Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit computing has never been stronger. Still, most IT managers are understandably hesitant to take on a significant upgrade task when the primary benefits — improved dependability, scalability, and speed — are excessively intangible to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background assisting companies to carry out system-wide migrations, Progent can help you to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit processing, create an economical migration strategy that reduces business disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, expert remote support while you update the software powering your existing computers.

For the majority of office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all types of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers already have the ability to run in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these computers still run 32-bit operating systems.

The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for upgrading existing systems has appeared to be modest in relation to the work required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling current applications, saving and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be subtle and hard to quantify, yet they are real. The memory partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit platforms are basically a technical band-aid that limits stability. RAM-starved applications are sometimes not allowed to utilize existing memory because the O/S is unable to allocate it efficiently. This results in programs shutting down or running fitfully even though a computer appears to have plenty of unused memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support far more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and process twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry program to another faster when running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Support
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers now installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is restricted to a few high-end Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Office delivers significant improvements. As an example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit editions, so typically it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that provide high stability, capacity, and performance. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be done seamlessly. Every workstation and server needs a clean setup that involves reinstalling application software, saving and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place workstations, and for all PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better time to migrate to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will involve little extra effort.

How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting you to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software 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 keep plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you wish to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can help your company to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and plan an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.

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

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you effort and expense during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT personnel and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to support your 64-bit processing solution, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of security and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can help you in creating and testing a business continuity strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering professionals can assist you to configure System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous remote backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified security specialists can help you create a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the powerful security technologies incorporated into 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your network's compliance with mandated security requirements.

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

  • Progent's online education can help bring both your IT management team and your office workers up to speed quickly and affordably by providing remote webinars customized for your network requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To learn more details about how Progent can help your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.