Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the availability of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed stronger. Still, most network managers are predictably hesitant to launch a significant upgrade task when the primary advantages — increased dependability, scalability, and performance — are too vague to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with over 20 years of background helping businesses to carry out network-wide migrations, Progent can help you to assess the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, design an efficient migration strategy that minimizes operational interruptions, and deliver affordable, expert online consulting while you update the software powering your current computers.

With most office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers now have the ability to operate in 64-bit format. Yet most of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit software platforms.

The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for updating existing systems has appeared to be modest in relation to the work needed. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean install, which means reinstalling current programs, backing up and restoring data files, and installing new drivers. This demands careful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, many popular desktop applications are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may seem subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM memory allocation schemes used in 32-bit operating systems are basically an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. Memory-starved applications are often unable to utilize available memory because the operating system cannot assign it efficiently. This results in programs shutting down or running erratically even when a computer seems to have plenty of available RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support much more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's x64 Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs used in most servers and desktop PCs now deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is restricted to a few high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Office 2010 offers significant improvements. For example, Microsoft Office 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 maximum file size imposed by previous editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced identically to their 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that provide advanced stability, capacity, and performance. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be carried out seamlessly. Each workstation and server needs a clean setup that involves reinstalling application software, backing up and restoring data, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical current desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any release of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there will never be a better time to move to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting you to understand the business advantages, expenses, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit applications which you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of software you wish to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can help your company to determine which workstation computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and outline a migration process that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

Other ways Progent can assist your business to migrate to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT staffs and providing technical information transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing environment, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high level of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can help you in creating and validating a business continuity strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support experts can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide automated remote backup with the advantage of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified network security experts can help you develop a company-wide security plan that deploys some of the new security mechanisms included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware, streamline administration, improve robustness, cut colocation and hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online instruction can help get both your network support team and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering remote virtual training specialized for your network requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
For more details about how Progent's engineers can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.