Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade SupportThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit computing has never been stronger. However, most IT administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade project when the primary benefits — increased dependability, scalability, and speed — are excessively intangible to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with over two decades of background helping businesses to carry out system-wide migration projects, Progent can assist your company to assess the costs and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical upgrade strategy that minimizes business interruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert remote support and troubleshooting as you update the software running your existing computers.

With most office networks, 64-bit processing is a great untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already possess the ability to run in 64-bit format. However most of these in-place devices continue to run 32-bit software platforms.

The main reason for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort needed. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current applications, saving and recovering data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM management techniques used in 32-bit platforms are basically an engineering band-aid that undermines stability. Memory-hungry applications are sometimes not able to access available RAM since the operating system cannot allocate it effectively. This results in programs freezing or executing erratically even when a machine seems to have plenty of available RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support far more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and crunch more information per clock cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit processors used in most servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is limited to special advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The new generation of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers significant enhancements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by previous editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced the same as 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that provide advanced dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can't be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server needs a clean installation that involves reinstalling application software, saving and recovering data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place workstations, and for every PC running Windows XP, any edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a clean install. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will involve little additional effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you to evaluate the practical benefits, expenses, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit applications that you want to keep plus the latest 64-bit versions of applications you plan to install. 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 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can assist you to determine which desktop computers and programs can or should be preserved, and plan an upgrade procedure that is minimally disruptive to your network operations.

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

  • Progent's experience delivering online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and expense over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with in-house IT staffs and providing technical information transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is configured to support your x64 processing solution, that it is easy to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of data protection and robustness.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can assist you in developing and testing a business continuity strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support experts can help you to deploy Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated online backup with the capability of rapid system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA certified security specialists can help you create a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection technologies incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to assess or verify your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve equipment, simplify administration, enhance robustness, lower colocation costs, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online education can help get both your IT management staff and your office employees up to speed quickly and affordably by providing interactive online webinars specialized for your network requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
To find out more information about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.