Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration HelpThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never seemed more compelling. However, many network administrators are understandably hesitant to take on a major upgrade project when the primary advantages — improved dependability, scalability, and performance — are too vague to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting companies to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help your company to understand the costs and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical upgrade scheme that reduces business disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level online consulting as you upgrade the system software powering your current computers.

For the majority of office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these in-place devices still run 32-bit operating systems.

The primary cause for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for upgrading existing systems has appeared to be small in relation to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current applications, saving and restoring data, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, most desktop productivity software are still offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be subtle and hard to define precisely, yet they are real. The RAM memory management techniques used in 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that limits system stability. Memory-hungry applications are often unable to utilize existing RAM because the O/S cannot allocate it effectively. This results in programs freezing or running erratically even when a machine seems to have plenty of available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and process more data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs used in most computers currently installed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is limited to special high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The new generation of Office delivers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers previous editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced the same as 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be carried out seamlessly. Every workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reconfiguring applications, saving and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical current desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Windows XP, any edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better time to move to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will require little extra work.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit applications which you want to retain plus the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade consultants can assist your company to determine which desktop computers and applications can or should be preserved, and outline a migration process that is the least disturbing to your network productivity.

Other ways Progent can assist you to upgrade to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering online network consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and expense over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with internal IT staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can help you in developing and validating a business continuity plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can help you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous remote backup with the capability of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified network security experts can assist you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new protection technologies included with x64 servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability testing to evaluate or verify your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your hardware, simplify administration, enhance reliability, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online training classes can help get both your IT support team and your desktop employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online webinars customized for your network environment and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Help Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To find out additional details about how Progent's engineers can help your business to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.