Overview of 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration HelpWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been better. Still, many network administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a major migration task when the primary benefits — increased stability, capacity, and performance — are too vague to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background assisting companies to carry out system-wide migration projects, Progent can assist your company to assess the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade scheme that minimizes business disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level online consulting as you upgrade the system software running your current servers and desktops.

For the majority of office networks, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware including notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers already possess the ability to operate in 64-bit format. However the majority of these in-place computers still run 32-bit software platforms.

The primary cause for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for upgrading existing computers has seemed to be modest in comparison to the work needed. There is no automatic process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean install, which means reinstalling current applications, backing up and recovering data, and installing new drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, most desktop productivity software are still available only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The memory allocation techniques used in 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering afterthought that undermines stability. Memory-starved programs are often not allowed to utilize existing RAM since the O/S is unable to assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or performing fitfully even though a machine appears to have plenty of unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's x64 Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit processors used in virtually all computers currently deployed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is restricted to special advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The new generation of Microsoft Office delivers significant enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited by the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by previous editions of Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit versions, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that offer advanced stability, scalability, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be carried out seamlessly. Every workstation and server requires a clean installation that entails reinstalling application software, saving and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place workstations, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better time to move to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any extra work.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting you to understand the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you want to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of applications you plan to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist your company to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or should be retained, and design an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your business operations.

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

  • Progent's experience delivering online computer support services can save you effort and expense during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house support staffs and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and dependability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can help you in creating and validating a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM consulting experts can assist you to configure System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous online backup with the capability of fast system restoration.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security specialists can assist you develop a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful security mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or validate your network's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware, streamline management, enhance fault tolerance, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help bring both your IT support staff and your office workers up to speed quickly and affordably by delivering interactive online webinars specialized for your network requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To find out additional information about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.