Overview of 64-bit Processing
Thanks to the release of Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit processing has never seemed more compelling. However, most IT administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade task when the main advantages — improved dependability, scalability, and speed — are excessively vague to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping companies to carry out network-wide migration projects, Progent can help your company to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an efficient migration strategy that reduces operational interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level remote engineering help while you update the system software running your existing servers and desktops.
With most business networks, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers now possess the ability to run in 64-bit format. However most of these devices continue to host 32-bit operating systems.
The main reason for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for upgrading existing systems has seemed to be modest in comparison to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most desktop productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?
Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The memory management techniques used in 32-bit platforms are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines stability. RAM-hungry programs are often not able to access free memory because the operating system is unable to assign it effectively. This results in software freezing or performing fitfully even when a machine seems to have ample unused RAM. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow much more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and process more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-hungry application to another faster while using a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Support
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is restricted to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Office delivers dramatic enhancements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers previous editions of Microsoft Office Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed identically to 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that provide advanced dependability, scalability, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be carried out seamlessly. Each workstation and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring applications, saving and restoring data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC running Microsoft Windows XP, any release of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a clean install. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will require little extra work.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping your organization to understand the practical advantages, expenses, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to keep as well as the new 64-bit editions of software you wish to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can assist you to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and outline an upgrade procedure that is minimally disturbing to your business operations.
Additional ways Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
- Progent's experience providing remote computer support services can save you effort and money over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house support personnel and providing technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is configured to support your x64 processing environment, that it is easy to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of security and robustness.
- Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in creating and validating a business continuity strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting experts can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast data restoration.
- Progent's CISM and CISA certified security engineers can assist you develop a company-wide security plan that implements some of the new protection mechanisms incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability checking to assess or verify your company's adherence to industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware resources, simplify administration, improve fault tolerance, lower hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.
- Progent's live online education can help get your network support staff and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online webinars specialized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
To find out more information about how Progent's consultants can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.