Overview of 64-bit Computing
With the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit processing has never seemed more compelling. Still, most IT administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a major migration task when the main benefits — increased stability, scalability, and performance — are too intangible to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience assisting companies to implement network-wide upgrades, Progent can assist your company to understand the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, create an efficient upgrade strategy that reduces operational interruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert online support as you upgrade the software running your existing computers.
With most office networks, 64-bit processing is a giant unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers already have the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these devices still host 32-bit operating systems.
The main cause for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for upgrading in-place computers has seemed to be modest in comparison to the work required. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data files, and installing new drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, most desktop productivity software are still offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?
Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM memory allocation techniques utilized by 32-bit systems are basically an engineering afterthought that limits stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes not able to utilize available RAM since the O/S cannot assign it effectively. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or executing erratically even though a machine seems to have plenty of available memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow much more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and process more information per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-intensive application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit processors used in most computers now deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is restricted to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The new family of Office 2010 offers dramatic improvements. As an example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers previous releases of Excel.
Microsoft offers native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that offer high stability, scalability, and performance. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can’t be done without effort. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring applications, backing up and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most current desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean install. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will require little additional work.
How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting your organization to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to keep as well as the new 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 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can help you to determine which workstation hardware and programs can or ought to be preserved, and outline an upgrade process that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.
Additional ways Progent can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's expertise delivering remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and expense during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to support your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of data protection and reliability.
- Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in creating and validating a workplace recovery strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering experts can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast data restoration.
- Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security engineers can assist you develop a company-wide security plan that implements some of the powerful security technologies incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or verify your company's adherence to industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on equipment, simplify administration, improve robustness, cut colocation expenses, and reduce restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's online instruction can help bring both your IT support team and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and affordably by providing interactive online virtual training specialized for your network requirements and business procedures.
To learn more details about how Progent can help you to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.