Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpWith the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never been more compelling. Still, many network managers are understandably hesitant to take on a major upgrade project when the primary advantages — increased stability, scalability, and speed — are excessively vague to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Gold Partner with years of experience assisting companies to carry out network-wide upgrades, Progent can assist you to understand the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade strategy that reduces business disruptions, and provide affordable, high-level remote engineering help while you upgrade the software powering your existing servers and desktops.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and advanced servers already have the ability to run in 64-bit mode. Yet the majority of these in-place devices continue to run 32-bit software platforms.

The primary reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for upgrading in-place systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the work needed. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, saving and recovering data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most desktop productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM memory partitioning techniques used in 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering afterthought that undermines stability. Memory-hungry applications are sometimes not able to utilize available RAM because the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This results in software shutting down or running erratically even though a computer appears to have ample available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and process twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry program to another faster when running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and faster, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit processors used in virtually all computers now deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is limited to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The new family of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers dramatic improvements. For example, Office 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 32-bit releases of Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced identically to their 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that offer advanced stability, scalability, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be done without effort. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that entails reinstalling applications, saving and restoring data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Windows XP, even the 64-bit release of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there has never been a better time to migrate 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 helping your organization to understand the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft Gold-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit applications which you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit versions of applications you wish to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can assist your company to decide which workstation hardware and applications can or should be preserved, and plan an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your business productivity.

Other ways Progent can help your business to upgrade to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing remote network consulting and support can save your business time and expense over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience working with internal IT personnel and providing technical information transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your x64 processing solution, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of security and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in creating and testing a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can assist you to configure System Center SCDPM to provide ongoing remote backup with the capability of fast system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified network security engineers can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new protection technologies incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your network's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, simplify management, enhance reliability, lower colocation expenses, and reduce restoration time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's online education can help bring both your network support team and your office employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online webinars customized for your computing environment and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Processing
For more information about how Progent can help you to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.