Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade ConsultantsWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never seemed better. Still, many IT managers are understandably hesitant to take on a significant migration project when the primary advantages — improved dependability, capacity, and performance — are excessively intangible to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than a decade of experience helping businesses to implement system-wide upgrades, Progent can assist you to understand the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that reduces productivity interruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote support and troubleshooting while you update the software powering your current computers.

For most business IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already have the architecture to run in 64-bit format. However the majority of these devices still run 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 updating in-place systems has seemed to be small in comparison to the work needed. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current programs, saving and recovering data files, and installing new drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, most desktop productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be subtle and hard to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM memory management schemes utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. RAM-starved programs are often unable to access free memory because the O/S cannot allocate it efficiently. This results in software shutting down or executing erratically even though a computer appears to have plenty of available RAM. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow much more physical memory than 32-bit systems and process twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry program to another faster when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and faster, which makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers currently deployed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is restricted to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Microsoft Office 2010 offers significant enhancements. As an example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by previous releases of Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that provide high stability, capacity, and performance. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can’t be carried out seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most current workstations, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there will never be a better time to move to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any extra effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting you to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, manage, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit applications that you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of applications you plan to install. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and migration experts can assist your company to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or should be retained, and design a migration procedure that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.

Other ways Progent can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote computer consulting and troubleshooting can save you effort and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is configured to support your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can help you in developing and validating a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support experts can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support automated online backup with the capability of rapid data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security experts can help you create a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your network's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware resources, simplify administration, improve robustness, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online education can help bring your IT support team and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online virtual training customized for your computing environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to x64 Computing
To find out additional information about how Progent's engineers can assist you to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.