Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration HelpThanks to the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never been better. Still, many IT administrators are predictably hesitant to take on a major migration task when the main advantages — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are too intangible to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping businesses to implement network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help your company to assess the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an economical migration scheme that reduces operational interruptions, and provide affordable, high-level online technical support as you update the system software powering your existing computers.

With the majority of business networks, 64-bit processing is a giant unexploited power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware such as laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already possess the ability to run in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these devices still host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main cause for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for upgrading in-place systems has seemed to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no automatic process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do economically. Furthermore, most office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the advantage?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem vague and hard to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM allocation schemes used in 32-bit operating systems are basically an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-starved applications are sometimes unable to utilize existing memory since the operating system cannot allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or executing fitfully even though a computer seems to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow much more physical memory than 32-bit ones and process more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which in turn makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit processors found in most servers and desktop PCs now deployed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" platform is limited to special advanced CPUs and is designed for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The new generation of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic 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 by the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced the same as 32-bit versions, so typically you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that offer high dependability, capacity, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, saving and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most current workstations, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a clean install. Consequently, there will never be a better time to migrate to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any extra work.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business advantages, costs, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit programs that you want to retain plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can help you to decide which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and plan a migration procedure that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help you to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and money over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal support personnel and providing technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to support your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can help you in developing and testing a disaster recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting professionals can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to provide automated online backup with the advantage of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified network security experts can help you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to evaluate or confirm your network's adherence to mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on hardware, streamline management, improve reliability, cut colocation expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help bring both your IT support team and your office employees up to speed quickly and affordably by providing online webinars customized for your network environment and business procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Migrating to x64 Processing
To learn more information about how Progent can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.