Overview of 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration ConsultantsThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit processing has never seemed better. Still, most IT managers are predictably reluctant to take on a major migration project when the main benefits — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are too vague to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with over two decades of experience assisting companies to implement system-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist your company to assess the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, design an economical upgrade scheme that reduces operational disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level remote consulting while you update the software running your existing computers.

With the majority of office networks, 64-bit processing is a giant unexploited resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all types of business computers such as notebooks, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already have the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. Yet most of these computers still run 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be modest in comparison to the effort required. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, backing up and recovering data files, and installing new drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM memory management techniques utilized by 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-starved programs are often unable to utilize free memory since the O/S cannot allocate it effectively. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or executing erratically even though a machine appears to have ample unused 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 go from one memory-intensive program to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit processors used in virtually all computers currently installed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is restricted to special high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The latest family of Office offers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers previous editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed identically to 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that offer high dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be carried out without effort. Every desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that entails reconfiguring applications, saving and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most current workstations, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, any version of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there has never been a better time to upgrade to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will require little extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit programs which you want to retain plus the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist your company to determine which workstation hardware and programs can or should be retained, and outline a migration process that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and money during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience working with in-house support personnel and providing technical information transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to support your 64-bit computing environment, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of security and fault tolerance.

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

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security experts can help you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new protection technologies included with x64 servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your company's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your hardware, streamline administration, improve robustness, lower hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online education can help bring your network support staff and your office employees up to date rapidly and affordably by delivering remote webinars customized for your computing requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent for Help Migrating to 64-bit Computing
For more information about how Progent's engineers can assist you to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.