Overview of 64-bit Processing
With the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit computing has never been better. Still, most IT managers are predictably reluctant to launch a major migration task when the main benefits — improved stability, scalability, and performance — are excessively vague to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience helping companies to carry out system-wide migration projects, Progent can assist you to assess the risks and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, create an economical migration strategy that minimizes business interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level online technical support while you upgrade the software powering your current computers.
For most business networks, 64-bit processing is a giant unexploited resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all types of business computing hardware such as notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to run in 64-bit format. Yet most of these in-place computers still run 32-bit software platforms.
The main reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for upgrading in-place systems has seemed to be modest in relation to the work needed. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, saving and restoring data files, and installing new drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, most desktop applications are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the advantage?
Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may seem subtle and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM allocation techniques utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that limits stability. Memory-hungry applications are sometimes unable to utilize free memory because the O/S is unable to allocate it efficiently. This results in programs shutting down or executing fitfully even when a machine appears to have ample available RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms allow much more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and process twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry application to another faster while running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers now installed in business networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is restricted to special advanced processors and is intended for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The new family of Microsoft Office 2010 offers significant enhancements. As an example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited by the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by 32-bit releases of Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed identically to 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-cost x64 editions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up canít be done without effort. Each workstation and server needs a clean setup that involves reinstalling applications, saving and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most current desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by XP, the 32 or 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there has never been a better time to upgrade to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any additional effort.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting your organization to understand the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit programs which you want to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of applications you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can help you to decide which desktop hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and outline a migration procedure 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 for Support for Migrating to x64 Processing
- Progent's experience delivering remote network support services can save your business effort and money over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with in-house IT staffs and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support team.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your 64-bit processing environment, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and dependability.
- Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in developing and testing a business continuity strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM engineering experts can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide automated remote backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified network security engineers can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to evaluate or validate your company's adherence to mandated security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve equipment, simplify management, enhance robustness, cut hosting costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's live online education can help bring both your IT support team and your office employees up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online virtual training customized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
To learn additional details about how Progent can help you to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.