Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpWith the release of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been better. Still, many IT managers are predictably hesitant to launch a sizable migration task when the primary benefits — increased dependability, scalability, and performance — are excessively intangible to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with over 20 years of experience assisting companies to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can help your company to assess the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical upgrade strategy that reduces business interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote support and troubleshooting as you update the system software powering your current servers and desktops.

For the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all types of business computers such as notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers now possess the architecture to run in 64-bit format. Yet most of these devices continue to host 32-bit software platforms.

The main reason for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for updating existing systems has seemed to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no automatic path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, saving and restoring data, and configuring new drivers. This requires careful planning to carry out efficiently. Furthermore, many popular desktop applications are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and difficult to quantify, yet they are real. The RAM partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit platforms are essentially an engineering band-aid that limits stability. RAM-hungry programs are often not allowed to utilize free memory because the operating system cannot assign it effectively. This results in software shutting down or executing erratically even when a machine appears to have plenty of available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems support much more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and process more information per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly while using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's x64 Software
Microsoft's x64 technology supports the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs now deployed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is limited to special high-end CPUs and is designed for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The new generation of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers dramatic improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited by the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit versions, so in most circumstances you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that provide high dependability, capacity, and throughput. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be carried out without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring applications, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical current workstations, and for every PC running Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit edition of Microsoft 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 workstation, since it will require little additional work.

How Progent Can Assist You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides assisting you to understand the practical benefits, expenses, and technical variables attached to migrating 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 OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit versions of software you wish to install. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade consultants can help your company to determine which desktop computers and programs can or should be preserved, and outline a migration procedure that is the least disruptive to your business productivity.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and expense during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT personnel and providing technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to support your x64 computing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can assist you in creating and testing a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support experts can assist you to deploy Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support automated online backup with the capability of fast system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA network security engineers can assist you create a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the new security technologies incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability testing to assess or confirm your network's adherence to mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to use 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on equipment, streamline administration, improve robustness, cut colocation expenses, and reduce recovery time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help get your IT management team and your desktop employees up to date quickly and cost-effectively by delivering remote virtual training customized for your computing environment and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Support for Migrating to 64-bit Processing
For more details about how Progent's engineers can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.