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 Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are real. The RAM allocation techniques used in 32-bit systems are basically a technical band-aid that limits system stability. Memory-hungry programs are sometimes not able to access existing memory because the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This results in programs shutting down or executing fitfully even though a computer seems to have plenty of unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical memory than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive program to another faster when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes companies more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is limited to a few advanced processors and is designed for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The new generation of Microsoft Office delivers significant enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers previous versions of Excel.
Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be carried out seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that entails reinstalling application software, backing up and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most current desktop PCs, and for every PC running XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will involve little extra work.
How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting you to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to retain plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you plan to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade consultants can help you to determine which desktop hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and design an upgrade process that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.
Other ways Progent's consultants can help you to migrate to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Help Migrating to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's expertise delivering remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you effort and money over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with in-house support personnel and delivering technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of data protection and robustness.
- Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in developing and validating a workplace recovery strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager engineering experts can help you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous online backup with the capability of fast data recovery.
- Progent's CISM and CISA certified security engineers can assist you create a company-wide security plan that implements some of the powerful protection technologies included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to evaluate or confirm your company's adherence to industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, simplify administration, enhance reliability, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.
- Progent's online education can help bring your IT management team and your office employees up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by delivering remote webinars customized for your network environment and operational processes.
For more details about how Progent can help you to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.