Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration HelpThanks to the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit processing has never been stronger. However, many IT managers are understandably hesitant to launch a sizable upgrade task when the primary benefits — improved stability, scalability, and performance — are excessively vague to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background assisting businesses to carry out network-wide upgrades, Progent can assist your company to understand the costs and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, create an efficient upgrade strategy that minimizes operational disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level online support and troubleshooting while you update the software powering your existing computers.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers now have the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these computers continue to run 32-bit operating systems.

The primary reason for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be modest in comparison to the effort needed. There is no automatic process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing applications, backing up and recovering data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, but they are real. The RAM memory partitioning schemes used in 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that limits stability. RAM-starved programs are often not allowed to utilize available RAM since the O/S cannot assign it effectively. This results in programs freezing or running erratically even when a computer appears to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms allow far more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry application to another faster when using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs now installed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is restricted to a few advanced processors and is designed for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers significant enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced the same as 32-bit editions, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that provide advanced dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be done seamlessly. Every workstation and server requires a clean installation that entails reinstalling application software, saving and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most current desktop PCs, and for every PC running XP, any edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there will never be a better time to migrate to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit programs that you intend to keep as well as the new 64-bit editions of applications you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can assist your company to decide which desktop computers and applications can or ought to be retained, and design a migration process that is the least disruptive to your business operations.

Additional ways Progent can help your business to migrate to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering remote network support services can save you effort and expense over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house support staffs and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your network support team.

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

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in creating and testing a business continuity strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM engineering experts can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid data restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified network security experts can assist you create a company-wide security plan that implements some of the powerful security technologies included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your company's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on hardware, simplify administration, improve robustness, lower hosting costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's online training classes can help bring your network management staff and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online webinars customized for your network environment and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To find out more information about how Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.