Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration ConsultantsThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit computing has never been more compelling. Still, most network administrators are understandably reluctant to launch a major upgrade project when the primary advantages — improved stability, scalability, and performance — are too intangible to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with over two decades of experience helping companies to carry out system-wide migrations, Progent can assist your company to understand the costs and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, create an economical migration scheme that reduces productivity disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level online support and troubleshooting as you upgrade the software powering your existing servers and desktops.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all types of business computers including laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers already possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these in-place devices still host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary cause for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real benefit for updating existing computers has seemed to be modest in comparison to the effort needed. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean install, which means reinstalling current programs, saving and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most office applications are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are significant. The memory partitioning schemes used in 32-bit OS platforms are basically an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-hungry applications are often unable to utilize available memory because the operating system cannot assign it effectively. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or executing erratically even when a machine appears to have plenty of available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit processors found in most computers currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is restricted to special high-end CPUs and is intended for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The new generation of Office delivers significant improvements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by previous releases of Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit editions, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that provide high stability, capacity, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can't be done without effort. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that entails reinstalling applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Windows XP, any version of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" installation. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to move to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve little extra work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting your organization to understand the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, 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 environment to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit applications that you want to retain plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you plan to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration consultants can help your company to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or ought to be preserved, and outline an upgrade process that is minimally disturbing to your business productivity.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and money over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with internal support staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit computing environment, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of security and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can assist you in developing and validating a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting experts can help you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous remote backup with the capability of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified security specialists can assist you develop a company-wide security plan that implements some of the new protection mechanisms included with x64 servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your company's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your equipment, streamline administration, enhance fault tolerance, cut hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help bring both your network support staff and your office workers up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing online webinars customized for your computing requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Processing
For more information about how Progent can help your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.