Overview of 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the release of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never been more compelling. However, most IT administrators are understandably reluctant to take on a major migration project when the main benefits — improved dependability, capacity, and speed — are too intangible to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping companies to carry out system-wide migration projects, Progent can assist you to assess the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, create an efficient migration scheme that reduces operational interruptions, and provide affordable, high-level remote support and troubleshooting while you update the system software powering your existing servers and desktops.

With most office networks, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped resource. Both 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 computing hardware including notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. However most of these devices still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for updating existing systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the effort needed. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling current applications, backing up and recovering data, and installing new drivers. This requires thorough planning to do economically. Furthermore, many popular desktop applications are currently available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, but they are real. The RAM memory allocation schemes used in 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-hungry applications are often unable to access free RAM since the operating system cannot assign it effectively. This results in software shutting down or running fitfully even when a computer seems to have ample available RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and process more data per clock cycle. You can also go from one memory-intensive program to another more quickly when using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and faster, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is limited to special high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The new family of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic improvements. For example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 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 versions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that offer advanced stability, scalability, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be done without effort. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that entails reinstalling applications, saving and restoring data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, any version of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve little additional work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting your organization to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to retain as well as the new 64-bit versions of applications you plan to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade consultants can help your company to decide which workstation computers and programs can or should be preserved, and design an upgrade procedure that is minimally disturbing to your business operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help you to upgrade to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering online computer support services can save you effort and expense over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal IT personnel and providing technical information transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit processing environment, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of data protection and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can assist you in developing and testing a workplace recovery plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous remote backup with the capability of rapid data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA security consultants can assist you develop a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the new security mechanisms incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability testing to assess or verify your network's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, streamline management, improve robustness, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online instruction can help bring both your network support team and your office workers up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by providing online webinars customized for your network requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To find out additional details about how Progent's engineers can help your business to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.