Overview of 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade ConsultantsThanks to the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed more compelling. Still, many IT managers are understandably hesitant to take on a major migration task when the primary advantages — improved dependability, capacity, and speed — are too intangible to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than two decades of experience helping businesses to implement system-wide migrations, Progent can assist your company to assess the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade strategy that reduces productivity interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, expert online technical support as you upgrade the system software running your current servers and desktops.

For most business networks, 64-bit computing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all types of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit format. Yet the majority of these in-place computers still host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary reason for this common reluctance to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for updating in-place computers has seemed to be small in comparison to the effort required. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, saving and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to do economically. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are still offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem vague and hard to define precisely, but they are real. The memory partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit systems are basically an engineering afterthought that limits stability. Memory-hungry applications are often unable to access existing memory because the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or performing fitfully even when a machine seems to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow much more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry program to another faster while using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit processors used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is limited to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest family of Office delivers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited by the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by previous editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can't be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling applications, backing up and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most current desktop PCs, and for every PC running Microsoft Windows XP, any edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there has never been a better time to upgrade to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will involve little extra effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting your organization to understand the business advantages, costs, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit applications that you want to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of applications you plan to run. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade consultants can assist your company to determine which workstation computers and applications can or should be retained, and outline an upgrade process that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote network support services can save your business effort and expense during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with internal support staffs and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit computing environment, that it is easy to track, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of security and robustness.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in creating and validating a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering professionals can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated remote backup with the capability of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified security engineers can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the powerful security mechanisms included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your network's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware resources, simplify management, enhance reliability, lower colocation and hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online education can help bring your IT management staff and your desktop employees up to date quickly and affordably by delivering interactive online virtual training specialized for your computing environment and business processes.
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To learn additional information about how Progent's engineers can assist your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.