Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration ConsultantsWith the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit processing has never been stronger. Still, most IT managers are understandably reluctant to take on a sizable upgrade task when the primary advantages — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are too vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with years of experience helping companies to carry out network-wide upgrades, Progent can help you to understand the risks and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical migration strategy that reduces business disruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote support while you update the system software running your current computers.

For most office networks, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all types of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to run in 64-bit format. However most of these devices still host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main reason for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current applications, saving and restoring data files, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Meanwhile, most desktop applications are still offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially a technical band-aid that limits system stability. Memory-hungry applications are often not allowed to access available RAM since the operating system is unable to allocate it effectively. This results in programs freezing or performing fitfully even though a machine seems to have plenty of unused memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow much more physical memory than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive program to another more quickly when using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit processors used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is limited to a few advanced processors and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The new family of Office 2010 delivers significant improvements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by previous 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, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced the same as their 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that offer advanced dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can’t be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most in-place workstations, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, any edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to move to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will require little extra work.

How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting you to evaluate the practical advantages, costs, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft Gold-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit programs that you intend to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of software you wish to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can assist you to decide which workstation hardware and applications can or should be retained, and design a migration procedure that is the least disruptive to your business operations.

Other ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering online network support services can save you time and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal support personnel and delivering technical information sharing 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 computing solution, that it is simple to track, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in developing and validating a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting experts can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support ongoing online backup with the capability of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security consultants can assist you develop a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the powerful security technologies incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also provide security vulnerability checking to evaluate or confirm your company's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, streamline administration, enhance robustness, lower hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online training classes can help bring both your IT management staff and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by delivering online webinars specialized for your network environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
To learn additional information about how Progent can help your business to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.