Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade SupportThanks to the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. However, many network administrators are understandably hesitant to take on a major migration project when the primary benefits — improved dependability, scalability, and speed — are too intangible to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background assisting businesses to implement network-wide migrations, Progent can help your company to understand the costs and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that minimizes business disruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote support as you upgrade the system software powering your existing servers and desktops.

With the majority of office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant unexploited power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers including laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit format. Yet the majority of these devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems.

The primary reason for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for updating in-place systems has appeared to be modest in relation to the work needed. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, saving and recovering data, and installing new drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, many popular office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem vague and hard to define precisely, but they are real. The memory allocation techniques utilized by 32-bit systems are basically an engineering band-aid that limits stability. Memory-hungry applications are often not able to utilize free RAM since the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This results in programs freezing or executing erratically even though a computer appears to have plenty of unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support much more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and process more information per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry program to another faster when running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and faster, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Support
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all computers currently installed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" support is restricted to special advanced CPUs and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The new family of Microsoft Office 2010 offers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by previous editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit editions, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer advanced dependability, capacity, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can’t be done without effort. Every desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that entails reconfiguring applications, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical current workstations, and for every PC running Microsoft Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there has never been a better time to upgrade to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any additional work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business advantages, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit programs that you intend to retain plus the new 64-bit versions of applications you plan to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can assist you to determine which desktop hardware and applications can or should be preserved, and design an upgrade process that is the least disturbing to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent can help you to migrate to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you effort and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal support staffs and providing technical information transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is optimized to support your x64 processing solution, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high level of security and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in creating and validating a workplace recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM support experts can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous remote backup with the capability of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified network security specialists can help you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your company's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on hardware, simplify administration, enhance fault tolerance, lower hosting expenses, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online education can help get your IT management staff and your desktop employees up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by providing online virtual training customized for your network requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Migrating to x64 Processing
For more details about how Progent's engineers can help you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.