Preparing for 64-bit Computing
Thanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. Still, many network administrators are understandably hesitant to launch a significant upgrade task when the main advantages — increased stability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background assisting companies to carry out system-wide migration projects, Progent can assist you to assess the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, create an economical migration scheme that reduces productivity interruptions, and deliver affordable, expert remote consulting while you upgrade the software running your current computers.
For the majority of office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all types of business computers including laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers now have the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. However most of these in-place computers still host 32-bit software platforms.
The primary reason for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for updating in-place computers has appeared to be modest in comparison to the effort needed. There is no automatic process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, saving and restoring data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands thorough planning to do economically. Furthermore, most office productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?
Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem vague and hard to quantify, yet they are real. The memory management techniques used in 32-bit systems are basically an engineering afterthought that limits system stability. RAM-starved applications are often unable to utilize available RAM since the O/S cannot allocate it efficiently. This results in software shutting down or executing erratically even though a machine appears to have ample available RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms allow far more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly while using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and faster, which makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently installed in business networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is restricted to a few high-end Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, 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 edition that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Excel.
Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced identically to 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.
For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that provide high dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be carried out without effort. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring application software, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most current desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by XP, any release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a clean installation. This being the case, there will never be a better time to upgrade to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will involve little extra effort.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping your organization to understand the business advantages, costs, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications which you want to retain plus the new 64-bit versions of applications you wish to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade consultants can assist you to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be retained, and design a migration procedure that is the least disturbing to your network operations.
Additional ways Progent can assist you to upgrade to x64 computing include:
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Migrating to x64 Computing
- Progent's experience providing remote network support services can save you time and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal support personnel and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your support staff.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your x64 computing solution, that it is easy to track, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high level of security and robustness.
- Progent's business continuity engineers can help you in developing and testing a workplace recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM consulting experts can help you to deploy System Center SCDPM to provide automated remote backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified security specialists can assist you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new security technologies included with x64 servers. Progent can also provide security vulnerability testing to assess or verify your network's adherence to mandated security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization consultants can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, streamline management, enhance fault tolerance, lower hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's online training classes can help get your IT management team and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and affordably by delivering remote virtual training customized for your computing requirements and operational procedures.
For additional details about how Progent's engineers can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.