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 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.

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering afterthought that undermines system stability. Memory-hungry programs are often unable to access available RAM because the operating system is unable to allocate it effectively. This results in programs shutting down or performing erratically even when a computer seems to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more physical memory than 32-bit ones and process more information per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-hungry application to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and faster, which makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's x64 software supports the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers now deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is restricted to a few advanced processors and is designed for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic improvements. As an example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers previous releases of Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer high stability, capacity, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade cant be done without effort. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling application software, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most current workstations, and for all PCs running Windows XP, any version of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there will never be a better time to move to x64 processing on the workstation, since it will require little additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist You to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting your organization to understand the business advantages, costs, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit applications that you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of software you plan to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade consultants can help your company to determine which desktop computers and programs can or should be retained, and design an upgrade procedure that is minimally disruptive to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering online network consulting and support can save your business effort and money during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house support staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to support your x64 computing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high level of data protection and robustness.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can help you in creating and testing a business continuity strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering professionals can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous online backup with the capability of fast system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA security specialists can help you create a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful security technologies incorporated into 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your network's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on equipment, streamline management, improve reliability, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online instruction can help bring both your IT support team and your desktop employees up to speed rapidly and affordably by delivering remote virtual training specialized for your network environment and operational procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
For more information about how Progent's engineers can help your business to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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