Introduction to 64-bit Computing
With the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit processing has never seemed more compelling. However, many IT managers are understandably reluctant to take on a major upgrade project when the main advantages — increased stability, capacity, and performance — are too vague to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting companies to implement system-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help you to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an efficient migration scheme that reduces business interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, expert remote engineering help while you upgrade the system software powering your current computers.
For the majority of office networks, 64-bit processing is a giant unexploited power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all types of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already have the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. Yet the majority of these computers continue to run 32-bit operating systems.
The main reason for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for updating in-place systems has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean install, which means reinstalling existing programs, saving and restoring data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, many popular desktop applications are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?
Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM allocation techniques utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines stability. Memory-hungry applications are often not allowed to access available RAM since the O/S cannot allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of software freezing or performing fitfully even though a machine seems to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry application to another faster when you are using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit processors found in most servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is limited to special high-end processors and is designed for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The new family of Office offers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.
Microsoft offers true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced identically to their 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.
For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that provide high stability, capacity, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be carried out seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that involves reinstalling application software, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical current workstations, and for every PC running XP, even the 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" installation. Consequently, there will never be a better time to migrate to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any extra effort.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping you to understand the practical benefits, expenses, and technical variables associated with migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit applications which you want to keep as well as the latest 64-bit versions of applications you plan to run. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist your company to determine which desktop computers and programs can or should be retained, and plan a migration process that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.
Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent for Help Upgrading to x64 Computing
- Progent's experience delivering online computer support services can save you effort and money over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with internal support staffs and providing technical information transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to track, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high level of security and reliability.
- Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can help you in developing and validating a business continuity plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support professionals can help you to deploy Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous online backup with the capability of fast system restoration.
- Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security engineers can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the powerful security technologies incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide security vulnerability testing to evaluate or confirm your company's compliance with industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve equipment, simplify administration, enhance reliability, lower hosting costs, and reduce recovery time in case of a disaster.
- Progent's live online education can help get your network management team and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by providing interactive online virtual training customized for your network requirements and business procedures.
For additional details about how Progent can assist your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.