Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade SupportThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit processing has never seemed better. Still, many IT managers are predictably hesitant to take on a significant upgrade project when the primary advantages — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are too intangible to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping businesses to implement system-wide migration projects, Progent can help your company to assess the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, create an efficient upgrade scheme that reduces operational interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, expert online support and troubleshooting while you upgrade the software powering your current servers and desktops.

For most business networks, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers including notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already possess the ability to run in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these in-place computers still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main cause for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for upgrading existing systems has seemed to be small in relation to the effort required. There is no automatic process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current applications, saving and restoring data files, and installing new drivers. This requires careful planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, most office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are real. The RAM partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit operating systems are basically an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. Memory-hungry applications are sometimes unable to access available memory since the O/S is unable to allocate it effectively. This results in programs shutting down or executing erratically even though a machine appears to have plenty of available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow much more physical memory than 32-bit systems and crunch more information per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry program to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers currently installed in business networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" support is limited to a few high-end processors and is intended for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The new family of Microsoft Office delivers significant improvements. For example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers previous releases of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed identically to 32-bit versions, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be done without effort. Each workstation and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling applications, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical current desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will require little additional work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting your organization to understand the business advantages, expenses, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of applications you wish to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can help your company to decide which desktop computers and applications can or ought to be preserved, and plan an upgrade process that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

Other ways Progent can help your business to upgrade to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's experience providing online computer consulting and support can save you time and money during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with in-house support staffs and providing technical information transfer to them can increase the effectiveness of your support team.

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

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in developing and validating a disaster recovery strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can help you to configure System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated online backup with the capability of rapid data restoration.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security engineers can assist you create a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the new protection mechanisms incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to evaluate or confirm your network's adherence to mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on hardware, simplify administration, enhance fault tolerance, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online instruction can help get both your network support staff and your office workers up to speed quickly and affordably by providing remote virtual training specialized for your network environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
To learn more information about how Progent can assist you to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.