Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration ConsultantsWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never seemed better. Still, most IT administrators are understandably hesitant to take on a major upgrade project when the primary advantages — increased dependability, scalability, and speed — are excessively intangible to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with years of experience helping businesses to carry out system-wide migrations, Progent can assist you to understand the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an efficient migration strategy that reduces productivity disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level remote technical support while you upgrade the software running your existing computers.

For most office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computers such as notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit format. Yet the majority of these devices still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary reason for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real advantage for upgrading in-place systems has appeared to be modest in comparison to the effort needed. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, saving and restoring data files, and installing new drivers. This requires careful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, most office productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and difficult to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM memory allocation schemes used in 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical afterthought that limits stability. Memory-starved applications are often not allowed to utilize existing memory because the O/S is unable to allocate it effectively. This results in programs shutting down or running erratically even though a machine seems to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow far more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also go from one RAM-intensive program to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit processors found in most servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is limited to special advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The new family of Office 2010 offers significant improvements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by 32-bit versions of Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced the same as 32-bit versions, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that offer high dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can’t be carried out without effort. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring application software, saving and restoring data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most current desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, any version of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a clean installation. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to move to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will require little extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping you to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft Gold-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit programs that you want to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to run. If moving to 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 planning and migration experts can assist your company to decide which workstation hardware and programs can or should be retained, and plan a migration procedure that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing remote network support services can save you time and money over the course of your x64 migration, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical information sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is optimized to support your 64-bit processing solution, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of security and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can assist you in developing and validating a business continuity strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM engineering professionals can help you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous remote backup with the advantage of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security engineers can assist you develop a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the new protection mechanisms included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability testing to evaluate or validate your company's compliance with mandated security requirements.

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

  • Progent's live online instruction can help get your IT support team and your desktop employees up to speed quickly and affordably by providing remote webinars customized for your computing requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
To learn additional information about how Progent's engineers can help your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.