Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the availability of Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit processing has never been better. However, most network administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade task when the primary benefits — improved stability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with over 20 years of experience helping companies to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help your company to understand the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that minimizes operational disruptions, and deliver affordable, expert remote support and troubleshooting as you upgrade the system software powering your current computers.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these computers still run 32-bit operating systems.

The main cause for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for upgrading in-place systems has appeared to be small in relation to the effort required. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data files, and installing new drivers. This requires careful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most desktop productivity software are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem vague and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM memory allocation schemes used in 32-bit systems are basically a technical afterthought that undermines stability. RAM-hungry applications are often unable to access available memory since the operating system is unable to allocate it effectively. This results in software shutting down or performing fitfully even when a machine appears to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry application to another faster when running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Support
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit processors found in most computers currently installed in business networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is restricted to special advanced processors and is intended for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The new family of Office delivers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that provide high dependability, capacity, and performance. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can't be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server requires a clean installation that involves reconfiguring applications, backing up and restoring data, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will require little additional effort.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit applications which you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can help your company to determine which desktop hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and design an upgrade process that is minimally disruptive to your network productivity.

Other ways Progent can help you to migrate to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing remote computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and money over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house support staffs and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing solution, that it is easy to track, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and robustness.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can assist you in developing and testing a workplace recovery plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting professionals can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous remote backup with the advantage of rapid system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA security experts can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the new security mechanisms included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to evaluate or verify your company's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware, streamline management, enhance robustness, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help bring both your network support team and your desktop workers up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online virtual training specialized for your computing requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Migrating to x64 Computing
To find out more details about how Progent can assist your business to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.