Preparing for 64-bit Processing
With the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit computing has never been more compelling. However, most IT managers are predictably reluctant to launch a major migration task when the primary advantages — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are too intangible to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background helping companies to carry out system-wide upgrades, Progent can help you to understand the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade scheme that minimizes productivity disruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level online technical support while you update the system software powering your current servers and desktops.
With most office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware including notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. However most of these in-place devices still host 32-bit operating systems.
The main reason for this common reluctance to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for updating in-place computers has appeared to be small in comparison to the work required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean install, which means reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular office applications are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?
Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM allocation schemes used in 32-bit systems are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-starved programs are often not allowed to utilize existing memory since the O/S cannot allocate it effectively. This can be the cause of software freezing or executing fitfully even when a machine seems to have ample available RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and process more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive program to another faster while running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and faster, which makes businesses more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is restricted to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Office 2010 offers dramatic improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted by the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers previous versions of Excel.
Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced the same as their 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that offer high dependability, capacity, and performance. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up canít be carried out without effort. Each workstation and server requires a clean installation that entails reinstalling applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC running Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a clean install. This being the case, there has never been a better time to upgrade to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any additional effort.
How Progent Can Assist You to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping you to evaluate the business benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit applications which you want to retain plus the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can assist your company to decide which workstation computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and plan an upgrade procedure that is minimally disturbing to your network productivity.
Other ways Progent can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent to Get Help Migrating to x64 Processing
- Progent's expertise providing online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and expense during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background working with internal support personnel and delivering technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is configured to accommodate your 64-bit processing environment, that it is easy to track, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and fault tolerance.
- Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in creating and testing a workplace recovery strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support automated online backup with the capability of rapid system restoration.
- Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security engineers can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the new security technologies included with x64 servers. Progent can also provide security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your network's adherence to mandated security standards.
- Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, simplify management, improve fault tolerance, cut hosting expenses, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's online instruction can help bring your IT management staff and your office employees up to date rapidly and affordably by providing online virtual training specialized for your computing environment and business processes.
To learn more details about how Progent's engineers can help you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.