Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never seemed more compelling. Still, many network managers are predictably hesitant to take on a significant upgrade task when the main advantages — increased dependability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than two decades of experience helping companies to implement system-wide upgrades, Progent can help you to understand the risks and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, design an economical migration strategy that minimizes business disruptions, and provide affordable, high-level online technical support while you update the software running your current computers.

With most office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers now have the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. Yet the majority of these computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for updating existing systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the effort needed. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, saving and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This demands thorough planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, most desktop applications are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning techniques used in 32-bit OS platforms are basically an engineering afterthought that undermines stability. RAM-starved programs are often not allowed to utilize free RAM because the operating system is unable to allocate it effectively. This results in programs freezing or executing fitfully even when a computer seems to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and process twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive application to another faster when running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's x64 technology supports the 64-bit processors found in most servers and desktop PCs now deployed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is limited to special advanced CPUs and is designed for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Office offers significant enhancements. As an example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Excel.

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

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that provide advanced stability, capacity, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up can't be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reinstalling applications, saving and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical current desktop PCs, and for every PC running XP, the 32 or 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean installation. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to upgrade to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any additional work.

How Progent Can Assist You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting your organization to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to retain plus the new 64-bit versions of applications you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and upgrade experts can help your company to determine which desktop hardware and applications can or should be retained, and plan an upgrade process that is minimally disruptive to your business productivity.

Other ways Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and expense over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of data protection and robustness.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can help you in creating and validating a workplace recovery strategy that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting professionals can assist you to configure System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified network security experts can help you create a company-wide security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your company's adherence to industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware, simplify management, enhance robustness, cut hosting expenses, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help get both your network management staff and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering interactive online virtual training customized for your computing environment and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Support for Migrating to x64 Processing
For more details about how Progent can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.