Introduction to 64-bit Computing
With the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit processing has never seemed better. However, many IT managers are predictably reluctant to launch a major migration task when the primary benefits — increased stability, capacity, and performance — are too intangible to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background assisting businesses to implement network-wide upgrades, Progent can help you to understand the costs and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, create an efficient migration strategy that reduces business interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, expert online support and troubleshooting as you update the system software powering your current computers.
For most office networks, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all types of business computers including notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers now have the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these computers continue to run 32-bit software platforms.
The primary cause for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for updating existing computers has seemed to be modest in relation to the work required. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most desktop productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?
Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM management techniques used in 32-bit operating systems are basically an engineering band-aid that undermines stability. Memory-hungry programs are sometimes not allowed to utilize available memory since the operating system cannot assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of software shutting down or executing fitfully even though a machine appears to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms allow far more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and process more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit processors used in virtually all computers now installed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is restricted to special high-end processors and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers dramatic improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Excel.
Microsoft offers native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit versions, so typically it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.
For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that offer high dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade canít be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that entails reinstalling applications, saving and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical current desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there has never been a better time to migrate to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any additional effort.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting you to understand the practical advantages, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit applications that you want to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of software you wish to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can help your company to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and outline an upgrade process that is the least disruptive to your business productivity.
Other ways Progent can help you to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Migrating to x64 Processing
- Progent's expertise delivering online network support services can save you time and money during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience working with in-house support personnel and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing environment, that it is easy to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of security and reliability.
- Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in developing and testing a disaster recovery plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM support professionals can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous remote backup with the capability of fast data recovery.
- Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security engineers can help you develop a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the new security technologies included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your company's compliance with industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware, simplify management, enhance fault tolerance, cut hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.
- Progent's live online training classes can help get both your network support team and your desktop workers up to speed quickly and affordably by providing interactive online webinars specialized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
To learn additional information about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.