Introduction to 64-bit Processing
With the availability of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never been stronger. Still, many network administrators are predictably hesitant to launch a major migration project when the main benefits — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are excessively intangible to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience helping companies to carry out network-wide migrations, Progent can assist your company to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, create an efficient migration strategy that reduces operational disruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert online support as you update the software running your existing servers and desktops.
For most office networks, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers including notebooks, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers now have the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. Yet most of these in-place computers still host 32-bit software platforms.
The main cause for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for updating existing systems has appeared to be small in relation to the work needed. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, saving and recovering data files, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to do economically. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?
Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem vague and difficult to define precisely, yet they are real. The RAM management techniques used in 32-bit OS platforms are basically an engineering band-aid that limits system stability. RAM-starved programs are sometimes unable to access available memory since the operating system cannot allocate it effectively. This results in programs shutting down or running fitfully even though a machine seems to have ample available memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support much more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and process more data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and faster, which makes companies more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit processors used in most computers now installed in business networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is restricted to a few high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Microsoft Office offers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers previous editions of Excel.
Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced identically to 32-bit counterparts, so typically it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.
For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that provide advanced dependability, capacity, and throughput. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up canít be done without effort. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that entails reinstalling application software, saving and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to move to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will involve little extra work.
How Progent Can Assist You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping you to evaluate the practical advantages, costs, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, manage, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit programs that you want to keep as well as the latest 64-bit editions of applications you wish to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade experts can assist your company to decide which workstation hardware and programs can or should be retained, and plan an upgrade process that is minimally disturbing to your network productivity.
Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to x64 processing include:
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Processing
- Progent's experience delivering remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and money over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal IT staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is configured to support your 64-bit computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and fault tolerance.
- Progent's disaster recovery consultants can help you in developing and testing a workplace recovery strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM support experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid data recovery.
- Progent's CISM and CISA certified security experts can help you create a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection mechanisms included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or validate your network's adherence to mandated security requirements.
- Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware, simplify management, improve fault tolerance, lower hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's online instruction can help bring both your IT support staff and your office employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering online virtual training customized for your network requirements and operational processes.
For more details about how Progent's engineers can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.