Overview of 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit computing has never been more compelling. However, most network managers are understandably hesitant to launch a sizable upgrade task when the primary benefits — increased dependability, scalability, and speed — are excessively intangible to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with more than two decades of experience helping businesses to implement system-wide migrations, Progent can help you to understand the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, create an economical upgrade strategy that reduces business interruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert remote technical support as you update the system software running your existing servers and desktops.

With the majority of business networks, 64-bit computing is a great untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all classes of business computers including notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to run in 64-bit format. Yet most of these in-place devices continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The primary cause for this common reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for upgrading in-place systems has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, saving and restoring data, and installing new drivers. This requires careful planning to do economically. Meanwhile, many popular office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are significant. The memory partitioning schemes used in 32-bit systems are essentially a technical band-aid that limits system stability. RAM-starved programs are sometimes unable to utilize free RAM since the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This results in software shutting down or running fitfully even when a computer appears to have ample available memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly when using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is restricted to special advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The new family of Office 2010 delivers dramatic improvements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced identically to 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that offer high stability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring applications, saving and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for all PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any version of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better time to migrate to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will involve little additional work.

How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping you to evaluate the business advantages, costs, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, 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 verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit applications that you intend to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of software you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist your company to decide which desktop computers and applications can or ought to be preserved, and plan an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your business productivity.

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

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote computer consulting and support can save your business effort and expense over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with in-house support staffs and delivering technical information transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit processing solution, that it is simple to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of data protection and dependability.

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

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified network security specialists can help you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new security mechanisms incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to evaluate or verify your network's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve equipment, simplify management, enhance reliability, cut colocation and hosting costs, and speed up recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online instruction can help get your IT management team and your office workers up to date quickly and cost-effectively by delivering online webinars specialized for your network requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to x64 Processing
To learn additional details about how Progent's consultants can help you to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.