Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration HelpThanks to the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit processing has never been stronger. Still, most network administrators are understandably hesitant to launch a significant upgrade task when the main advantages — increased stability, scalability, and speed — are excessively vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with years of background assisting companies to carry out system-wide migration projects, Progent can assist you to understand the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, design an economical upgrade scheme that reduces business disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level remote support while you update the software powering your current servers and desktops.

With most business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computers including laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers already have the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these devices continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The main reason for this common reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for updating in-place computers has appeared to be modest in comparison to the work required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current programs, backing up and recovering data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, many popular desktop applications are still offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and hard to quantify, yet they are real. The memory allocation techniques used in 32-bit systems are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines stability. Memory-hungry programs are sometimes not allowed to utilize free RAM because the O/S cannot assign it efficiently. This results in software freezing or performing erratically even when a computer appears to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow much more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and process more data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive program to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's x64 Software
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs now deployed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" platform is restricted to a few high-end processors and is intended for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit versions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Office 2010 delivers dramatic enhancements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers previous versions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed identically to 32-bit editions, so typically it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and performance. 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 involves reconfiguring applications, saving and restoring data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most current desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP, any version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to move to x64 processing on the workstation, since it will require little extra work.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping you to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft Gold-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit applications that you want to keep as well as the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade experts can assist your company to decide which workstation hardware and programs can or should be retained, and plan an upgrade process that is minimally disturbing to your network productivity.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help you to upgrade to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote computer consulting and support can save your business time and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house support personnel and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your support team.

  • Progent's certified 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 troubleshoot, 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 strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can help you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified security experts can assist you create a company-wide security plan that implements some of the new security mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your company's adherence to industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware, streamline management, enhance fault tolerance, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online training classes can help bring your IT management team and your office workers up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online webinars customized for your computing requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
To learn more information about how Progent can help you to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.