Overview of 64-bit Computing
Thanks to the release of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never been more compelling. Still, many IT managers are understandably hesitant to take on a major migration project when the main advantages — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are too vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background helping businesses to implement network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help you to understand the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade scheme that reduces business disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level online technical support while you update the software powering your current computers.
With most office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.
The main cause for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for updating existing computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade requires a clean install, which means reinstalling current applications, backing up and recovering data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Meanwhile, most office applications are still available only in 32-bit versions, so where's the advantage?
Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The memory allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit platforms are basically a technical band-aid that limits stability. RAM-hungry programs are sometimes not allowed to access existing memory since the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of software freezing or performing fitfully even when a machine seems to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-intensive application to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology supports the 64-bit processors used in most computers now installed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is limited to special high-end CPUs and is designed for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The new generation of Microsoft Office offers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers previous releases of Excel.
Microsoft offers native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced the same as their 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that offer advanced dependability, capacity, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be done without effort. Each workstation and server requires a clean installation that entails reinstalling applications, backing up and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running XP, any release of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a clean install. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will involve little additional effort.
How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping your organization to understand the business benefits, expenses, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit programs which you want to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of applications you wish to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade strategy, 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 desktop computers and applications can or ought to be retained, and design an upgrade procedure that is minimally disruptive to your network productivity.
Other ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 processing include:
Contact Progent for Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
- Progent's experience providing online network support services can save your business time and money during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal IT staffs and providing technical information transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is configured to support your x64 processing environment, that it is easy to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of security and fault tolerance.
- Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in creating and validating a business continuity strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager 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 CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified security specialists can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the powerful security mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to evaluate or verify your company's adherence to mandated security standards.
- Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your equipment, simplify administration, enhance reliability, lower hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.
- Progent's live online instruction can help get both your IT support staff and your desktop employees up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by providing online webinars specialized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
To learn additional information about how Progent's engineers can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.