Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration HelpWith the release of Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit computing has never been stronger. Still, many network managers are predictably reluctant to launch a significant migration task when the main benefits — increased stability, scalability, and performance — are too vague to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping businesses to implement system-wide migration projects, Progent can help you to understand the risks and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade scheme that minimizes productivity disruptions, and provide affordable, high-level online support as you update the system software powering your current servers and desktops.

With most office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all types of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers already have the architecture to run in 64-bit format. However the majority of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for upgrading existing systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the work required. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade requires a clean install, which means reinstalling current applications, saving and restoring data, and installing new drivers. This requires careful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, most office applications are still available only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines stability. RAM-starved applications are sometimes unable to access available memory because the O/S is unable to assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs freezing or performing fitfully even though a computer appears to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and process more data per CPU cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry application to another faster when using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit processors used in virtually all computers currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" support is limited to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest 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 enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers previous versions of Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances it costs nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade canít be done seamlessly. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that involves reinstalling applications, saving and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most current desktop PCs, and for every PC running XP, the 32 or 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" installation. Consequently, there has never been a better time to migrate to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any additional work.

How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting your organization to understand the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, administer, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit programs that you want to keep as well as 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 migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can help your company to determine which workstation computers and applications can or ought to be retained, and design an upgrade procedure that is minimally disruptive to your business operations.

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

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote computer support services can save you time and money during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT personnel and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to track, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high level of security and dependability.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can help you in creating and validating a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager engineering professionals can help you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous remote backup with the capability of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security experts can assist you develop a company-wide security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection technologies included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to assess or verify your company's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware resources, streamline management, enhance reliability, cut hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online instruction can help bring both your network support team and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by providing remote virtual training specialized for your network requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Computing
To learn more information about how Progent can assist your business to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.