Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration HelpThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed more compelling. Still, most IT managers are predictably hesitant to take on a significant upgrade task when the main benefits — increased stability, scalability, and performance — are too vague to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background helping companies to implement system-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist your company to assess the costs and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an efficient migration scheme that minimizes operational interruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote engineering help as you upgrade the software running your current computers.

For the majority of office networks, 64-bit computing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers including laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already have the architecture to run in 64-bit format. However the majority of these in-place devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current applications, backing up and recovering data files, and installing new drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, many popular desktop applications are currently available only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem vague and difficult to quantify, but they are real. The memory allocation techniques used in 32-bit OS platforms are basically an engineering band-aid that undermines stability. RAM-starved applications are often not able to access available memory since the operating system is unable to allocate it effectively. This results in software freezing or executing fitfully even when a computer seems to have plenty of available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process more information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one RAM-intensive application to another faster when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs currently installed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is limited to a few advanced CPUs and is intended for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The new family of Office delivers significant enhancements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit versions of Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that provide advanced stability, capacity, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be carried out seamlessly. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that involves reinstalling application software, saving and restoring data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running XP, even the 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a clean install. Consequently, there will never be a better time to move to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting your organization to understand the practical benefits, costs, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can help your company to determine which desktop computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and design a migration procedure that is minimally disruptive to your business productivity.

Other ways Progent can help you to upgrade to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and money during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with in-house support personnel and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your x64 processing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of security and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in developing and testing a disaster recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager engineering professionals can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous remote backup with the advantage of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security engineers can help you develop a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful security mechanisms included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to evaluate or verify your company's compliance with mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to use 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on equipment, streamline management, enhance dependability, lower hosting expenses, and reduce restoration time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's online education can help get both your network management staff and your desktop workers up to date quickly and affordably by delivering remote virtual training customized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to x64 Processing
For more details about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.