Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration SupportThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never been better. However, most network managers are understandably reluctant to launch a major upgrade project when the primary advantages — increased stability, capacity, and performance — are excessively vague to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping companies to implement network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist your company to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit processing, design an economical migration strategy that minimizes business disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, expert remote consulting as you upgrade the software powering your existing servers and desktops.

With the majority of office networks, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all types of business computers including notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet the majority of these in-place computers still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary cause for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for updating existing systems has seemed to be modest in comparison to the effort required. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do economically. Meanwhile, many popular office applications are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem subtle and hard to define precisely, but they are real. The RAM memory management techniques utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially a technical band-aid that limits stability. Memory-starved applications are often unable to access available RAM since the operating system is unable to assign it effectively. This results in programs freezing or performing fitfully even when a machine appears to have ample available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry application to another more quickly while using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs used in most servers and desktop PCs now installed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is limited to special high-end CPUs and is designed for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The new generation of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted by the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit editions, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that offer high stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reinstalling application software, backing up and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a clean install. This being the case, there has never been a better time to migrate to x64 processing on the workstation, since it will involve little extra work.

How Progent Can Assist You to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting you to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide move 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 programs which you want to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of applications you wish to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can help you to decide which workstation computers and programs can or should be retained, and design a migration process that is the least disturbing to your business operations.

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

  • Progent's experience providing online network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and money during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with internal IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit processing solution, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of security and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can help you in developing and testing a workplace recovery plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM consulting professionals can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated online backup with the advantage of fast system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC network security experts can assist you develop a company-wide security plan that implements some of the powerful security technologies incorporated into 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your company's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware, simplify management, enhance fault tolerance, lower colocation costs, and reduce restoration time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's online education can help get your network management staff and your desktop employees up to speed quickly and affordably by providing remote webinars specialized for your network requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
To learn additional details about how Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.