Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the availability of Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never seemed better. Still, many network administrators are understandably reluctant to take on a sizable migration task when the main benefits — increased stability, capacity, and speed — are too intangible to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with over 20 years of experience assisting companies to implement system-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help your company to assess the risks and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, create an efficient upgrade scheme that reduces business disruptions, and deliver affordable, expert online technical support while you update the system software powering your existing computers.

For most office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all classes of business computing hardware such as notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers already possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet the majority of these devices still run 32-bit software platforms.

The main cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for upgrading in-place systems has appeared to be small in relation to the effort required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current programs, saving and restoring data, and installing new drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, most office applications are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are real. The memory allocation techniques used in 32-bit systems are essentially a technical band-aid that limits system stability. Memory-hungry programs are often not able to access free memory since the operating system cannot allocate it effectively. This can be the cause of programs freezing or running erratically even though a computer seems to have plenty of unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-intensive application to another faster when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs used in most computers currently installed in business networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is restricted to a few advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The new family of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers significant improvements. For example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers previous versions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced the same as 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For workstations, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that provide high dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can't be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that entails reconfiguring applications, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will involve little extra work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping your organization to evaluate the business benefits, expenses, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot 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 verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit applications which you want to retain as well as the new 64-bit versions of applications you wish to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can help you to decide which workstation computers and applications can or should be preserved, and outline an upgrade process that is minimally disruptive to your network productivity.

Other ways Progent can assist your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing remote computer consulting and support can save you effort and expense over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience working with internal IT personnel and delivering technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 computing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high level of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in developing and testing a business continuity plan that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering experts can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide automated online backup with the advantage of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security engineers can assist you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new security technologies included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also provide security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your network's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware, streamline administration, improve fault tolerance, cut colocation costs, and reduce restoration time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help bring your IT support team and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by delivering interactive online webinars customized for your network environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
To learn additional details about how Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.