Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration HelpThanks to the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit processing has never been more compelling. However, many network administrators are understandably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade task when the primary advantages — improved stability, scalability, and performance — are excessively intangible to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping companies to implement network-wide migration projects, Progent can help your company to understand the costs and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that minimizes business disruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert online technical support while you upgrade the software running your existing servers and desktops.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers including notebooks, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now have the ability to run in 64-bit format. However most of these computers still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main cause for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be small in comparison to the work needed. There is no automatic process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing applications, backing up and recovering data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, most desktop applications are still available only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may seem vague and difficult to define precisely, but they are significant. The memory allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially a technical afterthought that limits system stability. RAM-starved programs are often not allowed to utilize free RAM since the operating system is unable to allocate it efficiently. This results in software freezing or performing erratically even though a computer seems to have plenty of unused memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow far more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive program to another faster when running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all computers now installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is restricted to a few advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Microsoft Office offers significant improvements. As an example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that offer high dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be carried out seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling applications, backing up and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting you to understand the business advantages, expenses, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, administer, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to retain plus the new 64-bit versions of applications you wish to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can assist you to determine which desktop computers and applications can or ought to be retained, and design a migration procedure that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

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

  • Progent's experience providing online network consulting and support can save you effort and money during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house IT staffs and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your x64 processing solution, that it is easy to track, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of security and dependability.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can assist you in creating and validating a business continuity strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting experts can help you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide near-continuous online backup with the advantage of rapid data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified network security specialists can help you create a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms included with x64 servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability testing to assess or verify your company's compliance with mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, streamline administration, improve dependability, lower colocation and hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online education can help get both your IT management staff and your office workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by providing interactive online webinars specialized for your network environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Migrating to x64 Processing
To learn more information about how Progent can help your business to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.