Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade SupportThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. Still, many network managers are understandably reluctant to take on a major migration task when the primary benefits — improved dependability, scalability, and speed — are excessively vague to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than a decade of experience helping companies to carry out system-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist you to assess the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, design an efficient migration strategy that reduces business interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote engineering help while you update the software powering your current computers.

For most office networks, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to run in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary cause for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for updating existing systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the effort needed. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, saving and restoring data, and configuring new drivers. This requires careful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular office applications are still offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the advantage?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem vague and hard to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM memory allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that limits stability. RAM-hungry programs are sometimes not able to utilize existing RAM since the operating system cannot assign it effectively. This results in software freezing or running erratically even when a machine seems to have ample unused RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow much more physical memory than 32-bit systems and process more information per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-hungry program to another faster when using a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now deployed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is limited to special advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Microsoft Office offers significant enhancements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can’t be done without effort. Each workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reinstalling applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place workstations, and for all PCs running Windows XP, any release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a clean install. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping your organization to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to keep as well as the new 64-bit editions of software you wish to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can help your company to decide which workstation computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and design an upgrade procedure that is the least disturbing to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing online network support services can save you effort and expense over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal support personnel and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your 64-bit computing environment, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high level of security and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in developing and validating a workplace recovery strategy that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM consulting experts can assist you to configure System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated remote backup with the advantage of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified network security specialists can assist you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new protection technologies included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also provide security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your company's compliance with mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware, streamline management, enhance dependability, lower colocation costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's online education can help get both your IT management staff and your office employees up to speed quickly and affordably by providing online virtual training customized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Help Migrating to x64 Computing
For additional information about how Progent can help your business to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.