Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the availability of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed better. However, most network managers are understandably hesitant to take on a significant migration project when the main advantages — improved stability, capacity, and speed — are too vague to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background helping companies to carry out network-wide migration projects, Progent can help your company to assess the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, create an efficient migration strategy that minimizes productivity interruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote support as you upgrade the system software powering your existing servers and desktops.

With most office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers including notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these computers continue to host 32-bit software platforms.

The primary reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for upgrading existing computers has seemed to be small in comparison to the work needed. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current applications, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, many popular desktop productivity software are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are real. The memory partitioning techniques used in 32-bit OS platforms are essentially a technical afterthought that limits stability. RAM-hungry programs are sometimes not able to access available RAM since the O/S cannot assign it effectively. This results in programs shutting down or performing fitfully even though a computer seems to have plenty of unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit software platforms support much more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch more data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-intensive application to another more quickly when you are using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Initiative
Microsoft's x64 software works with the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now deployed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is restricted to special advanced processors and is designed for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Office delivers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte file size that hampers previous versions of Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of many Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that provide advanced stability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade cant be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that involves reconfiguring applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for most in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Windows XP, even the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a clean install. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to x64 processing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting you to understand the business benefits, expenses, and technical variables associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop 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 programs that you want to retain plus the new 64-bit versions of software you plan to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade consultants can assist you to decide which workstation computers and programs can or ought to be preserved, and design an upgrade procedure that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.

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

  • Progent's experience providing online network consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and money during your x64 migration, and Progent's background cooperating with internal support personnel and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high level of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can help you in developing and validating a workplace recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM support professionals can help you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support automated remote backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified network security consultants can help you develop a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the powerful security mechanisms included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide security vulnerability checking to evaluate or confirm your network's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, streamline administration, improve fault tolerance, cut hosting expenses, and speed up restoration time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help bring both your network support staff and your desktop workers up to date quickly and affordably by providing interactive online virtual training specialized for your computing environment and business processes.
Contact Progent for Help Migrating to 64-bit Computing
To find out additional information about how Progent can help your business to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.