Overview of 64-bit Computing
Thanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit processing has never been better. However, many IT administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a significant migration project when the main benefits — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are too vague to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than 20 years of experience helping companies to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help you to assess the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that reduces operational interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level online technical support as you update the software running your existing computers.
For the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computers including laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to run in 64-bit format. However most of these devices still host 32-bit software platforms.
The primary cause for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for updating in-place systems has appeared to be small 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 demands a clean install, which means reinstalling existing applications, saving and restoring data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This requires careful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?
Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to define precisely, but they are significant. The RAM memory allocation techniques used in 32-bit platforms are basically a technical afterthought that undermines system stability. RAM-starved applications are often not allowed to utilize available RAM because the O/S is unable to allocate it effectively. This can be the cause of software shutting down or performing fitfully even when a computer appears to have ample unused RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow much more physical memory than 32-bit ones and process more data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry application to another faster while running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently installed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is restricted to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic enhancements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Microsoft Office Excel.
Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit editions, so typically you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.
For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be carried out seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring application software, saving and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most current workstations, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, any release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there will never be a better time to migrate to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any extra work.
How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business benefits, costs, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit programs that you want to keep as well as the new 64-bit versions of applications you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade consultants can assist you to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be retained, and outline an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.
Other ways Progent can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing include:
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's experience providing online network consulting and support can save you time and money during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house support personnel and providing technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is configured to support your x64 computing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of security and fault tolerance.
- Progent's disaster recovery consultants can help you in creating and testing a business continuity plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager engineering experts can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support automated online backup with the advantage of rapid data restoration.
- Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security specialists can assist you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the powerful security technologies incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on equipment, simplify administration, improve robustness, cut hosting costs, and speed up recovery time in the event of a disaster.
- Progent's live online instruction can help get your IT management team and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing remote webinars customized for your computing environment and operational procedures.
To learn more details about how Progent's engineers can assist you to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.