Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration SupportThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit processing has never seemed better. Still, most network managers are understandably reluctant to launch a major migration project when the main advantages — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are too intangible to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience helping companies to implement system-wide upgrades, Progent can assist your company to understand the risks and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, create an economical upgrade scheme that reduces operational disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level remote consulting as you upgrade the system software running your current computers.

With most office networks, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computers including laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. However most of these devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for upgrading existing computers has appeared to be modest in comparison to the work needed. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular desktop productivity software are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The memory allocation techniques used in 32-bit operating systems are essentially a technical afterthought that limits system stability. Memory-hungry applications are sometimes unable to access free memory because the O/S cannot allocate it effectively. This results in software shutting down or running erratically even when a computer appears to have plenty of available RAM. Also, 64-bit software platforms support far more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one memory-intensive application to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Support
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is restricted to special advanced CPUs and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The latest family of Office offers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit releases of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, as well as System Center 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 provide advanced dependability, capacity, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reinstalling applications, saving and restoring data, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, any edition of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there has never been a better time to upgrade to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any additional work.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting your organization to understand the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit programs which you intend to retain as well as the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade experts can help your company to decide which desktop computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and design a migration process that is the least disturbing to your business operations.

Other ways Progent can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering online network consulting and support can save you effort and money during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal IT staffs and providing technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is configured to support your x64 computing environment, that it is easy to track, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of security and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can help you in creating and validating a business continuity plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide automated online backup with the capability of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security engineers can help you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new protection technologies included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your company's adherence to mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve equipment, simplify management, enhance robustness, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help bring both your IT support team and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering interactive online webinars customized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Migrating to x64 Computing
To learn more details about how Progent's engineers can assist you to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.