Preparing for 64-bit Processing
Thanks to the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed stronger. However, many network administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade project when the main advantages — improved dependability, scalability, and performance — are excessively vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background assisting companies to implement system-wide migrations, Progent can assist your company to assess the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient upgrade scheme that minimizes operational disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, expert remote support and troubleshooting as you update the software powering your current computers.
For most business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, so that all types of business computers such as notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already have the ability to operate in 64-bit format. However the majority of these devices continue to host 32-bit operating systems and applications.
The primary reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the work needed. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, saving and restoring data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to do economically. Furthermore, most desktop applications are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the advantage?
Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM management schemes utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-starved applications are sometimes not allowed to utilize available memory since the operating system cannot allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs freezing or performing fitfully even when a computer seems to have plenty of unused memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms support much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive application to another faster when using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit processors found in virtually all computers currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is restricted to a few advanced processors and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Microsoft Office 2010 offers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by 32-bit releases of Excel.
Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced identically to their 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 provide high stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be done without effort. Every workstation and server requires a clean installation that entails reconfiguring application software, backing up and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most current workstations, and for every PC running Windows XP, even the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better time to migrate to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any additional work.
How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting you to evaluate the practical advantages, expenses, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, 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 applications that you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of applications you plan to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and upgrade consultants can help your company to determine which desktop computers and programs can or should be retained, and outline an upgrade process that is minimally disruptive to your business operations.
Additional ways Progent can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit processing include:
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
- Progent's experience providing online network consulting and support can save your business effort and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT personnel and providing technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is configured to accommodate your 64-bit processing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of data protection and robustness.
- Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in developing and validating a workplace recovery strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support experts can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid data restoration.
- Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security consultants can assist you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new security mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your company's compliance with industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware resources, simplify administration, enhance dependability, lower colocation costs, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.
- Progent's online education can help bring your network management staff and your desktop workers up to date quickly and cost-effectively by delivering remote webinars specialized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
For more details about how Progent can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.