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 over 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM partitioning techniques used in 32-bit systems are basically an engineering afterthought that limits system stability. Memory-starved programs are often not able to access existing memory since the operating system is unable to assign it effectively. This results in programs freezing or executing erratically even when a computer appears to have ample available memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow much more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and process twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive application to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's x64 Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit processors used in virtually all computers now installed in business networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is restricted to a few high-end Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The new family of Office 2010 delivers significant enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Office Excel.
Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced identically to their 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that provide high dependability, capacity, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up canít be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server needs a clean setup that involves reinstalling applications, saving and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current workstations, and for every PC powered by XP, even the 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there will never be a better time to migrate to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any additional effort.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping you to understand the practical advantages, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit programs that you want to keep as well as the latest 64-bit versions of software you wish to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can help your company to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and outline an upgrade process that is minimally disruptive to your network operations.
Additional ways Progent's consultants can help you to migrate to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Help Upgrading to x64 Processing
- Progent's experience delivering remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and expense over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with in-house support personnel and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can increase the effectiveness of your support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is optimized to support your 64-bit computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high level of data protection and dependability.
- Progent's business continuity consultants can assist you in creating and validating a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support experts can help you to deploy System Center SCDPM to provide automated online backup with the capability of fast system restoration.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC network security engineers can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the powerful security mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your company's adherence to mandated security standards.
- Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to use 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware resources, streamline administration, enhance robustness, cut colocation costs, and reduce restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's online training classes can help bring your IT support staff and your desktop workers up to date quickly and cost-effectively by providing online webinars customized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
To learn more details about how Progent can assist your business to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.