Introduction to 64-bit Processing
Thanks to the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never been more compelling. However, most IT managers are predictably hesitant to take on a significant migration project when the main benefits — increased stability, capacity, and performance — are too intangible to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping businesses to carry out network-wide migrations, Progent can help you to understand the risks and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical migration strategy that minimizes business disruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert online technical support while you update the system software powering your existing computers.
For most business networks, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now have the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these devices continue to host 32-bit software platforms.
The main cause for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit revolution is that the real benefit for updating existing systems has appeared to be modest in comparison to the effort required. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current applications, backing up and recovering data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, many popular office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?
Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be subtle and hard to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM memory management schemes used in 32-bit systems are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines stability. Memory-hungry applications are often not able to access available memory since the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This results in software shutting down or executing fitfully even though a machine seems to have ample unused RAM. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow far more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit processors found in virtually all computers currently deployed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is limited to special high-end Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The new family of Microsoft Office offers significant enhancements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit releases of Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced identically to 32-bit editions, so typically it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the move up canít be carried out seamlessly. Every workstation and server needs a clean setup that entails reinstalling application software, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical current workstations, and for all PCs running Windows XP, even the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there has never been a better time to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any extra effort.
How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you to evaluate the business benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications which you intend to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of applications you plan to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration consultants can assist your company to decide which desktop computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and plan a migration process that is minimally disruptive to your business operations.
Additional ways Progent can assist you to upgrade to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's expertise delivering remote computer consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and money during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal IT personnel and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support team.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to support your x64 processing environment, that it is simple to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of data protection and fault tolerance.
- Progent's business continuity consultants can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting experts can help you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous remote backup with the capability of rapid system recovery.
- Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified network security experts can assist you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection technologies included with x64 servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or confirm your company's compliance with industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization consultants can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on hardware, streamline administration, improve robustness, lower hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.
- Progent's online education can help bring both your network support team and your office workers up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by delivering remote webinars customized for your network environment and business procedures.
To find out additional details about how Progent can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.