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 Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that limits system stability. Memory-starved programs are sometimes not allowed to access available memory because the O/S cannot assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs freezing or running fitfully even though a machine seems to have plenty of unused RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow much more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and process twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-hungry program to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit processors found in most servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is restricted to special advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Microsoft Office 2010 offers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit releases of Excel.
Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced the same as their 32-bit versions, so typically you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that provide high stability, capacity, and throughput. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up canít be carried out seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring application software, saving and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by XP, even the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a clean install. Consequently, there has never been a better time to upgrade to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any additional effort.
How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping you to understand the practical benefits, expenses, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit applications which you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can help you to decide which workstation hardware and programs can or ought to be preserved, and design an upgrade procedure that is the least disturbing to your business operations.
Other ways Progent can help your business to migrate to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Processing
- Progent's experience delivering remote network support services can save your business effort and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house IT personnel and providing technical knowledge transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your network support team.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is optimized to support your 64-bit processing environment, that it is easy to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of data protection and reliability.
- Progent's business continuity engineers can assist you in creating and validating a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting professionals can help you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified security experts can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection technologies incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to assess or verify your company's compliance with industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization consultants can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware resources, simplify management, enhance robustness, lower hosting expenses, and speed up recovery time in the event of a disaster.
- Progent's live online education can help get both your network management team and your office employees up to date rapidly and affordably by delivering interactive online webinars specialized for your network requirements and operational procedures.
To learn more information about how Progent can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.