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 Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM memory management schemes used in 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that limits stability. Memory-starved programs are often not able to utilize existing RAM since the O/S cannot assign it effectively. This results in software shutting down or executing fitfully even when a machine appears to have ample unused RAM. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow far more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly while using a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is limited to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The new family of Office 2010 offers dramatic enhancements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that provide high dependability, capacity, and throughput. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit release of 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 work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting your organization to understand the business benefits, expenses, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client 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 that you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of software you plan to run. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can help your company to decide which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be retained, and plan a migration procedure that is minimally disruptive to your network productivity.

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

  • Progent's expertise providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and expense over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience working with in-house support personnel and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of security and robustness.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support experts can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support automated remote backup with the capability of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC security engineers can assist you develop a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the new protection technologies incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your company's compliance with mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your equipment, simplify administration, improve reliability, cut hosting costs, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online education can help bring your network support staff and your office employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering interactive online webinars specialized for your network requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent for Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
For additional details about how Progent's engineers can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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