Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration HelpThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit computing has never been stronger. However, most IT managers are understandably reluctant to launch a significant migration project when the main benefits — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are excessively vague to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Gold Partner with years of background assisting companies to implement network-wide migration projects, Progent can help your company to understand the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, design an efficient upgrade scheme that reduces business interruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote consulting while you update the system software running your existing computers.

For the majority of office networks, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computers including notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already possess the ability to operate in 64-bit format. However the majority of these devices still run 32-bit software platforms.

The primary cause for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for upgrading in-place systems has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean install, which means reinstalling current applications, saving and recovering data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, many popular desktop applications are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem vague and difficult to define precisely, but they are significant. The memory allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit operating systems are basically a technical afterthought that undermines system stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes unable to access existing memory because the operating system cannot assign it effectively. This results in software freezing or running erratically even when a computer appears to have ample available memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and process twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry program to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Support
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is limited to special high-end Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest family of Office offers dramatic enhancements. As an 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-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers previous versions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced the same as 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can’t be carried out seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that involves reconfiguring application software, saving and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a clean install. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to move to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will require little extra work.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping your organization to understand the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit applications which you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you wish to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and upgrade experts can help your company to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or should be retained, and outline a migration process that is minimally disruptive to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help you to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote computer support services can save your business effort and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience working with internal IT staffs and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your 64-bit computing environment, that it is easy to track, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of security and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in developing and testing a workplace recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting professionals can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast system restoration.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC security consultants can assist you create a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection mechanisms included with x64 servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your company's adherence to industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to use 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, simplify management, improve robustness, cut colocation costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help bring your IT support staff and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and affordably by providing interactive online virtual training specialized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Migrating to 64-bit Computing
To find out additional information about how Progent's engineers can assist your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.