Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been stronger. Still, many network managers are predictably hesitant to launch a sizable migration task when the main advantages — improved dependability, scalability, and speed — are too vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than 20 years of background helping companies to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist your company to assess the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, design an economical migration scheme that minimizes business interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level remote consulting as you upgrade the system software powering your existing servers and desktops.

For the majority of office networks, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all classes of business computers including laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and advanced servers already possess the ability to operate in 64-bit format. However most of these computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The primary reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for upgrading in-place computers has seemed to be small in relation to the effort required. There is no automatic process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing applications, saving and recovering data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM memory allocation schemes used in 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering afterthought that undermines system stability. RAM-hungry programs are often not allowed to utilize free memory since the operating system is unable to allocate it effectively. This results in programs shutting down or running erratically even when a computer appears to have plenty of unused memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow far more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and process twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-hungry program to another more quickly when using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now installed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is limited to special advanced CPUs and is intended for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Office delivers dramatic enhancements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that provide advanced stability, capacity, and throughput. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be done without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that involves reinstalling applications, backing up and restoring data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC running XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there will never be a better time to migrate to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you to understand the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client 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 intend to keep as well as the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can assist you to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or should be retained, and plan an upgrade procedure that is minimally disturbing to your business operations.

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

  • Progent's expertise delivering online network consulting and support can save your business time and expense over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to support your x64 processing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in creating and testing a business continuity strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering experts can assist you to configure System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous remote backup with the capability of rapid data restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified network security consultants can assist you create a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the new security mechanisms included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also provide security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your network's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware resources, simplify management, improve fault tolerance, cut colocation expenses, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online training classes can help bring your network management team and your desktop workers up to date quickly and affordably by providing online virtual training specialized for your network requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
To find out additional information about how Progent's consultants can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.