Preparing for 64-bit Computing
Thanks to the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never been stronger. Still, most network administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a sizable migration project when the primary benefits — improved stability, capacity, and speed — are too intangible to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience assisting businesses to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help you to understand the costs and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade strategy that reduces business disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level online consulting while you update the software powering your existing servers and desktops.
With most office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all classes of business computers such as notebooks, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now have the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. However the majority of these in-place computers still host 32-bit operating systems and applications.
The primary cause for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for updating existing computers has seemed to be modest in comparison to the effort required. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, backing up and recovering data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Meanwhile, most office applications are currently available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?
Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM partitioning techniques used in 32-bit systems are basically a technical band-aid that limits stability. Memory-hungry applications are often unable to utilize available memory because the operating system is unable to allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs freezing or executing fitfully even though a machine seems to have ample available RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow far more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per clock cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive application to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all computers currently installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is limited to special advanced CPUs and is designed for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Microsoft Office delivers significant enhancements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by previous editions of Office Excel.
Microsoft offers native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be carried out without effort. Each workstation and server needs a clean setup that entails reinstalling applications, backing up and restoring data, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place workstations, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to move to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any extra work.
How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business benefits, expenses, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit applications which you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can assist you to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or should be retained, and plan a migration process that is minimally disturbing to your network operations.
Other ways Progent can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit processing include:
Contact Progent for Help Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
- Progent's experience delivering online network support services can save your business effort and expense over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT staffs and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 processing environment, that it is easy to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of security and reliability.
- Progent's disaster recovery consultants can help you in creating and testing a business continuity plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can help you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support automated online backup with the advantage of rapid system recovery.
- Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security experts can assist you develop a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the new protection mechanisms included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also provide security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your network's adherence to industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve equipment, simplify management, improve reliability, cut colocation expenses, and speed up recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's live online education can help bring both your IT management staff and your office employees up to date quickly and affordably by delivering online virtual training specialized for your network requirements and business processes.
To learn additional details about how Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.