Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration ConsultantsThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. However, most IT managers are predictably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade project when the primary benefits — improved stability, capacity, and speed — are excessively vague to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting businesses to implement network-wide upgrades, Progent can assist you to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit processing, design an efficient migration strategy that minimizes productivity disruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert remote support as you update the system software powering your existing servers and desktops.

With most office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers now possess the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. Yet the majority of these computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main reason for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for upgrading existing computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the work required. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean install, which means reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data files, and installing new drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular desktop applications are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may appear to be subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit operating systems are basically an engineering afterthought that undermines stability. Memory-hungry applications are often unable to access free memory since the operating system cannot assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of software shutting down or running fitfully even when a computer seems to have ample unused RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more data per CPU cycle. You can also go from one RAM-intensive application to another faster when running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all computers currently installed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is restricted to special high-end processors and is intended for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications including 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 Office 2010 delivers significant enhancements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced the same as 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be carried out without effort. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that involves reconfiguring applications, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical current workstations, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, any edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to move to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will require little additional effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit applications which you want to keep plus the latest 64-bit editions of applications you wish to run. If adopting 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 experts can help you to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and plan a migration process that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent can help your business to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote computer consulting and troubleshooting can save you effort and expense over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal IT staffs and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 processing solution, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of data protection and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in developing and validating a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager engineering professionals can help you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide ongoing online backup with the capability of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC security consultants can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the new security mechanisms incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your company's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your hardware, streamline administration, improve fault tolerance, lower colocation expenses, and speed up recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help get both your IT support staff and your desktop employees up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering remote webinars specialized for your computing requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To find out additional information about how Progent's engineers can help you to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.