Introduction to 64-bit Computing
Thanks to the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit computing has never been more compelling. However, most IT administrators are understandably hesitant to launch a major migration project when the main benefits — improved dependability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background assisting businesses to implement network-wide migrations, Progent can help your company to understand the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that minimizes productivity disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level online technical support as you upgrade the system software running your current servers and desktops.
With most office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant unexploited power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computers including laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet the majority of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.
The primary cause for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for upgrading existing systems has seemed to be modest in comparison to the work needed. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current programs, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, many popular desktop applications 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 vs. 32-bit processing may seem subtle and difficult to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM partitioning schemes used in 32-bit OS platforms are basically a technical band-aid that limits stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes not able to access free memory because the operating system cannot assign it efficiently. This results in programs freezing or executing erratically even though a computer seems to have plenty of unused RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow much more physical memory than 32-bit ones and process twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive program to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more competitive.
Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit processors found in most computers now installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is restricted to a few high-end processors and is designed for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The new generation of Office 2010 offers significant enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers previous releases of Excel.
Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced identically to 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.
For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be carried out seamlessly. Each workstation and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, saving and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most current workstations, and for every PC running Windows XP, any edition of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any extra work.
How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to helping your organization to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit programs that you want to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can assist you to determine which desktop computers and applications can or ought to be retained, and plan an upgrade process that is minimally disruptive to your network productivity.
Other ways Progent can assist you to migrate to 64-bit computing include:
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
- Progent's expertise providing remote computer support services can save your business time and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house support personnel and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support staff.
- Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is configured to support your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and dependability.
- Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM support professionals can help you to deploy System Center SCDPM to provide automated online backup with the advantage of fast system recovery.
- Progent's CISSP and GIAC security experts can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the new protection technologies included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to assess or verify your company's compliance with mandated security standards.
- Progent's virtualization consultants can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on hardware resources, streamline administration, improve dependability, lower colocation and hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.
- Progent's online training classes can help bring both your network support staff and your desktop employees up to speed rapidly and affordably by delivering online virtual training specialized for your computing requirements and business processes.
To learn more information about how Progent's engineers can help you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.