Preparing for 64-bit Computing
Thanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit computing has never been stronger. However, most network managers are understandably reluctant to take on a sizable upgrade project when the main benefits — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are too vague to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than 20 years of background assisting companies to carry out network-wide migrations, Progent can assist you to understand the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, design an economical migration scheme that reduces productivity disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level online engineering help as you upgrade the software running your existing servers and desktops.
For most office networks, 64-bit computing is a giant unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. However the majority of these in-place devices still host 32-bit software platforms.
The primary reason for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for upgrading existing computers has appeared to be small in relation to the effort needed. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data, and installing new drivers. This requires thorough planning to do efficiently. Meanwhile, most desktop productivity software are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the advantage?
Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, but they are real. The RAM partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines stability. RAM-hungry programs are sometimes not allowed to utilize available memory since the O/S is unable to assign it efficiently. This results in software shutting down or executing fitfully even though a computer seems to have plenty of unused RAM. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow far more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one memory-intensive application to another faster while running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" support is limited to a few high-end CPUs and is intended for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The latest family of Office 2010 offers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited by the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so typically you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that provide high dependability, capacity, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be done without effort. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that involves reinstalling application software, saving and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical current workstations, and for all PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any release of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a clean install. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will involve little extra effort.
How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of applications you wish to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration consultants can assist your company to determine which desktop hardware and applications can or should be retained, and plan an upgrade procedure that is the least disturbing to your business operations.
Additional ways Progent's consultants can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Computing
- Progent's experience providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT staffs and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of data protection and reliability.
- Progent's disaster recovery engineers can help you in creating and validating a business continuity plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM consulting professionals can help you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support automated online backup with the advantage of rapid data recovery.
- Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security engineers can assist you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the powerful protection technologies included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, streamline administration, improve dependability, lower colocation and hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in case of a disaster.
- Progent's live online training classes can help get both your IT support staff and your office employees up to date rapidly and affordably by providing interactive online webinars specialized for your computing requirements and operational procedures.
To learn additional details about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.