Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration ConsultantsWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit processing has never been stronger. Still, many IT managers are understandably reluctant to take on a major migration task when the primary advantages — improved dependability, scalability, and performance — are too vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than a decade of background assisting companies to carry out system-wide migrations, Progent can help your company to assess the costs and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that reduces business interruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert remote technical support as you update the system software running your current servers and desktops.

For most business networks, 64-bit computing is a giant unexploited resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all types of business computers including laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and advanced servers now have the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these in-place computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for updating in-place computers has seemed to be small in relation to the effort required. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean install, which means reinstalling current programs, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular office applications are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem subtle and hard to quantify, but they are real. The RAM memory partitioning techniques used in 32-bit OS platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines stability. RAM-starved programs are sometimes unable to utilize free RAM since the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This can be the cause of programs shutting down or running fitfully even when a machine seems to have plenty of available memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support much more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive application to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers now deployed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is limited to special high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Office 2010 delivers dramatic improvements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit releases of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer advanced stability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be done without effort. Each workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reinstalling applications, saving and restoring data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place workstations, and for every PC powered by Microsoft Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean installation. This being the case, there has never been a better time to move to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will involve little additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to helping you to understand the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you want to keep plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you plan to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can help your company to decide which desktop computers and applications can or ought to be preserved, and outline an upgrade procedure that is the least disturbing to your business operations.

Additional ways Progent can assist your business to migrate to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote network support services can save your business time and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT staffs and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your x64 processing solution, that it is easy to track, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of security and robustness.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM consulting professionals can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide automated online backup with the capability of fast system restoration.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified network security engineers can help you create a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new security mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your company's adherence to mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on equipment, simplify management, improve fault tolerance, lower hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help get your IT support team and your office workers up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering remote webinars specialized for your computing environment and operational procedures.
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
For more details about how Progent's engineers can help your business to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.