Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the release of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been more compelling. Still, most network managers are predictably reluctant to launch a sizable migration project when the primary benefits — improved dependability, capacity, and performance — are excessively vague to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping businesses to carry out network-wide migration projects, Progent can help you to understand the risks and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, create an economical migration strategy that minimizes productivity interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level remote technical support as you update the software powering your existing computers.

For most business networks, 64-bit processing is a great untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all types of business computing hardware including notebooks, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers now have the ability to run in 64-bit mode. However most of these computers continue to run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for updating in-place computers has seemed to be small in relation to the work required. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data, and installing new drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular desktop applications are still available only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are significant. The memory management techniques used in 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering afterthought that limits system stability. Memory-hungry programs are often not allowed to utilize available memory since the O/S cannot allocate it efficiently. This results in programs freezing or performing fitfully even though a computer seems to have ample available memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-intensive application to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit processors used in most computers currently deployed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is limited to special advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The new generation of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers significant improvements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted by the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers 32-bit releases of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced the same as their 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that provide advanced dependability, scalability, and throughput. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server requires a clean installation that entails reconfiguring applications, backing up and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most current workstations, and for all PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will involve little additional effort.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting you to understand the business benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, administer, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit programs that you intend to retain plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can help you to decide which desktop computers and applications can or should be retained, and outline a migration process that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.

Other ways Progent can help you to upgrade to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering online computer support services can save your business time and money during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience working with internal IT staffs and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to track, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and robustness.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can help you in creating and testing a business continuity plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide automated online backup with the capability of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC security engineers can assist you create a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or verify your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, streamline administration, improve reliability, cut hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help get both your network management staff and your office employees up to date quickly and affordably by providing online webinars specialized for your computing requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
For more details about how Progent can assist your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.