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the powerful security mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your company's compliance with mandated security standards.
- Progent's virtualization consultants can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware resources, streamline administration, enhance robustness, lower hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a disaster.
- Progent's live online instruction can help get your network management team and your office workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by providing online virtual training customized for your network requirements and business processes.
To learn more information about how Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.