Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade ConsultantsThe release of Microsoft Office 2010 represented a milestone in information technology. After that, all of Microsoft's most popular operating systems, application servers, and office productivity software have been available in 64-bit versions for the same price as the 32-bit editions. This includes Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, System Center Operations Manager, and other key platforms.

Meanwhile, all server, workstation, and laptop computers sold in the last few years already have the ability to run in 64-bit mode. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping businesses carry out network-wide upgrades, Progent can help you understand the costs and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient migration strategy that minimizes operational disruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote support to assist you in upgrading your existing computers and software.

The advantages of 64-bit computing go beyond gigantic spreadsheets. Software is more stable, system performance improves, memory capacity expands, security can be more extensive, and more servers can be consolidated through virtualization. These advantages equate to more uptime, increased productivity, better data protection, and lower equipment costs. Yet for most small businesses, 64-bit computing is still a great untapped resource.

Sticking with 32-bit software and under utilizing 64-bit hardware seems to make no business sense, but in fact there are serious obstacles to migrating to 64-bit computing that have prompted companies to hold back. There is no seamless path for replacing a 32-bit operating system with a 64-bit equivalent. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing applications, backing up and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. In some cases, it can be difficult or impossible to find 64-bit drivers for older peripherals. To avoid business disruption and minimize technical risk, a 64-bit migration demands careful planning and extensive experience.

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are real. The RAM management techniques used in 32-bit operating systems are basically a technical afterthought that undermines stability. RAM-hungry programs are sometimes unable to access existing memory because the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of software shutting down or performing fitfully even though a computer appears to have plenty of unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical memory than 32-bit systems and crunch more information per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry application to another more quickly when using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently installed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is limited to special high-end Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Microsoft Office 2010 offers significant improvements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by previous versions of Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit versions, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that provide high dependability, capacity, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up can't be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, saving and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical current workstations, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, any version of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a clean installation. This being the case, there has never been a better time to move to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will involve little extra work.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping you to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit programs that you intend to retain as well as the new 64-bit versions of software you plan to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade consultants can assist your company to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or should be retained, and plan a migration procedure that is minimally disturbing to your business operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing online network support services can save you time and money during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of data protection and robustness.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in developing and validating a business continuity plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting experts can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated remote backup with the capability of rapid data restoration.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC security specialists can assist you create a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the powerful security technologies incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability checking to assess or verify your company's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your hardware resources, streamline administration, improve reliability, cut colocation expenses, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online instruction can help bring both your network management team and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by providing online virtual training customized for your network environment and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
To learn more details about how Progent's engineers can help your business to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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