For most office networks, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity CPUs for years, so that all types of business computing hardware such as notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers now possess the ability to run in 64-bit format. Yet most of these in-place devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems.
The primary cause for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for upgrading existing systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the effort required. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current programs, saving and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most office productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so where's the advantage?
Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit platforms are basically a technical afterthought that limits stability. RAM-hungry applications are often not able to access free memory since the operating system is unable to assign it effectively. This results in software shutting down or running erratically even when a computer seems to have plenty of unused memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms allow much more physical memory than 32-bit systems and process more data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly while using a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.
Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is restricted to a few high-end CPUs and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest family of Microsoft Office offers dramatic enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers previous editions of Microsoft Office Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced identically to 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that offer high stability, capacity, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can't be done without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that entails reconfiguring application software, saving and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical current desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, any edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better time to migrate to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any extra effort.
How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business benefits, expenses, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop 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 intend to keep as well as the latest 64-bit versions of software you wish to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can assist your company to decide which desktop hardware and applications can or should be preserved, and design an upgrade process that is minimally disruptive to your business productivity.
Other ways Progent can assist your business to upgrade to x64 processing include: