Introduction to 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration SupportThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never been stronger. Still, most IT administrators are predictably reluctant to launch a major migration task when the main benefits — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are too vague to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting companies to carry out system-wide migration projects, Progent can help you to understand the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, design an economical upgrade strategy that reduces business disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level online technical support while you upgrade the system software powering your current servers and desktops.

For the majority of office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a giant unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all types of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers now have the ability to run in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for upgrading in-place computers has seemed to be modest in relation to the effort needed. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, many popular desktop productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and difficult to define precisely, yet they are real. The RAM management techniques utilized by 32-bit operating systems are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-hungry programs are sometimes not able to utilize available memory since the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This results in programs shutting down or running erratically even though a machine seems to have plenty of available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one memory-intensive program to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's x64 Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology supports the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all computers now installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is restricted to a few advanced processors and is designed for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Microsoft Office offers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers previous editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit editions, so typically it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that provide advanced stability, scalability, and performance. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up canít be done seamlessly. Every workstation and server needs a clean setup that entails reinstalling application software, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most current desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean install. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to move to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will involve little additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business advantages, costs, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit programs that you intend 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 included in your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade consultants can assist your company to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and plan a migration procedure that is minimally disruptive to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering online computer support services can save your business time and money over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house IT personnel and providing technical information transfer to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to support your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of security and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can help you in creating and testing a workplace recovery strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can assist you to configure System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC security engineers can help you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the powerful security mechanisms incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your network's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, simplify administration, improve fault tolerance, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help get your network management team and your desktop employees up to date rapidly and affordably by delivering remote virtual training specialized for your network environment and business processes.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Migrating to 64-bit Computing
To learn additional information about how Progent can assist you to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.