Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration ConsultantsThanks to the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been better. However, most IT managers are predictably reluctant to launch a major upgrade task when the main advantages — improved dependability, scalability, and performance — are excessively intangible to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of experience helping companies to carry out network-wide upgrades, Progent can assist your company to understand the costs and benefits of adopting 64-bit processing, create an economical upgrade strategy that minimizes operational interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote support as you upgrade the software running your existing servers and desktops.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit processing is a giant untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all types of business computing hardware such as laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers already have the ability to operate in 64-bit format. However most of these devices still host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main reason for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for upgrading existing systems has appeared to be modest in comparison to the work needed. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, backing up and recovering data, and installing new drivers. This requires careful planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, most desktop applications are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the advantage?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, but they are real. The memory allocation schemes used in 32-bit systems are basically a technical band-aid that limits stability. RAM-hungry programs are sometimes not allowed to access available RAM because the operating system is unable to allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of software shutting down or executing erratically even though a machine seems to have ample unused RAM. Also, 64-bit software platforms support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-intensive application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and faster, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs used in most servers and desktop PCs now installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is restricted to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers significant enhancements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit versions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances it costs 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 versions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can’t be carried out without effort. Each workstation and server requires a clean installation 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 every PC powered by XP, even the 64-bit release of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" installation. This being the case, there will never be a better time to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will require little additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping your organization to understand the practical benefits, expenses, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit programs which you want to retain as well as the latest 64-bit versions of software 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 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade consultants can help your company to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be retained, and outline an upgrade process that is minimally disturbing to your network operations.

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

  • Progent's expertise providing online network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and expense over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background cooperating with internal support staffs and providing technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the effectiveness of your support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is optimized to support your x64 computing environment, that it is simple to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in creating and testing a workplace recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support experts can help you to configure System Center SCDPM to support automated remote backup with the advantage of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security specialists can help you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new security technologies included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or verify your network's adherence to industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, streamline management, enhance dependability, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online education can help get your IT management staff and your office employees up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by delivering interactive online webinars customized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
For additional information about how Progent can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.