Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade HelpWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit computing has never been better. Still, most network managers are predictably hesitant to take on a significant upgrade task when the main advantages — increased dependability, capacity, and performance — are excessively vague to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping businesses to implement system-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help you to understand the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an efficient migration scheme that reduces operational disruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert remote support while you update the software running your current computers.

With the majority of office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit format. However most of these in-place devices still host 32-bit operating systems.

The primary reason for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for updating in-place computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean install, which means reinstalling existing applications, saving and recovering data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, many popular office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit operating systems are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-hungry applications are often unable to access existing memory because the O/S cannot allocate it effectively. This results in programs shutting down or running erratically even when a machine appears to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and process more data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-hungry application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs used in most servers and desktop PCs now installed in business networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is limited to special advanced CPUs and is designed for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Microsoft Office 2010 offers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office 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-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit editions, so typically you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that offer high stability, capacity, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be carried out without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling application software, backing up and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical current desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit release of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean installation. This being the case, there will never be a better time to move to x64 processing on the workstation, since it will require little extra work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping you to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit applications which you want to retain plus the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade consultants can help your company to decide which workstation computers and applications can or should be preserved, and outline an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and money over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high level of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in creating and testing a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting experts can help you to deploy System Center SCDPM to provide automated remote backup with the capability of rapid data restoration.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security experts can help you create a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your network's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your equipment, streamline administration, improve dependability, cut colocation and hosting costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help get both your network management staff and your desktop employees up to speed quickly and affordably by delivering remote virtual training specialized for your computing requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
To learn additional information about how Progent can assist your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.