Overview of 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade HelpWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never seemed more compelling. However, most IT administrators are predictably hesitant to take on a sizable upgrade project when the main advantages — increased dependability, scalability, and speed — are too intangible to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background helping businesses to implement system-wide migration projects, Progent can assist your company to assess the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, create an economical migration strategy that reduces operational disruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote support while you upgrade the software powering your current servers and desktops.

For the majority of office networks, 64-bit processing is a great untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already have the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. However most of these in-place devices continue to run 32-bit software platforms.

The primary reason for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for upgrading existing computers has appeared to be small in relation to the effort required. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, backing up and recovering data, and configuring new drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, many popular desktop applications are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, but they are real. The RAM allocation schemes used in 32-bit platforms are basically an engineering band-aid that limits stability. Memory-starved programs are sometimes unable to utilize existing memory because the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This results in programs shutting down or executing fitfully even when a machine appears to have ample available RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms allow much more physical memory than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much information per clock 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 systems more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's x64 Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology works with the 64-bit processors used in most computers now deployed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is restricted to special advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The new generation of Office offers dramatic improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers previous releases of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that provide high stability, scalability, and throughput. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be carried out without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling application software, saving and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by XP, any version of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to x64 processing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting you to understand the business benefits, costs, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit programs which you intend to keep as well as the latest 64-bit editions of applications you plan to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and upgrade consultants can help you to decide which desktop hardware and applications can or should be preserved, and plan a migration process that is minimally disturbing to your network operations.

Other ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing online network support services can save your business effort and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house support staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 processing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of security and dependability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can help you in creating and validating a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM consulting experts can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support automated online backup with the advantage of rapid system restoration.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security consultants can help you develop a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the powerful security mechanisms included with x64 servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability testing to evaluate or confirm your company's compliance with mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve equipment, streamline administration, improve robustness, cut colocation costs, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online education can help bring your network management staff and your office workers up to date rapidly and affordably by providing remote virtual training specialized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent to Get Help Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To find out additional information about how Progent's consultants can help you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.