Overview of 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade ConsultantsWith the availability of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been better. Still, most network administrators are understandably hesitant to take on a major upgrade task when the main benefits — increased stability, scalability, and performance — are excessively vague to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than two decades of background helping companies to implement system-wide upgrades, Progent can help you to assess the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an efficient migration scheme that minimizes productivity disruptions, and provide affordable, high-level online engineering help as you upgrade the system software powering your current computers.

With most business networks, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these computers still run 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for updating in-place computers has seemed to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, backing up and recovering data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, many popular desktop applications are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to quantify, yet they are significant. The memory partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are basically an engineering afterthought that limits stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes unable to utilize free RAM because the O/S cannot allocate it effectively. This can be the cause of software shutting down or executing fitfully even when a computer appears to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and process more data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-hungry application to another faster when you are using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Support
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is limited to a few advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Office 2010 delivers significant improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that provide advanced stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be done without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that involves reconfiguring applications, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical current workstations, and for all PCs powered by XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better time to move to x64 processing on the workstation, since it will require little extra effort.

How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping you to understand the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, 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 verify that it handles all of the important 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 included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade consultants can assist your company to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or should be retained, and plan an upgrade process that is minimally disturbing to your business operations.

Additional ways Progent can help your business to migrate to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote computer consulting and support can save you effort and money over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's background working with internal support staffs and delivering technical information sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your 64-bit computing environment, that it is simple to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of security and dependability.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in developing and validating a business continuity strategy that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering professionals can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA network security experts can help you create a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new security mechanisms included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to evaluate or verify your company's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on hardware resources, streamline administration, improve fault tolerance, lower hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online education can help get both your IT support staff and your desktop workers up to date quickly and cost-effectively by delivering online virtual training customized for your network environment and business procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To find out more details about how Progent can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.