Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration SupportThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. However, most network administrators are understandably hesitant to launch a major migration task when the main benefits — improved dependability, capacity, and performance — are excessively intangible to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience assisting businesses to carry out network-wide upgrades, Progent can help your company to understand the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, design an economical upgrade scheme that reduces productivity disruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote consulting while you update the software running your current computers.

With most business networks, 64-bit computing is a giant unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all types of business computing hardware such as notebooks, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already have the ability to run in 64-bit mode. Yet the majority of these devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems.

The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for updating existing computers has appeared to be small in comparison 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 recovering data files, and configuring new drivers. This requires careful planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, most desktop productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The memory partitioning techniques used in 32-bit platforms are basically a technical afterthought that undermines system stability. RAM-hungry programs are sometimes not able to access free RAM since the O/S is unable to allocate it efficiently. This results in software freezing or running erratically even though a machine appears to have plenty of available RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support much more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and process more information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit processors used in most computers currently deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is restricted to special advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Office 2010 delivers dramatic improvements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers 32-bit releases of Microsoft Office Excel.

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

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that offer high dependability, scalability, and performance. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that involves reinstalling application software, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC running XP, even the 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any extra work.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting you to understand the practical advantages, expenses, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, administer, 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 make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit programs which you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of software you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can help your company to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or should be preserved, and plan a migration procedure that is the least disturbing to your network operations.

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

  • Progent's expertise delivering online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and money over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience working with internal IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to track, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high level of data protection and dependability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in creating and validating a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide automated remote backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified security specialists can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your network's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to use 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on hardware resources, streamline administration, enhance robustness, lower colocation and hosting costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online training classes can help get both your network support team and your desktop workers up to date quickly and affordably by delivering online virtual training specialized for your computing requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Processing
To learn more details about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.