Introduction to 64-bit Computing
Thanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never been better. However, most IT managers are predictably hesitant to take on a significant migration project when the primary benefits — increased dependability, capacity, and speed — are too intangible to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with over 20 years of background assisting businesses to carry out network-wide upgrades, Progent can help your company to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit processing, design an efficient migration strategy that minimizes productivity interruptions, and provide affordable, high-level remote consulting while you update the software running your current computers.
For the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware such as notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers already possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these in-place devices still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.
The primary reason for this common reluctance to join the 64-bit revolution is that the real benefit for updating existing systems has seemed to be small in relation to the work required. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling current applications, saving and restoring data, and installing new drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular office productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?
Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and difficult to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit systems are basically an engineering band-aid that limits stability. RAM-hungry applications are sometimes unable to utilize available RAM since the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs freezing or performing erratically even though a computer seems to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow far more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-intensive application to another faster while running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit processors found in most computers currently deployed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is restricted to a few high-end CPUs and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The new family of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by 32-bit versions of Microsoft Office Excel.
Microsoft offers native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced the same as their 32-bit editions, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.
For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that provide advanced dependability, scalability, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can't be carried out without effort. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that entails reconfiguring applications, saving and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most in-place workstations, and for every PC running Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there has never been a better time to migrate to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve little additional work.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting you to evaluate the practical advantages, expenses, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit programs that you intend to retain plus the latest 64-bit editions of applications you plan to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can assist your company to determine which desktop computers and applications can or should be retained, and outline a migration process that is the least disturbing to your network productivity.
Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing include:
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
- Progent's experience providing remote computer consulting and troubleshooting can save you effort and expense during your x64 migration, and Progent's background working with internal IT staffs and providing technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your network support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your x64 processing solution, that it is simple to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of security and dependability.
- Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in developing and validating a business continuity strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM engineering experts can help you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous remote backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC security consultants can assist you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new security technologies incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability checking to assess or verify your company's adherence to industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, simplify administration, enhance fault tolerance, lower colocation and hosting costs, and reduce recovery time in case of a disaster.
- Progent's online training classes can help get your network management team and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and affordably by delivering online virtual training customized for your network requirements and business procedures.
To learn more information about how Progent can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.