Preparing for 64-bit Computing
Thanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit processing has never seemed stronger. However, many IT administrators are predictably hesitant to launch a significant upgrade project when the main benefits — increased stability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting businesses to implement system-wide migrations, Progent can assist you to assess the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, design an economical upgrade scheme that minimizes operational interruptions, and deliver affordable, expert online support and troubleshooting as you update the software running your existing servers and desktops.
With the majority of office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware such as laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers now have the architecture to run in 64-bit format. Yet most of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems and applications.
The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for updating in-place systems has appeared to be modest in comparison to the work needed. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean install, which means reinstalling current programs, saving and restoring data, and configuring new drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, most desktop applications are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?
Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, but they are real. The RAM partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are basically an engineering afterthought that undermines system stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes not able to access available memory because the O/S cannot allocate it effectively. This results in software freezing or executing erratically even though a machine seems to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more physical memory than 32-bit systems and process more data per CPU cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly while using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is limited to special high-end processors and is intended for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The new generation of Microsoft Office 2010 offers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Office Excel.
Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced identically to their 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the move up canít be done without effort. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that involves reinstalling application software, backing up and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most current workstations, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a clean install. This being the case, there will never be a better time to migrate to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any extra work.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting you to understand the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit programs that you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade consultants can help you to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or should be retained, and design a migration procedure that is the least disruptive to your business operations.
Additional ways Progent can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Processing
- Progent's expertise delivering remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and money over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal support personnel and providing technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is configured to support your 64-bit processing environment, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of security and robustness.
- Progent's business continuity engineers can assist you in creating and testing a business continuity strategy that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering professionals can assist you to configure System Center SCDPM to provide automated remote backup with the advantage of rapid system restoration.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified network security consultants can assist you develop a company-wide security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware resources, simplify management, enhance dependability, cut colocation costs, and reduce recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's online education can help bring your IT support staff and your office workers up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by providing remote webinars specialized for your network requirements and business processes.
To find out additional details about how Progent's consultants can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.