Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration ConsultantsWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for moving to 64-bit computing has never been more compelling. Still, many network administrators are understandably reluctant to take on a sizable upgrade task when the primary advantages — increased stability, capacity, and speed — are too intangible to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than a decade of background assisting businesses to implement network-wide migration projects, Progent can assist you to assess the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade strategy that minimizes business interruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote consulting as you update the software running your existing computers.

For the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit processing is a giant unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware including laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers now have the architecture to run in 64-bit format. Yet most of these computers still run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main reason for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for updating existing systems has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, backing up and restoring data, and installing new drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem subtle and hard to quantify, but they are significant. The memory management schemes utilized by 32-bit operating systems are basically a technical band-aid that limits system stability. RAM-hungry programs are often unable to utilize free memory since the O/S is unable to assign it effectively. This can be the cause of software freezing or executing erratically even though a computer seems to have plenty of unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more information per CPU cycle. You can also go from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit processors used in most computers now installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is limited to special advanced CPUs and is intended for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Microsoft Office 2010 offers dramatic enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte file size that hampers previous editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced identically to 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that offer high stability, capacity, and performance. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring applications, saving and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, even the 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting you to understand the business benefits, expenses, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit programs that you want to keep as well as the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration experts can help you to decide which workstation computers and programs can or should be retained, and plan an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

Other ways Progent's consultants can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to support your x64 computing solution, that it is simple to track, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of security and robustness.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in developing and validating a disaster recovery plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) support professionals can help you to deploy System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast data restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC network security experts can assist you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the powerful security mechanisms included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or verify your network's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware resources, simplify management, enhance reliability, cut colocation costs, and reduce recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online training classes can help bring both your IT support staff and your desktop employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing interactive online virtual training customized for your network environment and operational procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
To learn additional details about how Progent can help you to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.