Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration HelpThanks to the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit processing has never seemed more compelling. However, many IT administrators are understandably reluctant to take on a significant migration project when the main benefits — increased stability, scalability, and performance — are excessively vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience helping companies to implement network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist you to assess the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, create an economical upgrade strategy that reduces business disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, expert remote engineering help while you upgrade the software running your current computers.

With the majority of office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all types of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now have the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. However most of these devices still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary cause for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for updating in-place systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the effort required. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade requires a clean install, which means reinstalling existing applications, backing up and restoring data files, and installing new drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Meanwhile, most desktop applications are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem vague and hard to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM memory allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical afterthought that limits stability. RAM-hungry applications are sometimes unable to access free memory because the operating system cannot allocate it efficiently. This results in software freezing or running fitfully even though a computer seems to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms support much more physical memory than 32-bit systems and crunch more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-intensive program to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Support
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all computers currently deployed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is restricted to a few high-end processors and is designed for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The new generation of Microsoft Office offers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit editions, 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-cost x64 versions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and throughput. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be done without effort. Every workstation and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring applications, backing up and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC running Windows XP, even the 64-bit release of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting your organization to evaluate the practical advantages, expenses, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to retain as well as the new 64-bit versions of applications you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can help you to determine which desktop hardware and programs can or should be retained, and design an upgrade process that is minimally disruptive to your business productivity.

Additional ways Progent can help your business to migrate to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote network 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 delivering technical information sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of security and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can help you in creating and testing a business continuity plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support experts can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous online backup with the advantage of rapid data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA security engineers can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the new security technologies incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your company's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on equipment, streamline administration, enhance robustness, cut colocation expenses, and reduce restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help bring both your network management team and your office workers up to date quickly and affordably by delivering remote virtual training customized for your network environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Migrating to x64 Computing
For additional details about how Progent can assist your business to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.