Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the availability of Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never seemed better. However, many network administrators are understandably hesitant to take on a major migration task when the main benefits — increased stability, capacity, and speed — are too intangible to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of experience assisting businesses to carry out system-wide migrations, Progent can assist you to assess the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, create an economical migration strategy that minimizes productivity interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level remote support and troubleshooting while you update the software running your current computers.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware such as laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already possess the ability to run in 64-bit format. However most of these computers still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main reason for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for upgrading in-place systems has seemed to be small in comparison to the work needed. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM memory management schemes used in 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that limits stability. RAM-hungry programs are sometimes not able to access existing RAM because the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This results in programs shutting down or executing erratically even when a computer seems to have ample available memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow far more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-intensive program to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all computers now installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is limited to a few advanced CPUs and is intended for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The new family of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer advanced dependability, capacity, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be carried out without effort. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that entails reinstalling applications, saving and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, any version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting your organization to understand the business benefits, expenses, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot 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 make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit applications that you want to retain 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 part of your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist you to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or should be preserved, and outline a migration procedure that is minimally disturbing to your business productivity.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you effort and money over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal IT staffs and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 processing environment, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of security and robustness.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in developing and testing a disaster recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM consulting experts can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide automated remote backup with the advantage of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security engineers can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or validate your company's adherence to industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, simplify administration, improve robustness, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online education can help bring both your network support staff and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by providing online webinars customized for your network environment and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
To learn additional information about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.