Introduction to 64-bit Computing
With the availability of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never seemed more compelling. Still, most network administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade task when the main advantages — improved dependability, scalability, and performance — are too vague to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping businesses to implement network-wide upgrades, Progent can assist you to understand the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an efficient migration strategy that reduces productivity interruptions, and provide affordable, high-level remote support while you update the system software powering your current computers.
For most office networks, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all types of business computers including notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers now have the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these computers still host 32-bit software platforms.
The main reason for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for updating in-place systems has seemed to be small in comparison to the work required. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean install, which means reinstalling existing programs, saving and recovering data files, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, most office productivity software are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?
Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM memory allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are basically an engineering afterthought that limits stability. Memory-starved programs are often not allowed to utilize existing RAM since the O/S is unable to allocate it efficiently. This results in software shutting down or running fitfully even when a computer appears to have plenty of available memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per clock cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive application to another faster when you are using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now installed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is limited to a few advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The new family of Office delivers dramatic improvements. As an example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers previous versions of Excel.
Microsoft offers native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced the same as 32-bit versions, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer high dependability, capacity, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be carried out seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that entails reconfiguring applications, backing up and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve little additional effort.
How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping your organization to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit programs which you want to retain plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration consultants can assist you to determine which desktop computers and applications can or should be retained, and plan a migration process that is minimally disruptive to your business operations.
Additional ways Progent's consultants can help you to migrate to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
- Progent's expertise delivering remote network support services can save your business time and money during your x64 migration, and Progent's background working with internal IT staffs and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your network support staff.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit processing solution, that it is simple to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of data protection and robustness.
- Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support professionals can help you to configure System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid data recovery.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified network security experts can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your company's adherence to industry or government security standards.
- Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your hardware resources, simplify management, enhance fault tolerance, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a disaster.
- Progent's live online training classes can help get your IT support team and your office workers up to date quickly and affordably by providing remote virtual training customized for your network environment and business processes.
For more information about how Progent's engineers can help you to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.