Overview of 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit computing has never seemed better. However, most network managers are predictably hesitant to launch a significant migration task when the main benefits — increased dependability, capacity, and performance — are excessively intangible to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience helping companies to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help your company to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit processing, design an economical upgrade strategy that minimizes business interruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert online technical support as you upgrade the software running your existing servers and desktops.

For the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, so that all types of business computers including notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers already have the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these devices still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary reason for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for upgrading existing systems has seemed to be modest in comparison to the work needed. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean install, which means reinstalling existing programs, saving and recovering data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires careful planning to do economically. Furthermore, most desktop productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may appear to be subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are real. The memory allocation schemes used in 32-bit systems are essentially a technical afterthought that undermines stability. Memory-starved programs are sometimes unable to access available memory since the operating system cannot assign it efficiently. This results in programs shutting down or executing erratically even when a machine appears to have plenty of available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow far more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-intensive application to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit processors found in most computers currently deployed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is limited to special advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for environments that need 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 nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The new generation of Microsoft Office 2010 offers significant improvements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that provide high stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be done without effort. Each workstation and server needs a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, saving and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical current desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by XP, even the 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a clean install. This being the case, there will never be a better time to move to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any extra work.

How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting 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, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit applications which you want to retain plus 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 migration strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can assist you to decide which desktop computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and plan an upgrade process that is minimally disruptive to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent can help you to upgrade to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering online network consulting and support can save you effort and expense during your x64 migration, and Progent's background working with internal IT personnel and providing technical information transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is configured to support your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can help you in developing and validating a business continuity plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support professionals can assist you to configure System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous remote backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified network security consultants can assist you create a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new protection technologies incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to evaluate or confirm your company's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, streamline management, improve robustness, lower hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's online training classes can help bring your network support staff and your office workers up to date quickly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online webinars specialized for your network requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
To find out more information about how Progent's consultants can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.