Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration SupportThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit processing has never seemed more compelling. However, many IT managers are predictably hesitant to take on a major upgrade task when the primary advantages — increased dependability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping businesses to implement system-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help you to assess the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that minimizes business disruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote engineering help as you upgrade the system software powering your existing servers and desktops.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already possess the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The primary cause for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for updating existing computers has seemed to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current programs, backing up and restoring data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most office applications are still available only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit systems are basically a technical afterthought that undermines stability. RAM-starved applications are sometimes not able to utilize existing RAM since the O/S cannot assign it efficiently. This results in software freezing or running erratically even when a machine appears to have ample available RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow far more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and process more information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one memory-intensive program to another faster while running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Support
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit processors found in most servers and desktop PCs now installed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is limited to a few advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The new family of Microsoft Office 2010 offers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers previous versions of Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and performance. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be carried out seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that involves reconfiguring application software, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical current desktop PCs, and for every PC running XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a clean install. Consequently, there will never be a better time to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any extra effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting you to understand the business benefits, costs, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to keep as well as the new 64-bit versions of applications you wish to install. If moving to Microsoft 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 evaluation and upgrade experts can assist your company to decide which workstation hardware and programs can or should be preserved, and plan an upgrade process that is minimally disruptive to your business operations.

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

  • Progent's experience delivering online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and money over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with internal support personnel and delivering technical information sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit processing environment, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM consulting experts can assist you to configure System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security experts can assist you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new security technologies incorporated into 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or confirm your network's compliance with mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, simplify administration, enhance fault tolerance, cut hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online education can help bring your IT management staff and your desktop workers up to date quickly and cost-effectively by delivering remote webinars specialized for your network requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Processing
To find out more details about how Progent can help you to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.