Preparing for 64-bit Computing
Thanks to the release of Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. However, many network managers are predictably hesitant to launch a significant migration task when the main advantages — increased stability, capacity, and speed — are too intangible to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping businesses to carry out system-wide migrations, Progent can assist your company to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical migration scheme that minimizes operational interruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level online support as you upgrade the software powering your existing servers and desktops.
For most business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit format. Yet most of these in-place computers still host 32-bit software platforms.
The main reason for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for updating existing computers has appeared to be small in relation to the effort required. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, most office applications are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?
Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem subtle and hard to define precisely, but they are real. The memory allocation schemes used in 32-bit platforms are basically an engineering afterthought that undermines stability. Memory-hungry programs are sometimes not able to utilize free RAM because the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This results in software freezing or executing erratically even when a computer appears to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-hungry program to another faster when you are running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology works with the 64-bit processors found in most servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is restricted to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The new family of Office 2010 delivers significant enhancements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Excel.
Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit editions, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.
For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that provide high dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the move up canít be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reconfiguring applications, saving and restoring data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, any edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean install. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any extra work.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business benefits, expenses, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to retain plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you wish to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can help you to determine which workstation computers and applications can or ought to be preserved, and design an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.
Other ways Progent's consultants can assist you to upgrade to x64 processing include:
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's experience providing online network consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and money over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's background cooperating with internal support staffs and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support staff.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing environment, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and fault tolerance.
- Progent's business continuity engineers can help you in creating and validating a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support professionals can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous online backup with the advantage of rapid data restoration.
- Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security engineers can assist you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the powerful protection technologies included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your company's compliance with industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization experts can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve equipment, simplify administration, enhance reliability, cut colocation expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's live online instruction can help bring both your IT support team and your desktop workers up to speed quickly and affordably by delivering interactive online virtual training customized for your computing requirements and operational procedures.
To find out more information about how Progent's consultants can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.