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 Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are significant. The memory management schemes used in 32-bit platforms are basically a technical afterthought that limits system stability. Memory-hungry programs are often unable to utilize free memory because the operating system is unable to assign it effectively. This results in programs shutting down or running erratically even when a machine appears to have ample unused memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry application to another more quickly when using a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and faster, which makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all computers now installed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is restricted to a few advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Office 2010 offers significant enhancements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers previous editions of Microsoft Office Excel.
Microsoft offers native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances it costs nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.
For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, saving and recovering data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, any release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to move to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any additional work.
How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to helping you to understand the practical advantages, costs, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, administer, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit applications that you intend to retain plus the new 64-bit versions of software you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can help you to decide which desktop computers and applications can or should be retained, and design a migration process that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.
Other ways Progent can help you to migrate to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Help Migrating to 64-bit Processing
- Progent's expertise providing remote network support services can save you effort and expense over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background working with internal support staffs and delivering technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is optimized to support your x64 computing solution, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of security and dependability.
- Progent's business continuity consultants can assist you in developing and testing a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM engineering professionals can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid data recovery.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified network security experts can help you create a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to evaluate or verify your company's adherence to industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to use 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your equipment, simplify management, enhance reliability, lower colocation and hosting costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a disaster.
- Progent's live online instruction can help bring both your network management staff and your office employees up to date quickly and cost-effectively by providing online virtual training customized for your network requirements and operational processes.
To find out additional information about how Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.