Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration HelpWith the release of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed stronger. Still, most network managers are predictably reluctant to launch a significant upgrade task when the primary benefits — increased stability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting businesses to carry out network-wide migration projects, Progent can assist your company to understand the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient upgrade scheme that reduces productivity disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level remote technical support while you update the software running your existing computers.

With the majority of office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers including notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers already possess the ability to run in 64-bit format. However most of these devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary reason for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for upgrading in-place systems has seemed to be modest in comparison to the work needed. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, saving and recovering data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do economically. Furthermore, most office applications are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the advantage?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem subtle and hard to define precisely, but they are significant. The RAM management schemes utilized by 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering afterthought that limits system stability. RAM-hungry applications are often not able to utilize available RAM since the O/S is unable to allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of software freezing or performing fitfully even though a computer seems to have ample available RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms allow much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive program to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now deployed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is restricted to special high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Microsoft Office offers significant enhancements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers previous versions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced the same as 32-bit versions, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade canít be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server requires a clean installation that entails reinstalling applications, saving and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a clean install. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to move to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will require little additional work.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping your organization to understand the practical advantages, costs, and technical variables associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit editions of software you wish to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can help your company to determine which desktop computers and applications can or ought to be retained, and outline an upgrade procedure that is minimally disruptive to your business productivity.

Other ways Progent's consultants can help your business to upgrade to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's experience providing online network consulting and support can save your business effort and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience working with internal IT staffs and providing technical information transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support staff.

  • Progent's certified 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 troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in developing and validating a workplace recovery plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated online backup with the advantage of rapid system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA security experts can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or verify your company's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on equipment, simplify management, enhance dependability, lower hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help bring your IT support team and your office workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by providing online virtual training specialized for your network requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
To find out additional details about how Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.