Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed stronger. Still, most IT managers are predictably hesitant to take on a major upgrade task when the main benefits — increased stability, capacity, and performance — are too vague to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience assisting businesses to implement system-wide migration projects, Progent can assist you to understand the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, design an economical upgrade scheme that reduces operational interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level online engineering help while you upgrade the software powering your existing computers.

With the majority of office networks, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already have the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet the majority of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this common reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for upgrading in-place computers has seemed to be modest in relation to the effort needed. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing applications, saving and recovering data, and configuring new drivers. This demands careful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, most office applications are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may seem subtle and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit operating systems are basically an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-starved programs are sometimes not able to utilize existing memory because the operating system is unable to allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or running fitfully even though a computer seems to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and process more information per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry program to another faster when running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and faster, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's x64 Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" support is limited to special high-end Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Office delivers dramatic improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit versions, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that provide advanced stability, capacity, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up canít be carried out seamlessly. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that involves reinstalling applications, saving and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current workstations, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" installation. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve little extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping your organization to evaluate the business benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications which you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit versions of applications you plan to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can assist you to determine which desktop hardware and programs can or should be preserved, and outline a migration procedure that is the least disturbing to your business operations.

Additional ways Progent can assist you to upgrade to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering online network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and expense during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT staffs and providing technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to support your 64-bit computing solution, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high level of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in developing and validating a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM engineering professionals can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified network security specialists can assist you develop a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the new protection technologies included with x64 servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability testing to evaluate or validate your network's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, simplify administration, improve dependability, lower hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online instruction can help bring both your IT management staff and your office workers up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by delivering online webinars specialized for your network environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Migrating to 64-bit Computing
To find out additional information about how Progent can assist your business to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.