Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never been stronger. However, most IT administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a sizable migration task when the main benefits — improved stability, capacity, and speed — are excessively vague to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with over two decades of background assisting companies to implement network-wide upgrades, Progent can help you to understand the costs and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade strategy that reduces business interruptions, and deliver affordable, expert online technical support while you update the software powering your current computers.

With most office networks, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, so that all types of business computing hardware including notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already have the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. Yet most of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main reason for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for updating existing computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This requires careful planning to do economically. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM management schemes utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical afterthought that limits stability. RAM-hungry applications are often not able to access available RAM since the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or performing fitfully even though a computer seems to have plenty of unused memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support much more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive application to another faster when you are using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Support
Microsoft's x64 software supports the 64-bit processors used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" support is restricted to a few advanced CPUs and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Office 2010 offers significant improvements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by previous editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed identically to 32-bit versions, so typically it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can't be carried out seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that entails reinstalling application software, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical current workstations, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to x64 processing on the workstation, since it will require little additional work.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting you to evaluate the practical benefits, expenses, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit programs that you intend to retain plus the new 64-bit editions of software you wish to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist you to determine which desktop computers and applications can or should be retained, and design a migration procedure that is the least disruptive to your business productivity.

Additional ways Progent can help your business to upgrade to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote computer consulting and support can save you effort and money during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT personnel and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your x64 processing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in creating and testing a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous remote backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA certified security experts can assist you create a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection mechanisms included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your network's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your equipment, simplify administration, enhance fault tolerance, lower colocation expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help get both your IT support staff and your office employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering online webinars specialized for your network requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Processing
To find out more details about how Progent's engineers can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.