Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade ConsultantsThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit computing has never been better. Still, most network administrators are understandably reluctant to launch a significant upgrade project when the main advantages — increased dependability, scalability, and performance — are too intangible to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping companies to carry out system-wide migrations, Progent can assist your company to understand the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade strategy that reduces operational disruptions, and provide affordable, high-level remote technical support while you upgrade the software running your current servers and desktops.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit computing is a giant unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit format. However the majority of these computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for upgrading in-place systems has seemed to be modest in relation to the work needed. There is no automatic process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean install, which means reinstalling current programs, saving and recovering data files, and installing new drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, many popular desktop productivity software are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning schemes used in 32-bit operating systems are essentially a technical afterthought that undermines system stability. Memory-hungry applications are often not able to utilize free memory because the O/S is unable to assign it efficiently. 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 allow much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process more information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry application to another faster while running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and faster, which makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs used in most servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in business networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" support is limited to special high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The new family of Office offers significant improvements. For example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced the same as their 32-bit editions, so typically it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that involves reinstalling applications, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better time to migrate to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any additional work.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping your organization to understand the business benefits, costs, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit programs that you intend to keep as well as the new 64-bit versions of applications you wish to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can help you to determine which desktop hardware and applications can or ought to be retained, and design an upgrade process that is minimally disturbing to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing online network consulting and support can save your business effort and expense during your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to support your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager engineering professionals can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous online backup with the advantage of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC network security engineers can help you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms included with x64 servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your company's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware resources, streamline management, enhance reliability, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up recovery time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's online training classes can help get both your network management team and your office employees up to date rapidly and affordably by delivering interactive online webinars customized for your network environment and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Help Migrating to x64 Computing
To find out additional details about how Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.