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.

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM partitioning schemes used in 32-bit operating systems are basically a technical band-aid that limits stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes not able to utilize existing memory because the operating system is unable to allocate it efficiently. This results in software freezing or performing erratically even when a computer appears to have plenty of unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive application to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's x64 technology supports the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is limited to a few advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The new generation of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers significant enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit versions of Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade cant be carried out seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that involves reinstalling application software, saving and recovering data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any version of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better time to move to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any extra work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting you to understand the business advantages, costs, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit applications which you intend to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of software you wish to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration consultants can assist you to decide which desktop computers and applications can or should be preserved, and plan an upgrade process that is the least disruptive to your business operations.

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

  • Progent's expertise delivering online computer support services can save you effort and expense during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background working with internal support personnel and providing technical information transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify 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 provides a high level of security and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in creating and validating a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM engineering professionals can help you to deploy System Center SCDPM to provide automated remote backup with the advantage of rapid system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA certified security specialists can assist you create a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to evaluate or validate your company's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your hardware resources, simplify administration, improve reliability, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce restoration 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 date quickly and affordably by providing interactive online webinars specialized for your network requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
To learn more information about how Progent can help you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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