Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration HelpWith the release of Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit computing has never seemed better. Still, many IT managers are understandably hesitant to take on a major migration project when the primary benefits — improved dependability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience helping businesses to implement network-wide migrations, Progent can help your company to assess the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, create an efficient migration scheme that reduces productivity disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level remote engineering help as you update the system software powering your current servers and desktops.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all types of business computing hardware such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already possess the architecture to run in 64-bit format. However most of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit software platforms.

The main cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for updating in-place computers has seemed to be small in relation to the work required. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, saving and restoring data, and installing new drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular desktop productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem subtle and difficult to define precisely, but they are significant. The RAM memory management techniques used in 32-bit systems are basically an engineering band-aid that limits stability. RAM-starved programs are sometimes not able to utilize free RAM since the O/S cannot allocate it efficiently. This results in programs freezing or executing erratically even though a computer seems to have plenty of unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry application to another faster when you are using a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and faster, which makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit processors used in most servers and desktop PCs now installed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is restricted to a few high-end CPUs and is designed for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Microsoft Office delivers significant improvements. For example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced identically to 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that involves reinstalling application software, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical current workstations, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean install. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any additional work.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping your organization to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit programs that you want to keep as well as the new 64-bit versions of applications you plan to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade experts can assist you to decide which desktop computers and programs can or ought to be retained, and design an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

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

  • Progent's experience providing remote computer consulting and support can save your business time and expense during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background working with in-house support personnel and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is configured to support your x64 computing solution, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can help you in creating and validating a business continuity plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support professionals can help you to configure System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous remote backup with the advantage of rapid system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified network security engineers can assist you develop a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or verify your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve equipment, simplify management, enhance fault tolerance, lower hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help get your network management staff and your desktop employees up to speed rapidly and affordably by providing online webinars specialized for your computing environment and business processes.
Contact Progent for Help Upgrading to x64 Computing
To find out more details about how Progent can help your business to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.