Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration HelpThanks to the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been stronger. However, many IT managers are understandably reluctant to launch a sizable migration project when the main advantages — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are excessively vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting businesses to implement network-wide migrations, Progent can assist you to understand the risks and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, design an efficient migration scheme that minimizes operational interruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level remote support and troubleshooting as you update the system software running your current computers.

For most business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now have the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these devices still run 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for upgrading existing computers has seemed to be modest in comparison to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing applications, saving and restoring data files, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, most desktop productivity software are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the advantage?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and difficult to define precisely, but they are significant. The RAM memory management techniques utilized by 32-bit operating systems are basically a technical afterthought that undermines stability. RAM-starved programs are sometimes not able to access free memory since the operating system cannot assign it efficiently. This results in software shutting down or executing fitfully even when a machine appears to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow much more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive application to another faster when using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most computers currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is restricted to special high-end CPUs and is intended for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The new generation of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that offer high dependability, capacity, and throughput. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better time to upgrade to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will involve little additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist You to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting your organization to understand the practical benefits, expenses, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the key 32-bit applications which you want to retain as well as the new 64-bit editions of applications you wish to run. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade consultants can help your company to determine which workstation computers and programs can or should be retained, and plan a migration procedure that is the least disturbing to your business operations.

Additional ways Progent can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal support staffs and delivering technical information transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit processing solution, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous remote backup with the advantage of rapid data restoration.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA certified security engineers can help you create a company-wide security plan that implements some of the new protection mechanisms included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your company's compliance with mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve equipment, streamline management, improve robustness, lower hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online instruction can help get your network support staff and your office workers up to date rapidly and affordably by delivering interactive online virtual training specialized for your network environment and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Support for Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To find out additional information about how Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.