Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade SupportThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never been more compelling. Still, many network administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a major upgrade project when the primary benefits — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are too vague to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting companies to carry out system-wide migrations, Progent can assist you to assess the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, create an economical upgrade strategy that reduces productivity interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote support as you upgrade the software powering your existing servers and desktops.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all types of business computing hardware such as laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers now possess the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these in-place devices still run 32-bit software platforms.

The main cause for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for updating in-place systems has appeared to be small in relation to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean install, which means reinstalling current applications, saving and recovering data, and installing new drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Meanwhile, most desktop productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM memory allocation techniques utilized by 32-bit platforms are basically an engineering band-aid that limits system stability. Memory-starved programs are often not allowed to access free memory since the O/S cannot allocate it efficiently. This results in software shutting down or performing erratically even though a machine seems to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow far more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more data per CPU cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Support
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers currently installed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" support is restricted to a few high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The new family of Office delivers significant enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited by the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so typically you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that provide high dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be carried out seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that entails reconfiguring applications, backing up and restoring data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current workstations, and for all PCs powered by XP, even the 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean install. Consequently, there has never been a better time to move to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any extra effort.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping you to evaluate the practical benefits, expenses, and technical variables attached to upgrading 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 operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit programs that you intend to retain plus the latest 64-bit editions of applications you wish to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade experts can assist your company to determine which workstation hardware and programs can or ought to be preserved, and design a migration procedure that is the least disturbing to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing remote network consulting and support can save your business effort and expense during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal IT staffs and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is configured to accommodate your 64-bit computing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of data protection and dependability.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can help you in developing and validating a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM support experts can help you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated online backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified security experts can assist you create a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection technologies included with x64 servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your network's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware, streamline management, enhance dependability, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's online training classes can help get both your network support team and your office workers up to speed quickly and affordably by delivering online webinars specialized for your computing requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
To find out more details about how Progent can help your business to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.