Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade SupportWith the availability of Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit computing has never seemed better. Still, most network administrators are predictably hesitant to take on a major migration task when the main benefits — improved dependability, capacity, and performance — are too intangible to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Gold Partner with years of experience assisting companies to carry out system-wide migration projects, Progent can help you to understand the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an economical migration scheme that minimizes business disruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert online support and troubleshooting while you upgrade the system software powering your current servers and desktops.

With the majority of office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all types of business computing hardware such as laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers already have the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these computers still host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary reason for this common reluctance to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for upgrading in-place systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the work required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean install, which means reinstalling current applications, saving and restoring data files, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This requires careful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem vague and hard to define precisely, but they are significant. The memory allocation schemes used in 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines system stability. Memory-hungry applications are often not allowed to access existing memory because the operating system cannot assign it efficiently. This results in programs freezing or performing erratically even though a machine appears to have ample available memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and process more data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one memory-intensive program to another more quickly while using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit CPUs used in most servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is limited to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The latest family of Office offers dramatic enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted by the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so typically you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer advanced dependability, capacity, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling application software, saving and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for every PC running Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to move to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will involve little additional work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping you to evaluate the business benefits, costs, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, manage, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit programs which you want to retain as well as the latest 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade experts can help your company to determine which workstation computers and applications can or should be preserved, and plan an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

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

  • Progent's experience providing remote computer consulting and troubleshooting can save you effort and money over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT personnel and providing technical information transfer to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your x64 processing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of data protection and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in developing and validating a business continuity strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting experts can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated remote backup with the capability of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA network security consultants can help you create a company-wide security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability testing to evaluate or verify your network's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware resources, simplify administration, improve reliability, lower colocation and hosting costs, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online education can help get both your network management team and your desktop workers up to date quickly and cost-effectively by delivering remote webinars customized for your network environment and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Processing
For additional information about how Progent's consultants can assist you to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.