Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade SupportThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed stronger. Still, many network managers are understandably hesitant to take on a major migration task when the main advantages — increased stability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background helping companies to implement system-wide migrations, Progent can assist you to understand the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, create an economical upgrade scheme that minimizes productivity disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level online consulting as you update the software running your existing computers.

With most office networks, 64-bit processing is a great untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all types of business computing hardware such as notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers now have the architecture to run in 64-bit format. However the majority of these in-place computers still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for upgrading in-place computers has seemed to be small in relation to the effort needed. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean install, which means reinstalling current applications, backing up and recovering data, and configuring new drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, many popular office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may seem vague and difficult to define precisely, but they are significant. The RAM management techniques utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines system stability. Memory-starved applications are often unable to access available memory since the O/S cannot allocate it efficiently. This results in software freezing or performing erratically even when a machine appears to have plenty of unused RAM. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow far more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and process more information per clock cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all computers currently installed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is restricted to a few high-end processors and is designed for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Office 2010 delivers dramatic improvements. As an example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by previous releases of Excel.

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

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the move up canít be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place workstations, and for all PCs running XP, even the 64-bit release of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to move to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any additional work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
In addition to helping you to understand the business advantages, expenses, 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 network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit programs that you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade consultants can help your company to determine which desktop computers and applications can or should be preserved, and plan a migration procedure that is minimally disruptive to your network productivity.

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

  • Progent's expertise providing remote network support services can save your business effort and money during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background cooperating with internal IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit computing environment, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of security and dependability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can help you in creating and validating a workplace recovery strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager engineering professionals can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid data restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified security experts can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the new security technologies included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or verify your network's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware resources, simplify administration, enhance reliability, cut colocation and hosting costs, and reduce recovery time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online education can help get both your IT support staff and your office employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing online virtual training customized for your network requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Computing
To learn more information about how Progent can help you to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.