Preparing for 64-bit Processing
With the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed better. However, most network managers are predictably hesitant to launch a major upgrade project when the main benefits — improved stability, capacity, and speed — are too intangible to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping businesses to carry out network-wide upgrades, Progent can help you to understand the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade scheme that minimizes productivity interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level online engineering help while you update the software powering your current computers.
With most office networks, 64-bit processing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already have the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. However most of these in-place computers still run 32-bit software platforms.
The primary cause for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for updating in-place computers has seemed to be small in comparison to the work needed. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, saving and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to do economically. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?
Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem subtle and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially a technical afterthought that limits stability. RAM-hungry applications are sometimes not allowed to utilize available memory since the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This results in programs freezing or running erratically even though a computer appears to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one memory-intensive application to another faster while running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which makes companies more competitive.
Microsoft's x64 Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all computers currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is restricted to special advanced CPUs and is intended for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including 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 Microsoft Office offers dramatic improvements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up canít be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there will never be a better time to upgrade to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will involve little extra work.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting you to evaluate the practical benefits, expenses, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit programs which you intend to keep as well as the latest 64-bit editions of applications you plan to run. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and upgrade consultants can assist your company to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or should be retained, and outline an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.
Additional ways Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to x64 processing include:
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's expertise delivering online network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and money over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal support personnel and providing technical information transfer to them can increase the effectiveness of your support staff.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to support your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of security and reliability.
- Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in creating and testing a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM engineering professionals can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to provide automated remote backup with the advantage of fast system recovery.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC network security experts can assist you develop a company-wide security plan that deploys some of the new protection technologies incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your network's adherence to mandated security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware resources, simplify administration, improve fault tolerance, lower hosting expenses, and reduce restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's live online education can help get both your network support team and your desktop workers up to date quickly and affordably by delivering remote webinars specialized for your network environment and operational procedures.
For more information about how Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.