Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpWith the availability of Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit computing has never seemed more compelling. Still, most network managers are understandably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade task when the main advantages — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are excessively vague to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background assisting businesses to carry out network-wide upgrades, Progent can assist you to understand the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient migration strategy that minimizes operational interruptions, and provide affordable, expert online consulting as you upgrade the system software running your existing computers.

For the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and back-office servers already have the ability to operate in 64-bit format. However the majority of these in-place computers still run 32-bit operating systems.

The primary reason for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for upgrading in-place systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the work required. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, saving and recovering data, and configuring new drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem subtle and difficult to quantify, yet they are real. The memory allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially an engineering afterthought that undermines system stability. RAM-starved applications are sometimes not able to access existing memory since the O/S cannot assign it effectively. This can be the cause of software shutting down or running fitfully even when a computer appears to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms support far more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive program to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit processors found in most servers and desktop PCs now installed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is limited to special high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Office 2010 delivers significant enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited by the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by previous editions of Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced the same as their 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that offer high dependability, capacity, and performance. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade canít be done seamlessly. Every workstation and server requires a clean installation that involves reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC running Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there has never been a better time to move to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will require little extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping your organization to evaluate the practical benefits, expenses, and technical risks associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit applications which you want to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of applications you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and upgrade experts can assist you to determine which desktop hardware and applications can or ought to be preserved, and plan an upgrade procedure that is minimally disturbing to your network operations.

Other ways Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote network consulting and support can save your business time and expense during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience working with internal support staffs and delivering technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.

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

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can help you in creating and validating a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering professionals can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous online backup with the capability of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security specialists can help you develop a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection technologies incorporated into 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to assess or verify your network's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you utilize 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your equipment, streamline administration, 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 get your IT support team and your office workers up to date quickly and affordably by providing remote webinars customized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Help Upgrading to x64 Computing
To learn more details about how Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.