Introduction to 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade SupportWith the availability of Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. Still, most network managers are understandably hesitant to take on a sizable upgrade task when the primary benefits — improved dependability, scalability, and speed — are excessively intangible to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping companies to implement system-wide upgrades, Progent can assist your company to assess the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that minimizes operational disruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote technical support while you upgrade the software powering your current computers.

For the majority of office networks, 64-bit computing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all types of business computers such as notebooks, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these computers still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main reason for this common reluctance to join the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be modest in comparison to the work required. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This requires thorough planning to do economically. Furthermore, many popular office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the advantage?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM memory partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. Memory-starved applications are often unable to access existing RAM since the operating system is unable to allocate it effectively. This can be the cause of software freezing or executing erratically even though a machine seems to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and process twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive program to another more quickly while using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit processors found in most servers and desktop PCs now deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is restricted to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Microsoft Office 2010 offers significant improvements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by 32-bit releases of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that provide high stability, capacity, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be done without effort. Each workstation and server requires a clean installation that entails reinstalling application software, saving and restoring data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most current desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Windows XP, even the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a clean installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting you to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit applications which you intend to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade consultants can help you to determine which desktop hardware and applications can or should be retained, and outline a migration procedure that is the least disruptive to your business productivity.

Other ways Progent's consultants can help you to migrate to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote computer support services can save your business time and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with internal IT staffs and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is configured to support your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of security and dependability.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can help you in creating and testing a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM engineering experts can help you to configure System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated remote backup with the advantage of fast system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA certified security specialists can assist you develop a company-wide security plan that implements some of the powerful protection mechanisms included with x64 servers. Progent can also provide security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your company's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware resources, simplify administration, improve fault tolerance, cut colocation costs, and reduce recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online training classes can help get your IT support staff and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online virtual training customized for your computing environment and business procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
For additional details about how Progent's engineers can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.