Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration HelpWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit processing has never been stronger. However, many network administrators are predictably hesitant to launch a sizable migration task when the primary benefits — increased dependability, scalability, and speed — are excessively intangible to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience assisting businesses to implement system-wide migration projects, Progent can help your company to understand the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that reduces productivity interruptions, and provide affordable, high-level online support and troubleshooting as you upgrade the software running your existing computers.

For most office networks, 64-bit computing is a great untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all types of business computers including notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now have the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet the majority of these in-place computers continue to run 32-bit software platforms.

The primary cause for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for upgrading existing computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current programs, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This requires careful planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most office applications are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and difficult to define precisely, but they are real. The memory allocation schemes used in 32-bit systems are essentially a technical afterthought that limits stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes not able to utilize available memory since the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This results in software shutting down or running erratically even when a computer seems to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and process twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive application to another more quickly when using a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and faster, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Support
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit CPUs used in most servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is restricted to a few high-end CPUs and is intended for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers previous releases of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced the same as 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that offer advanced stability, scalability, and throughput. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring applications, backing up and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, any edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" 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 practical advantages, expenses, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, manage, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you want to retain plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you plan to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can help you to decide which desktop hardware and applications can or should be preserved, and plan an upgrade process that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.

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

  • Progent's experience delivering remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and expense over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal support staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing environment, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high level of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can help you in developing and validating a workplace recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting experts can help you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated online backup with the capability of rapid data restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA network security experts can help you create a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the powerful security technologies included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on equipment, streamline management, improve fault tolerance, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help get both your network management team and your office employees up to speed quickly and affordably by delivering online virtual training customized for your network requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
To learn more information about how Progent can help you to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.