Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the availability of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never seemed more compelling. However, many IT managers are predictably reluctant to take on a major upgrade task when the main benefits — improved stability, scalability, and performance — are too vague to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than a decade of background assisting companies to implement system-wide migrations, Progent can help your company to assess the costs and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, create an economical migration strategy that minimizes business disruptions, and provide affordable, high-level remote consulting 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 resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all types of business computing hardware including notebooks, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already possess the architecture to run in 64-bit format. Yet 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 advantage for updating existing systems has appeared to be modest in relation to the work needed. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean install, which means reinstalling existing applications, backing up and restoring data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, most desktop applications are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are real. The RAM memory management schemes used in 32-bit operating systems are basically an engineering afterthought that undermines system stability. RAM-starved programs are sometimes unable to access free RAM since the operating system cannot allocate it efficiently. This results in software freezing or executing fitfully even when a computer seems to have ample available memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow far more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry application to another faster when running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all computers currently deployed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is restricted to a few high-end Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Microsoft Office 2010 offers significant enhancements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited by the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit releases of Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced identically to their 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and performance. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be carried out seamlessly. Every workstation and server requires a clean installation that entails reconfiguring application software, saving and restoring data files, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to upgrade to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will require little extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting you to understand the practical advantages, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit programs which you want to retain as well as the latest 64-bit versions of software you wish to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can help you to decide which desktop computers and programs can or ought to be retained, and design an upgrade process that is the least disturbing to your business operations.

Other ways Progent can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house support personnel and providing technical knowledge transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing solution, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and robustness.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in developing and validating a workplace recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting professionals can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified security engineers can assist you develop a company-wide security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms included with x64 servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your company's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, streamline management, improve dependability, cut colocation costs, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help bring your IT support team and your desktop employees up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering remote webinars specialized for your computing requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
For additional details about how Progent's consultants can help you to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.