Preparing for 64-bit Computing
With the release of Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit processing has never seemed better. However, most IT managers are predictably reluctant to take on a sizable migration task when the primary advantages — increased stability, scalability, and speed — are excessively vague to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience helping businesses to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist your company to understand the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical upgrade scheme that reduces productivity disruptions, and provide affordable, high-level online support while you update the software powering your existing computers.
For most business networks, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, so that all types of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now have the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. However most of these devices still run 32-bit operating systems.
The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for updating in-place systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the effort required. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, many popular desktop productivity software are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?
Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to define precisely, but they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are basically a technical afterthought that limits stability. RAM-starved applications are often unable to access available RAM because the O/S cannot assign it efficiently. This results in programs shutting down or executing fitfully even when a machine seems to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support far more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and process twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one memory-intensive application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit processors used in most computers currently deployed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is restricted to a few high-end CPUs and is intended for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The new generation of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic improvements. For example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Office Excel.
Microsoft offers native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced identically to 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that provide high stability, capacity, and performance. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be carried out without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that involves reconfiguring applications, saving and restoring data files, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place workstations, and for every PC running XP, any version of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" installation. Consequently, there has never been a better time to migrate to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will involve little additional effort.
How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting you to evaluate the business advantages, costs, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, administer, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit programs that you want to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of applications you wish to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration consultants can assist your company to determine which workstation computers and applications can or ought to be retained, and plan a migration procedure that is minimally disruptive to your business operations.
Other ways Progent can help your business to upgrade to x64 processing include:
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's experience providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and expense over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house IT staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your network support team.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is configured to support your 64-bit computing solution, that it is simple to track, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of security and reliability.
- Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can help you in developing and testing a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting professionals can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support automated online backup with the capability of rapid data restoration.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified network security experts can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the new security mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to evaluate or confirm your company's compliance with mandated security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization experts can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware, streamline management, improve dependability, lower colocation expenses, and speed up recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's live online education can help bring both your IT support staff and your desktop employees up to date quickly and cost-effectively by delivering interactive online virtual training customized for your computing requirements and operational procedures.
To find out additional details about how Progent's consultants can help your business to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.