Overview of 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration HelpWith the availability of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never seemed more compelling. Still, many network administrators are understandably reluctant to launch a sizable migration project when the main benefits — improved stability, scalability, and performance — are excessively vague to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with more than 20 years of background helping businesses to implement system-wide migrations, Progent can help you to assess the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, design an economical upgrade strategy that minimizes business interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level online technical support as you update the software powering your existing servers and desktops.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit processing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all classes of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now have the ability to operate in 64-bit format. Yet the majority of these in-place devices still run 32-bit software platforms.

The main cause for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for updating existing systems has seemed to be small in comparison to the effort required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade requires a clean install, which means reinstalling current applications, saving and restoring data files, and installing new drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, most office productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The memory allocation techniques used in 32-bit operating systems are basically an engineering afterthought that undermines system stability. Memory-starved programs are sometimes not able to utilize available RAM because the O/S cannot assign it effectively. This can be the cause of software shutting down or performing fitfully even when a computer seems to have plenty of available memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also jump from one memory-hungry program to another faster when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Support
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is restricted to special high-end CPUs and is intended for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Office 2010 offers dramatic enhancements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by previous releases of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit editions, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that offer high stability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can't be done without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring application software, saving and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most current desktop PCs, and for every PC running Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better time to migrate to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will involve little extra effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
In addition to helping you to evaluate the practical benefits, expenses, and technical variables associated with migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit programs which you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of software you plan to install. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration consultants can assist you to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and design a migration procedure that is minimally disturbing to your business operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and money over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is configured to support your 64-bit computing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high level of data protection and dependability.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in developing and validating a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM consulting professionals can help you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support automated online backup with the capability of fast data restoration.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security consultants can help you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new security technologies incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your network's adherence to industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve equipment, streamline administration, improve reliability, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up recovery time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's online training classes can help bring your IT management staff and your desktop employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing online virtual training specialized for your network environment and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Migrating to x64 Computing
For more details about how Progent can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.