Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration ConsultantsWith the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never seemed more compelling. However, most network administrators are understandably hesitant to take on a major upgrade project when the primary benefits — increased stability, scalability, and performance — are excessively vague to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting companies to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help your company to assess the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that reduces operational interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote consulting as you update the system software powering your current servers and desktops.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit processing is a great untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computers including laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these computers still host 32-bit operating systems.

The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real benefit for updating existing systems has seemed to be small in relation to the work required. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current programs, backing up and recovering data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most office applications are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem subtle and hard to define precisely, yet they are real. The RAM partitioning techniques used in 32-bit operating systems are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines stability. RAM-starved applications are sometimes not able to utilize free memory since the operating system cannot allocate it effectively. This results in programs freezing or running fitfully even though a computer appears to have plenty of available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow far more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and process more data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-intensive application to another faster while running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all computers currently installed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is restricted to special advanced CPUs and is intended for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The new family of Microsoft Office offers dramatic improvements. As an example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers previous editions of Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so typically it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that provide advanced dependability, scalability, and throughput. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that entails reconfiguring applications, saving and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most current workstations, and for all PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to upgrade to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you to understand the practical advantages, expenses, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, 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 infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit applications which you intend to keep as well as the new 64-bit versions of applications you plan to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can help your company to decide which workstation hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and design an upgrade procedure that is minimally disturbing to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering 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 staffs and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to support your x64 computing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of security and robustness.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can assist you in creating and validating a business continuity strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM engineering experts can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide automated online backup with the advantage of rapid data restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC network security consultants can assist you create a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your company's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on equipment, simplify administration, improve fault tolerance, lower colocation and hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online instruction can help get both your IT management staff and your desktop employees up to date quickly and cost-effectively by delivering remote virtual training customized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Processing
For more details about how Progent can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.