Overview of 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration HelpWith the release of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed better. Still, most network managers are predictably reluctant to launch a significant upgrade project when the primary advantages — improved dependability, scalability, and performance — are excessively intangible to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with over 20 years of experience assisting companies to carry out network-wide migration projects, Progent can help your company to understand the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an efficient migration scheme that reduces operational disruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote technical support as you upgrade the software powering your existing computers.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all types of business computing hardware such as notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers already possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. However most of these in-place devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems.

The primary reason for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for upgrading existing computers has appeared to be small in relation to the effort needed. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current programs, saving and restoring data, and installing new drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The memory partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are essentially an engineering afterthought that undermines stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes not allowed to utilize existing RAM because the operating system is unable to assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of software freezing or executing erratically even though a computer seems to have ample unused memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms allow much more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-intensive program to another faster when you are using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's x64 Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit processors used in most servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is restricted to special high-end processors and is intended for environments that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The new family of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers significant enhancements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by previous versions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced identically to their 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that provide high stability, capacity, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring applications, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place workstations, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, any version of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean installation. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to move to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will involve little additional work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping you to understand the practical advantages, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to retain as well as the new 64-bit versions of applications you wish to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can assist you to decide which workstation hardware and programs can or should be preserved, and design a migration process that is minimally disturbing to your business operations.

Other ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote network consulting and support can save your business effort and expense during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience working with internal IT staffs and providing technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your x64 processing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of security and robustness.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in developing and validating a business continuity strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can help you to deploy Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous online backup with the advantage of rapid data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security experts can assist you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or validate your network's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on equipment, streamline administration, enhance fault tolerance, cut colocation expenses, and speed up restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online education can help bring your IT support team and your desktop workers up to date quickly and affordably by providing online virtual training customized for your network requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Migrating to x64 Computing
To find out more details about how Progent's consultants can assist you to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.