Introduction to 64-bit Processing
With the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit processing has never been stronger. However, many IT administrators are understandably hesitant to launch a major migration project when the primary advantages — increased dependability, scalability, and speed — are too intangible to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting companies to implement network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist your company to understand the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, design an economical migration scheme that reduces productivity disruptions, and deliver affordable, expert remote support while you update the software powering your existing servers and desktops.
With most office networks, 64-bit computing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all types of business computing hardware such as notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet the majority of these devices still host 32-bit software platforms.
The primary cause for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for updating existing systems has appeared to be small in relation to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires careful planning to do economically. Furthermore, many popular office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?
Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM memory allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are basically a technical afterthought that undermines system stability. Memory-starved applications are often unable to access available memory since the O/S cannot assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or executing fitfully even when a machine seems to have plenty of available RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process more information per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.
Microsoft's x64 Support
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers now installed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is restricted to a few advanced processors and is designed for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The latest family of Office 2010 delivers significant improvements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers previous releases of Office Excel.
Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced the same as their 32-bit editions, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that provide advanced dependability, capacity, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be done without effort. Every workstation and server needs a clean setup that involves reinstalling application software, saving and recovering data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most current workstations, and for all PCs running Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to move to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any additional effort.
How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you to evaluate the business advantages, costs, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit applications which you intend to retain as well as the latest 64-bit versions of applications you wish to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist your company to determine which workstation hardware and programs can or should be retained, and plan a migration process that is minimally disruptive to your network productivity.
Additional ways Progent can help your business to migrate to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Computing
- Progent's experience providing online network support services can save your business time and money during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal support staffs and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and robustness.
- Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in creating and validating a business continuity strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM support experts can help you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support automated remote backup with the capability of rapid system recovery.
- Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security specialists can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the new security mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability checking to assess or verify your company's compliance with industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware resources, simplify administration, enhance fault tolerance, cut colocation and hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's live online instruction can help get both your network support team and your office employees up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online webinars specialized for your computing requirements and business processes.
For additional details about how Progent's consultants can help you to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.