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 seemed better. However, most IT administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a significant migration task when the primary advantages — improved dependability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than a decade of background helping companies to carry out system-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help your company to understand the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade scheme that reduces productivity disruptions, and provide affordable, high-level remote engineering help as you update the system software running your existing computers.

With the majority of business networks, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all classes of business computers including laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers now have the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. Yet the majority of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The main cause for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for upgrading in-place computers has seemed to be modest in relation to the work required. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean install, which means reinstalling existing programs, backing up and recovering data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, most desktop productivity software are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical afterthought that undermines stability. RAM-hungry applications are sometimes unable to utilize existing memory since the operating system is unable to allocate it efficiently. This results in software freezing or performing erratically even when a computer appears to have plenty of available memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more physical memory than 32-bit ones and process more information per clock cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-intensive application to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit processors used in most computers currently deployed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is restricted to a few high-end CPUs and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The new generation of Microsoft Office delivers significant improvements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by previous releases of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced identically to 32-bit versions, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that offer advanced stability, scalability, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be done without effort. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that entails reinstalling application software, saving and restoring data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place workstations, and for all PCs running Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" installation. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will involve little extra work.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping your organization to evaluate the practical advantages, expenses, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft Gold-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit programs that you intend to keep as well as the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and upgrade experts can help you to determine which workstation computers and applications can or ought to be preserved, and outline an upgrade procedure that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.

Other ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and money over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with internal IT staffs and delivering technical information transfer to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing environment, that it is easy to track, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can assist you in creating and testing a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous remote backup with the capability of rapid data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA security engineers can help you create a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the powerful security mechanisms included with x64 servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to evaluate or confirm your network's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on equipment, streamline administration, improve reliability, lower colocation expenses, and speed up recovery time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help get your network support team and your desktop workers up to date quickly and affordably by delivering interactive online virtual training customized for your computing requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Help Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
For more information about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.