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 benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to define precisely, but they are real. The memory management schemes utilized by 32-bit systems are basically a technical afterthought that limits system stability. Memory-starved programs are often unable to access free memory since the operating system is unable to assign it effectively. This can be the cause of programs freezing or performing fitfully even though a machine appears to have ample available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical memory than 32-bit systems and process more data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-hungry program to another faster when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit processors found in most servers and desktop PCs currently installed in business networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is limited to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The new family of Office offers dramatic improvements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers previous releases of Office Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced identically to their 32-bit versions, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that offer high dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most in-place workstations, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, any release of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there has never been a better time to migrate to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will require little extra effort.
How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting you to understand the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit applications which you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can help you to decide which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and plan a migration procedure that is minimally disturbing to your business productivity.
Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent for Help Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's expertise providing remote computer support services can save your business effort and money over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house support staffs and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your x64 computing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and fault tolerance.
- Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in creating and testing a business continuity strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM support professionals can help you to configure System Center SCDPM to support automated online backup with the capability of rapid system recovery.
- Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security consultants can help you develop a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the new protection technologies incorporated into 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability checking to assess or verify your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to use 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, streamline management, improve dependability, lower colocation and hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in case of a disaster.
- Progent's online training classes can help get your network management staff and your office workers up to speed quickly and affordably by delivering remote virtual training specialized for your network requirements and business processes.
To find out more details about how Progent's engineers can assist you to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.