Overview of 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. Still, most network administrators are understandably hesitant to take on a major upgrade task when the primary benefits — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are excessively vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with years of background assisting companies to carry out system-wide migration projects, Progent can help your company to understand the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, design an efficient migration strategy that reduces productivity interruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level remote technical support while you update the software powering your existing computers.

For most office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and advanced servers already have the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. Yet most of these computers continue to run 32-bit operating systems.

The primary cause for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for updating in-place computers has appeared to be small in relation to the work required. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands thorough planning to do economically. Meanwhile, many popular office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are significant. The memory partitioning techniques used in 32-bit platforms are basically an engineering band-aid that limits system stability. Memory-hungry applications are often not able to access free memory because the operating system cannot assign it effectively. This can be the cause of software shutting down or executing erratically even though a computer seems to have plenty of unused RAM. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow far more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry application to another faster when running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's x64 technology works with the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now installed in business networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is limited to special high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Office 2010 offers dramatic improvements. As an example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by previous editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit editions, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that provide high stability, capacity, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade cant be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that entails reconfiguring applications, saving and restoring data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running XP, even the 64-bit release of Windows 7 or 8 requires 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 workstation, since it will involve little additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting your organization to understand the practical benefits, expenses, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit applications that you intend to retain as well as the new 64-bit versions of software you plan to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can help you to decide which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and design an upgrade procedure that is minimally disturbing to your business operations.

Other ways Progent can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and expense over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical information transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is configured to support your 64-bit processing solution, that it is simple to track, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in developing and validating a business continuity strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting experts can assist you to configure System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated remote backup with the capability of fast system restoration.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified network security specialists can help you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new protection technologies incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or verify your company's adherence to industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on equipment, streamline management, improve reliability, lower colocation costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online instruction can help get your IT management team and your office employees up to date quickly and cost-effectively by delivering interactive online webinars customized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent to Get Support for Upgrading to x64 Processing
For more information about how Progent's consultants can help your business to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.