Introduction to 64-bit Computing
With the release of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been more compelling. Still, most IT managers are understandably hesitant to launch a major upgrade task when the main advantages — increased dependability, scalability, and speed — are too vague to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with years of background assisting businesses to implement network-wide migrations, Progent can assist your company to assess the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that minimizes business interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote engineering help as you upgrade the system software powering your current servers and desktops.
With the majority of business networks, 64-bit processing is a giant unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computing hardware such as laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. Yet the majority of these in-place devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems.
The main reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for updating existing computers has seemed to be modest in relation to the work needed. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, saving and restoring data, and installing new drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, many popular office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?
Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may seem subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are significant. The memory management schemes utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that limits stability. Memory-starved applications are often not able to utilize free memory since the O/S cannot allocate it effectively. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or running fitfully even though a computer seems to have plenty of available memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more data per CPU cycle. You can also go from one memory-intensive application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology supports the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now installed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is limited to a few high-end CPUs and is intended for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Office 2010 delivers significant enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by previous releases of Excel.
Microsoft offers native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced identically to their 32-bit counterparts, so typically it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be carried out without effort. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, saving and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean installation. Consequently, there has never been a better time to move to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will involve little extra work.
How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting you to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, administer, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit programs which you intend to keep as well as the latest 64-bit editions of applications you plan to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and upgrade experts can assist you to determine which desktop hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and plan an upgrade procedure that is minimally disturbing to your network operations.
Other ways Progent can help you to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to x64 Processing
- Progent's expertise providing online computer support services can save your business time and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience working with internal IT personnel and providing technical knowledge transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit computing environment, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high level of data protection and robustness.
- Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in creating and validating a business continuity plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM engineering experts can help you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support automated remote backup with the advantage of rapid data restoration.
- Progent's CISM and CISA certified security consultants can help you create a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the powerful security technologies included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware resources, simplify administration, improve robustness, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up recovery time in the event of a disaster.
- Progent's online education can help get your network support team and your desktop workers up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by delivering remote virtual training customized for your computing requirements and business processes.
To find out more details about how Progent can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.