Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit computing has never been better. However, most network administrators are predictably hesitant to take on a significant upgrade project when the main advantages — increased dependability, scalability, and performance — are excessively intangible to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than a decade of background assisting companies to carry out system-wide migrations, Progent can help your company to understand the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, create an efficient upgrade scheme that minimizes productivity interruptions, and provide affordable, expert online support and troubleshooting as you update the software powering your existing servers and desktops.

For most business IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all types of business computers such as notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and advanced servers now possess the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. However most of these devices still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main reason for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the real benefit for upgrading existing computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the work required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean install, which means reinstalling current programs, backing up and restoring data, and configuring new drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do economically. Furthermore, many popular office applications are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM allocation techniques used in 32-bit OS platforms are basically a technical band-aid that limits system stability. RAM-starved applications are sometimes not able to access available memory because the O/S cannot allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of software freezing or executing fitfully even when a computer appears to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow far more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry program to another more quickly when using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and faster, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit processors used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is restricted to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers dramatic enhancements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by previous editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed identically to 32-bit versions, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that offer advanced dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be done without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that involves reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most in-place workstations, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will involve little additional work.

How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of software you wish to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade experts can help your company to decide which workstation computers and programs can or should be retained, and outline an upgrade procedure that is the least disturbing to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent can assist you to migrate to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering online network consulting and troubleshooting can save you effort and expense during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house support personnel and delivering technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can help you in creating and testing a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting professionals can help you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide automated online backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA security consultants can assist you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also provide security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your company's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware, streamline administration, improve dependability, lower colocation costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online education can help bring both your network support staff and your office employees up to speed rapidly and affordably by delivering online virtual training specialized for your computing environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent to Get Help Migrating to 64-bit Computing
For more information about how Progent's engineers can help your business to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.