Overview of 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration SupportThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed stronger. Still, most IT managers are understandably hesitant to take on a significant migration project when the main advantages — increased dependability, capacity, and speed — are too vague to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping businesses to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help you to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit processing, create an economical upgrade scheme that minimizes business interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level remote engineering help as you upgrade the system software running your existing computers.

For most business networks, 64-bit computing is a giant unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware such as notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers now have the ability to run in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these in-place devices continue to host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main cause for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real benefit for upgrading in-place systems has appeared to be modest in comparison to the effort required. There is no automatic process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing applications, saving and recovering data, and configuring new drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be subtle and hard to define precisely, yet they are significant. The memory partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-starved programs are often unable to utilize existing memory because the O/S is unable to assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or running fitfully even when a machine appears to have ample unused memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-intensive program to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit processors used in virtually all computers now installed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is restricted to special high-end Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Microsoft Office delivers significant enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers previous editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that provide high stability, scalability, and performance. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be carried out without effort. Each workstation and server requires a clean installation that involves reconfiguring application software, backing up and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC running XP, even the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" installation. Consequently, there will never be a better time to move to x64 processing on the workstation, since it will involve little extra work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting your organization to understand the practical advantages, costs, and technical risks associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, 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 make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you want to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to run. If moving to 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 testing and upgrade experts can help you to decide which workstation hardware and applications can or should be preserved, and outline a migration process that is minimally disruptive to your network operations.

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

  • Progent's experience delivering remote computer support services can save you effort and money over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background working with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical information transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 processing solution, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and robustness.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in creating and validating a workplace recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM support professionals can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated online backup with the capability of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA network security consultants can help you create a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection technologies included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your network's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve equipment, simplify management, improve reliability, cut colocation and hosting costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online education can help get your network support staff and your office workers up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering interactive online webinars specialized for your computing environment and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Help Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To learn more details about how Progent's consultants can assist you to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.