Overview of 64-bit Processing
Thanks to the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. However, most network administrators are predictably hesitant to take on a significant upgrade project when the main benefits — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are excessively vague to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience helping companies to implement network-wide upgrades, Progent can help your company to understand the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, design an economical upgrade scheme that reduces productivity disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level online engineering help as you upgrade the system software powering your existing servers and desktops.
With most office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, so that all classes of business computers including laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers now have the ability to operate in 64-bit format. Yet the majority of these in-place devices still run 32-bit operating systems.
The main reason for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real benefit for updating in-place computers has seemed to be modest in comparison to the work needed. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, saving and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to do efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the advantage?
Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to quantify, yet they are real. The memory partitioning techniques used in 32-bit operating systems are essentially a technical afterthought that limits system stability. RAM-starved applications are often unable to utilize existing memory since the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs freezing or executing fitfully even though a computer appears to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms support far more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and process more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry program to another faster when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit processors found in most computers currently deployed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is restricted to a few advanced CPUs and is intended for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Office offers dramatic enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Excel.
Microsoft offers true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can’t be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that involves reconfiguring applications, saving and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any edition of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" installation. Consequently, there has never been a better time to migrate to x64 processing on the workstation, since it will involve little additional effort.
How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to helping your organization to evaluate the practical advantages, expenses, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, 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 infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to retain plus the new 64-bit editions of software you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can assist your company to determine which workstation computers and programs can or ought to be retained, and plan an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your network operations.
Other ways Progent can help you to upgrade to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Processing
- Progent's experience providing online computer support services can save you effort and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience working with internal support personnel and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support staff.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing solution, that it is easy to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of data protection and robustness.
- Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in developing and testing a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support automated remote backup with the advantage of fast data restoration.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified security experts can help you create a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the powerful security mechanisms incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability testing to evaluate 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 leverage your equipment, simplify administration, enhance fault tolerance, lower hosting expenses, and speed up recovery time in case of a disaster.
- Progent's online training classes can help bring your IT management team and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and affordably by delivering remote virtual training specialized for your computing environment and operational procedures.
To find out additional details about how Progent can help your business to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.