Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the availability of Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit computing has never been more compelling. However, most network managers are predictably reluctant to launch a significant migration task when the main benefits — increased dependability, capacity, and performance — are too vague to quantify with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping businesses to carry out network-wide migrations, Progent can assist your company to assess the risks and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical migration scheme that minimizes productivity interruptions, and deliver affordable, expert remote support and troubleshooting as you update the software running your current computers.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers including laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers now have the ability to run in 64-bit format. Yet the majority of these in-place computers still run 32-bit operating systems.

The main cause for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for upgrading existing computers has appeared to be small in relation to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean install, which means reinstalling current programs, saving and restoring data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to do economically. Meanwhile, most office applications are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be subtle and difficult to quantify, yet they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit operating systems are essentially a technical band-aid that limits stability. Memory-hungry programs are sometimes not allowed to utilize available RAM since the operating system is unable to assign it effectively. This can be the cause of software shutting down or running fitfully even when a machine seems to have plenty of available memory. In addition, 64-bit software platforms allow much more physical memory than 32-bit ones and process more data per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-intensive program to another faster when running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology supports the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs currently installed in business networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is limited to a few high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The new generation of Office delivers significant enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit versions, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer advanced dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up canít be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reinstalling application software, saving and restoring data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most current desktop PCs, and for every PC running Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a clean install. Consequently, there will never be a better time to migrate to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will involve little additional effort.

How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping your organization to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications which you want to retain as well as the new 64-bit versions of software you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist you to decide which desktop computers and applications can or ought to be preserved, and outline an upgrade process that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

Other ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to upgrade to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering online network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and expense over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical information sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to support your x64 computing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of security and dependability.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in developing and testing a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting experts can assist you to configure System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast data restoration.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security specialists can assist you develop a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the powerful protection technologies incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your network's compliance with mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can show you how to use 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your equipment, streamline management, enhance reliability, cut colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online training classes can help bring your IT management team and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and affordably by delivering online virtual training customized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Help Upgrading to x64 Processing
To find out more details about how Progent's engineers can help your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.