Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. Still, many network administrators are understandably hesitant to launch a major migration project when the primary benefits — improved dependability, capacity, and performance — are too intangible to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience helping companies to implement network-wide migration projects, Progent can help your company to understand the costs and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical migration strategy that minimizes productivity interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level remote support as you upgrade the software running your current computers.

With most office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already have the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. Yet most of these devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main cause for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for updating in-place systems has seemed to be small in comparison to the effort required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, saving and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most office productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem subtle and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit operating systems are basically a technical afterthought that limits stability. RAM-hungry programs are often not allowed to access free RAM because the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This results in software shutting down or executing fitfully even when a machine seems to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support much more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive program to another faster when running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology supports the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now deployed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is limited to special high-end processors and is intended for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Office 2010 delivers dramatic improvements. As an example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers previous editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so typically you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that offer high stability, scalability, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up canít be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server needs a clean setup that entails reinstalling applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will require little extra work.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping you to understand the practical advantages, costs, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, manage, 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 important 32-bit applications that you intend to keep as well as the latest 64-bit versions of software you plan to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can assist your company to determine which desktop computers and programs can or ought to be retained, and outline a migration procedure that is the least disturbing to your network productivity.

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

  • Progent's experience delivering remote computer support services can save you time and expense over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT staffs and delivering technical information transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your 64-bit computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can assist you in creating and validating a disaster recovery strategy that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide automated remote backup with the advantage of rapid system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC network security engineers can help you create a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the new security mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your network's adherence to mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your hardware resources, simplify administration, enhance reliability, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's online education can help get your network management team and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and affordably by providing interactive online virtual training customized for your network environment and business processes.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Migrating to x64 Computing
To find out more details about how Progent can help your business to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.