Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade SupportThanks to the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never been stronger. However, many network administrators are understandably reluctant to launch a significant upgrade task when the primary benefits — increased dependability, capacity, and performance — are too intangible to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with over two decades of experience helping businesses to implement system-wide migrations, Progent can assist your company to understand the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, create an economical migration scheme that minimizes operational disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, expert remote technical support while you update the system software powering your existing servers and desktops.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit processing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all types of business computers including laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and advanced servers now have the architecture to run in 64-bit format. However the majority of these in-place devices continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for updating existing systems has appeared to be small in relation to the work required. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean install, which means reinstalling current applications, saving and restoring data, and configuring new drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are real. The RAM management techniques utilized by 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering afterthought that limits stability. Memory-starved programs are sometimes not able to access existing RAM since the operating system is unable to allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or executing erratically even though a computer appears to have ample available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow far more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now deployed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is limited to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Microsoft Office 2010 offers significant improvements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed identically to 32-bit editions, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and throughput. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring applications, saving and restoring data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most current desktop PCs, and for all PCs running XP, any release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there has never been a better time to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will require little additional work.

How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting you to understand the practical advantages, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to keep as well as the new 64-bit editions of applications you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can help your company to determine which workstation hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and design a migration process that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.

Other ways Progent can assist you to migrate to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote network consulting and support can save your business time and expense during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with internal support staffs and providing technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your x64 processing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in creating and validating a workplace recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting professionals can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous remote backup with the advantage of rapid system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security specialists can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new security mechanisms incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your network's adherence to mandated security standards.

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

  • Progent's live online instruction can help get both your network support staff and your desktop workers up to speed quickly and affordably by delivering online virtual training customized for your computing environment and business procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
To learn additional details about how Progent's consultants can help you to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.