Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade HelpWith the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never seemed better. Still, many network managers are predictably hesitant to launch a major upgrade task when the primary advantages — improved dependability, scalability, and speed — are too vague to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than a decade of background assisting companies to implement system-wide upgrades, Progent can assist you to assess the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, create an efficient migration scheme that reduces productivity interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote engineering help while you update the software running your current servers and desktops.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as notebooks, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to run in 64-bit format. However most of these computers still run 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for upgrading in-place computers has seemed to be small in relation to the work required. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, saving and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires careful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, most office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may seem vague and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM management schemes utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that limits stability. RAM-hungry applications are sometimes unable to access existing memory because the O/S cannot assign it effectively. This results in software shutting down or running erratically even though a machine seems to have plenty of available memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow far more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and process twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-hungry program to another faster while using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is restricted to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The new family of Office delivers significant enhancements. As an example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit versions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and performance. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can’t be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most current desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean install. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to move to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any additional work.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting your organization to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, manage, and repair a network-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 supports all of the key 32-bit programs that you intend to retain as well as the new 64-bit versions of applications you wish to run. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade experts can assist you to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be retained, and design a migration process that is minimally disturbing to your network operations.

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

  • Progent's experience delivering remote computer consulting and support can save your business effort and money over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with in-house support staffs and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is configured to support your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high level of data protection and dependability.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in developing and testing a workplace recovery strategy that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM support professionals can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous remote backup with the capability of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA security consultants can help you develop a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the new protection technologies incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your network's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware resources, simplify management, enhance reliability, cut colocation expenses, and reduce restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help get your network support staff and your office workers up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing online webinars specialized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent to Get Help Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
For more information about how Progent can help you to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.