Overview of 64-bit Computing
Thanks to the release of Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit computing has never been better. Still, most IT administrators are predictably hesitant to launch a sizable migration task when the main advantages — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are excessively vague to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience helping businesses to implement network-wide migrations, Progent can help you to assess the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that minimizes business interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote technical support as you update the software running your existing servers and desktops.
For the majority of business networks, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already have the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.
The main cause for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for upgrading existing systems has seemed to be modest in relation to the effort needed. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This requires careful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most desktop productivity software are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?
Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially a technical band-aid that limits system stability. RAM-starved programs are sometimes unable to utilize free RAM since the operating system cannot assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of software freezing or running fitfully even when a computer appears to have plenty of unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support much more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and process twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry application to another more quickly while using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and faster, which makes companies more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all computers now deployed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is restricted to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Office 2010 offers significant improvements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers previous releases of Microsoft Office Excel.
Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced identically to their 32-bit versions, so ordinarily it costs nothing more 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 stability, scalability, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be done without effort. Each workstation and server needs a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, backing up and restoring data, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place workstations, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" installation. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any extra work.
How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to helping you to understand the practical benefits, expenses, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, administer, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit programs that you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of applications you plan to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade experts can assist you to decide which desktop hardware and applications can or ought to be retained, and outline an upgrade procedure that is minimally disturbing to your network productivity.
Additional ways Progent can assist your business to upgrade to 64-bit processing include:
Contact Progent to Get Support for Migrating to 64-bit Processing
- Progent's expertise delivering online computer consulting and support can save you time and expense over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with in-house support staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to support your 64-bit processing solution, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of security and fault tolerance.
- Progent's business continuity engineers can assist you in developing and validating a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting professionals can help you to configure System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated online backup with the capability of rapid data recovery.
- Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security consultants can help you create a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the new protection technologies included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your company's compliance with mandated security standards.
- Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on equipment, streamline management, improve fault tolerance, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's live online training classes can help get both your IT support team and your desktop employees up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by delivering remote webinars specialized for your computing environment and operational processes.
To find out more information about how Progent's engineers can help you to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.