Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never been more compelling. Still, many network managers are understandably reluctant to take on a sizable upgrade project when the primary advantages — improved stability, scalability, and performance — are excessively vague to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience assisting businesses to carry out network-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist your company to assess the costs and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, create an economical upgrade strategy that reduces productivity interruptions, and provide cost-effective, expert remote support while you update the software running your current computers.

For the majority of office IT systems, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all classes of business computers including notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and advanced servers now have the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. However most of these computers continue to host 32-bit software platforms.

The main cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for upgrading existing computers has appeared to be small in comparison to the work needed. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This requires careful planning to do efficiently. Meanwhile, most desktop applications are currently available only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be subtle and hard to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM memory allocation techniques utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines stability. RAM-hungry programs are often not able to utilize existing memory since the O/S is unable to allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of software shutting down or performing erratically even when a machine seems to have ample available RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow far more addressable memory than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive program to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software supports the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs now installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" platform is limited to special high-end CPUs and is intended for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Office delivers significant enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size imposed by previous versions of Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced identically to 32-bit versions, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For workstations, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 editions that offer high dependability, scalability, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up canít be carried out without effort. Every desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that involves reconfiguring application software, saving and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most in-place workstations, and for every PC running XP, any edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a clean installation. 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 Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping your organization to understand the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit programs that you want 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 x64 upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can help you to decide which desktop computers and applications can or should be retained, and design a migration process that is minimally disruptive to your network productivity.

Other ways Progent can assist your business to upgrade to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering remote computer support services can save you effort and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal support staffs and delivering technical knowledge transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can help you in creating and testing a business continuity plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous online backup with the advantage of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security engineers can help you create a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful security mechanisms included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability testing to evaluate or confirm your network's compliance with industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware resources, streamline administration, improve dependability, cut colocation and hosting costs, and reduce restoration time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online education can help bring your network management team and your desktop workers up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by delivering online virtual training specialized for your computing environment and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Support for Migrating to x64 Processing
For additional information about how Progent's engineers can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.