Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration HelpThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been better. Still, many IT administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade task when the main benefits — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are excessively vague to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping businesses to implement network-wide upgrades, Progent can assist your company to understand the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit processing, create an economical upgrade scheme that reduces productivity interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote support while you update the software running your existing servers and desktops.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. However most of these devices continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The primary reason for this common reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be modest in comparison to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing applications, backing up and recovering data, and configuring new drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines stability. RAM-hungry applications are often not able to utilize existing memory since the O/S is unable to allocate it effectively. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or running fitfully even though a machine appears to have plenty of unused memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support much more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch more data per CPU cycle. You can also go from one RAM-intensive application to another faster when using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's x64 Support
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers currently installed in business networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" platform is limited to special advanced CPUs and is intended for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The new family of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers dramatic enhancements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit releases of Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that provide advanced dependability, capacity, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling applications, saving and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical current desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, any edition of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a clean install. This being the case, there will never be a better time to upgrade to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will require little extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting you to evaluate the practical advantages, costs, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit applications which you want to retain plus the new 64-bit editions of software you plan to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist your company to decide which workstation computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and plan an upgrade process that is the least disturbing to your network operations.

Other ways Progent's consultants can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's experience providing online computer support services can save your business time and expense over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house support personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and dependability.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can assist you in developing and validating a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting professionals can help you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA certified security experts can assist you create a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also provide security vulnerability checking to evaluate or confirm your network's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, streamline administration, improve fault tolerance, cut colocation expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help bring your IT support staff and your office employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing online webinars specialized for your network requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Processing
To find out additional details about how Progent can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.