Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never seemed stronger. Still, many IT managers are predictably reluctant to launch a significant migration project when the primary benefits — increased dependability, scalability, and speed — are excessively vague to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background assisting companies to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist your company to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, create an economical migration strategy that minimizes productivity disruptions, and deliver affordable, expert online technical support while you update the software running your existing servers and desktops.

With most office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all types of business computing hardware such as laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers now have the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these devices still host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for updating in-place systems has seemed to be small in relation to the effort needed. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling current programs, backing up and recovering data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the advantage?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM management techniques utilized by 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. Memory-starved applications are often not allowed to access existing memory because the O/S cannot assign it effectively. This can be the cause of programs freezing or running erratically even when a machine seems to have plenty of unused memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support far more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry program to another more quickly when using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and faster, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit processors used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is limited to special high-end processors and is intended for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The new generation of Office delivers dramatic enhancements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that allows you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers previous editions of Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that provide high dependability, scalability, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling application software, saving and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place workstations, and for every PC running Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean install. This being the case, there has never been a better time to move to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping your organization to evaluate the business advantages, costs, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit programs that you want to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of applications you wish to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can assist you to determine which workstation computers and applications can or ought to be preserved, and outline a migration process that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.

Additional ways Progent can help you to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering remote network support services can save your business effort and money over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal support personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing solution, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of data protection and dependability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in creating and validating a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support experts can assist you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide automated online backup with the capability of rapid data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC security engineers can assist you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new security mechanisms included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your company's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on equipment, streamline management, enhance fault tolerance, cut colocation costs, and reduce restoration time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online education can help get your network management team and your office workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by delivering remote webinars customized for your computing requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Processing
To find out more details about how Progent's consultants can help your business to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.