Overview of 64-bit Processing
The release of Microsoft Office 2010 represented a milestone in information technology. After that, all of Microsoft's most popular operating systems, application servers, and office productivity software have been available in 64-bit versions for the same price as the 32-bit editions. This includes Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, System Center Operations Manager, and other key platforms.
Meanwhile, all server, workstation, and laptop computers sold in the last few years already have the ability to run in 64-bit mode. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping businesses carry out network-wide upgrades, Progent can help you understand the costs and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient migration strategy that minimizes operational disruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote support to assist you in upgrading your existing computers and software.
The advantages of 64-bit computing go beyond gigantic spreadsheets. Software is more stable, system performance improves, memory capacity expands, security can be more extensive, and more servers can be consolidated through virtualization. These advantages equate to more uptime, increased productivity, better data protection, and lower equipment costs. Yet for most small businesses, 64-bit computing is still a great untapped resource.
Sticking with 32-bit software and under utilizing 64-bit hardware seems to make no business sense, but in fact there are serious obstacles to migrating to 64-bit computing that have prompted companies to hold back. There is no seamless path for replacing a 32-bit operating system with a 64-bit equivalent. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing applications, backing up and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. In some cases, it can be difficult or impossible to find 64-bit drivers for older peripherals. To avoid business disruption and minimize technical risk, a 64-bit migration demands careful planning and extensive experience.
Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are significant. The memory partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit platforms are basically a technical afterthought that limits stability. Memory-hungry programs are sometimes unable to utilize existing RAM because the operating system cannot allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or performing erratically even when a machine appears to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow much more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and process twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers currently deployed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" support is restricted to a few high-end processors and is designed for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Office offers significant enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted by the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.
Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced identically to their 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.
For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that provide high dependability, scalability, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be carried out seamlessly. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, any edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there will never be a better time to migrate to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any extra work.
How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting your organization to evaluate the business advantages, costs, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit programs that you want to retain plus the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to run. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration strategy, 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 a migration process that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.
Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to x64 processing include:
Contact Progent for Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's experience delivering online 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 personnel and providing technical knowledge transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your network support team.
- Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is optimized to support your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and robustness.
- Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting professionals can help you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide automated remote backup with the capability of fast data recovery.
- Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified network security consultants can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your company's adherence to mandated security standards.
- Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware resources, simplify administration, enhance dependability, lower hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.
- Progent's online education can help get both your IT support team and your desktop employees up to speed quickly and affordably by delivering remote webinars specialized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
To learn additional details about how Progent's engineers can help your business to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.