Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the release of Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit computing has never been more compelling. However, many IT managers are predictably hesitant to launch a major upgrade task when the primary benefits — increased dependability, scalability, and performance — are excessively intangible to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience assisting companies to carry out system-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help you to assess the risks and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, create an efficient migration strategy that minimizes operational disruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote consulting as you upgrade the software powering your existing computers.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great untapped power source. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. However most of these devices still run 32-bit software platforms.

The main cause for this common hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for updating in-place computers has appeared to be small in relation to the work required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands thorough planning to do efficiently. Furthermore, many popular office applications are currently available only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem subtle and difficult to define precisely, yet they are real. The RAM management techniques utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes unable to access available RAM because the O/S cannot assign it efficiently. This results in software shutting down or running fitfully even though a machine appears to have ample available memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow far more physical memory than 32-bit ones and process twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-hungry program to another faster when you are running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and faster, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology works with the 64-bit CPUs used in most computers currently installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is limited to special advanced Intel/AMD CPUs and is designed for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Office 2010 offers dramatic enhancements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte 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, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so typically you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that provide high stability, capacity, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be carried out without effort. Every workstation and server requires a clean installation that entails reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for all PCs powered by Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there will never be a better time to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any extra effort.

How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting you to understand the business advantages, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, implement, administer, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit programs that you intend to retain plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can help you to decide which desktop hardware and applications can or should be retained, and design a migration process that is minimally disturbing to your network operations.

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

  • Progent's experience providing online network consulting and support can save your business effort and money during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background working with in-house support personnel and providing technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your x64 computing solution, that it is easy to track, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of security and dependability.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can help you in developing and testing a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering experts can assist you to configure System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support near-continuous remote backup with the capability of rapid data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified network security specialists can help you create a comprehensive security strategy that deploys some of the powerful protection technologies included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your company's adherence to industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware resources, simplify administration, improve robustness, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help get your network support staff and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by providing online webinars specialized for your computing environment and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
To learn additional information about how Progent's engineers can help you to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.