Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade SupportWith the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit computing has never seemed more compelling. However, many network managers are understandably hesitant to launch a sizable migration task when the main advantages — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are too intangible to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Gold Partner with years of experience helping businesses to implement network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist you to understand the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, design an efficient upgrade scheme that minimizes productivity interruptions, and deliver affordable, expert remote support while you upgrade the software powering your existing servers and desktops.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit computing is a giant unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these in-place 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 business advantage for updating existing systems has seemed to be modest in relation to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current programs, saving and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most desktop productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, but they are significant. The RAM management techniques used in 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines stability. Memory-starved programs are sometimes not allowed to utilize existing RAM since the operating system cannot assign it efficiently. This results in software shutting down or executing erratically even when a computer seems to have ample available memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms allow much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive program to another faster when you are using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Support
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit processors found in most servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is limited to a few advanced CPUs and is designed for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Microsoft Office 2010 offers significant enhancements. As an example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by previous editions of Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so typically 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 64-bit editions that provide high stability, scalability, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be done without effort. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, saving and restoring data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by XP, even the 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there will never be a better time to migrate to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will require little additional work.

How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting your organization to understand the business advantages, expenses, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft certified engineers can help you design, document, implement, administer, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit applications that you intend to keep as well as the latest 64-bit editions of applications you wish to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can help your company to decide which workstation computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and design a migration process that is minimally disruptive to your network operations.

Other ways Progent can help your business to migrate to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing remote computer consulting and support can save your business time and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal IT personnel and providing technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of data protection and robustness.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in developing and testing a workplace recovery strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM support experts can help you to deploy System Center SCDPM to provide ongoing remote backup with the capability of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security specialists can help you develop a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the powerful security mechanisms included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also provide security vulnerability checking to evaluate or confirm your company's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to utilize 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware, streamline management, improve robustness, lower hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online education can help bring both your IT management staff and your office employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by delivering interactive online webinars specialized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
To find out more information about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.