Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade ConsultantsThe 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 Gold 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 Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are basically an engineering band-aid that limits system stability. Memory-hungry applications are often unable to access existing memory since the O/S is unable to allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of software freezing or running fitfully even though a machine seems to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support much more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive program to another faster when using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's x64 software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is restricted to special high-end processors and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Office 2010 offers dramatic improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced identically to 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade cant be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that involves reconfiguring applications, backing up and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical current workstations, and for all PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any release of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to move to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to helping you to evaluate the practical benefits, expenses, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, manage, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit applications which you want to retain plus the new 64-bit editions of applications you plan to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can help your company to determine which desktop hardware and applications can or ought to be retained, and design an upgrade procedure that is minimally disturbing to your business productivity.

Other ways Progent can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering remote network consulting and support can save your business time and money during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience working with internal support staffs and delivering technical information sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to support your 64-bit computing environment, that it is easy to track, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high level of security and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in creating and testing a disaster recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager engineering professionals can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC network security engineers can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to assess or verify your network's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware, simplify administration, improve dependability, lower colocation costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online training classes can help get both your IT management team and your desktop employees up to speed quickly and affordably by delivering interactive online virtual training customized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Processing
To find out additional information about how Progent's engineers can help your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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