Overview of 64-bit Processing
With the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed more compelling. However, most IT managers are understandably reluctant to take on a major upgrade project when the primary advantages — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are excessively vague to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting companies to carry out system-wide upgrades, Progent can help you to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit processing, create an efficient upgrade scheme that minimizes business disruptions, and provide affordable, high-level online engineering help as you update the system software powering your existing servers and desktops.
For most office networks, 64-bit computing is a great untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now have the ability to run in 64-bit mode. However most of these computers still host 32-bit operating systems.
The primary reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for updating in-place systems has seemed to be modest in comparison to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, backing up and recovering data, and configuring new drivers. This demands careful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, most office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?
Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem vague and difficult to quantify, but they are real. The RAM memory allocation techniques used in 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-starved applications are sometimes unable to utilize available memory since the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or running erratically even though a computer seems to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-intensive program to another more quickly when using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is restricted to special advanced processors and is designed for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Office 2010 offers dramatic improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by 32-bit versions of Excel.
Microsoft offers true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that provide high dependability, scalability, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the move up canít be carried out seamlessly. Each workstation and server needs a clean setup that involves reinstalling application software, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place workstations, and for every PC running XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any additional work.
How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you 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, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit applications which you want to retain as well as the new 64-bit editions of applications you plan to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can help your company to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and design an upgrade procedure that is minimally disruptive to your network productivity.
Other ways Progent's consultants can help you to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Computing
- Progent's experience providing online computer support services can save your business time and expense over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT staffs and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support staff.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your 64-bit processing environment, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of data protection and dependability.
- Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in creating and testing a business continuity plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager engineering professionals can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated remote backup with the advantage of rapid system restoration.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified security engineers can assist you develop a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your company's adherence to industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware resources, streamline management, improve reliability, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's live online instruction can help bring your network support staff and your desktop employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering online virtual training specialized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
For more information about how Progent can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.