Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpWith the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been stronger. However, most network administrators are predictably hesitant to take on a sizable migration project when the primary benefits — increased stability, capacity, and performance — are too vague to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background assisting companies to implement system-wide migrations, Progent can assist your company to understand the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, design an economical upgrade scheme that reduces productivity interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level online technical support while you update the system software powering your existing servers and desktops.

With the majority of business networks, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware such as notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to run in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these in-place computers continue to run 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for upgrading existing computers has seemed to be small in relation to the work needed. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to do economically. Furthermore, most desktop applications are still available only in 32-bit versions, so where's the advantage?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are real. The RAM allocation techniques used in 32-bit systems are basically an engineering band-aid that undermines stability. RAM-starved applications are often not able to utilize free memory because the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This results in programs freezing or performing erratically even when a computer seems to have plenty of unused memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow much more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and process twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-intensive application to another faster when using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology supports the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all computers currently deployed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is limited to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Microsoft Office offers dramatic enhancements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced identically to 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that offer high dependability, capacity, and performance. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the move up canít be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring application software, backing up and restoring data files, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical current desktop PCs, and for all PCs running XP, even the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" installation. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping your organization to evaluate the business benefits, expenses, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to retain as well as the new 64-bit editions of software you wish to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist your company to decide which workstation computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and outline an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your business productivity.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and money during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with in-house support personnel and delivering technical information sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your support team.

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

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in creating and validating a disaster recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can help you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated remote backup with the advantage of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified network security engineers can assist you create a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the new protection technologies included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your company's adherence to mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to use 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware, streamline management, improve reliability, cut colocation expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online education can help get both your network management team and your office employees up to speed quickly and affordably by providing interactive online webinars specialized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Help Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
To find out additional details about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.