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 Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem vague and difficult to quantify, but they are significant. The memory partitioning schemes used in 32-bit systems are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines system stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes unable to access free RAM because the operating system is unable to assign it effectively. This results in software freezing or executing erratically even when a machine appears to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry program to another faster when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit processors used in virtually all computers now deployed in business networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is restricted to a few high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Office 2010 delivers dramatic improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that offer high dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade canít be done without effort. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring applications, saving and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most in-place workstations, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better time to migrate to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will involve little additional effort.
How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping your organization to evaluate the business advantages, costs, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit programs which you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of applications you wish to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can help your company to decide which workstation computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and design an upgrade process that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.
Other ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
- Progent's expertise providing online network support services can save your business time and expense over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's background cooperating with internal support personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support staff.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit processing solution, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high level of security and dependability.
- Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting experts can help you to configure System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous online backup with the capability of fast system recovery.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC network security consultants can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the powerful security technologies incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability testing to evaluate or verify your company's compliance with mandated security standards.
- Progent's virtualization engineers can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, simplify administration, enhance fault tolerance, cut hosting costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a disaster.
- Progent's online instruction can help get your network support staff and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and affordably by delivering interactive online virtual training customized for your network requirements and business procedures.
To find out more information about how Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.