Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration HelpWith the release of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never been stronger. However, most IT administrators are understandably reluctant to take on a major upgrade task when the primary benefits — increased dependability, capacity, and speed — are too vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background helping businesses to implement system-wide upgrades, Progent can assist you to understand the costs and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, create an efficient migration scheme that reduces productivity interruptions, and deliver affordable, expert remote engineering help as you upgrade the system software powering your existing servers and desktops.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computers including notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers now have the ability to operate in 64-bit format. Yet the majority of these in-place devices still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for upgrading in-place computers has seemed to be modest in comparison to the work required. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling current programs, backing up and recovering data, and configuring new drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular office applications are still available only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem subtle and difficult to define precisely, but they are real. The RAM memory allocation techniques used in 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that limits stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes not allowed to access existing memory because the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This results in programs freezing or executing erratically even when a machine seems to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical memory than 32-bit systems and crunch more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive application to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's x64 Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now installed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is restricted to special high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The new family of Microsoft Office 2010 offers dramatic enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed identically to 32-bit versions, so typically it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that provide high stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up canít be done without effort. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring application software, backing up and restoring data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place workstations, and for all PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there has never been a better time to move to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve little extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting your organization to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration 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 key 32-bit applications which you intend to retain plus the new 64-bit editions of software you plan to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade consultants can help you to determine which desktop hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and design an upgrade process that is minimally disturbing to your business operations.

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

  • Progent's experience delivering online network consulting and support can save your business effort and money over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is configured to accommodate your x64 processing solution, that it is easy to track, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high level of security and dependability.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in creating and validating a workplace recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager engineering professionals can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide automated online backup with the capability of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security experts can assist you create a company-wide security plan that deploys some of the new protection technologies included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your company's adherence to mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve equipment, streamline management, enhance robustness, cut colocation expenses, and reduce restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online education can help get both your IT management staff and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by delivering remote webinars specialized for your computing environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Computing
To learn additional information about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.