Overview of 64-bit Processing
With the availability of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. However, most IT managers are understandably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade task when the main advantages — increased dependability, capacity, and performance — are too vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with over two decades of experience assisting companies to carry out network-wide migration projects, Progent can assist you to assess the costs and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical migration strategy that minimizes business interruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert online support while you update the system software running your current computers.
With the majority of business networks, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, so that all classes of business computers such as notebooks, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers now possess the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these devices still host 32-bit operating systems and applications.
The main cause for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for updating existing systems has seemed to be small in comparison to the effort required. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean install, which means reinstalling existing applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, many popular office productivity software are still offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?
Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM allocation techniques used in 32-bit operating systems are basically a technical afterthought that undermines stability. RAM-starved applications are often unable to utilize existing RAM since the operating system cannot allocate it effectively. This results in software shutting down or running fitfully even though a computer appears to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process more information per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-hungry application to another more quickly while using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs used in most computers currently installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" platform is restricted to a few high-end processors and is intended for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The new family of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers dramatic improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers previous editions of Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer high dependability, scalability, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be carried out seamlessly. Every workstation and server requires a clean installation that involves reinstalling applications, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most current desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, any release of Microsoft 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 processing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any extra work.
How Progent Can Assist You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you to understand the business advantages, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit applications which you want to retain plus the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can assist you to determine which workstation hardware and programs can or should be preserved, and design a migration process that is minimally disruptive to your business operations.
Other ways Progent's consultants can help your business to upgrade to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Migrating to x64 Computing
- Progent's expertise providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal IT staffs and providing technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support staff.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of security and robustness.
- Progent's business continuity consultants can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can assist you to configure System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous online backup with the advantage of rapid system recovery.
- Progent's CISM and CISA certified security engineers can assist you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new protection technologies included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also provide security vulnerability testing to assess or verify your company's compliance with industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware resources, streamline management, enhance robustness, cut hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's online training classes can help bring your IT management staff and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by providing online webinars customized for your network requirements and operational procedures.
To learn more information about how Progent's engineers can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.