Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade HelpWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never seemed more compelling. Still, most network managers are predictably hesitant to launch a major upgrade task when the main benefits — increased dependability, scalability, and speed — are excessively intangible to evaluate precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with over two decades of experience assisting businesses to implement network-wide migrations, Progent can help you to assess the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical upgrade scheme that reduces business interruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level remote support while you update the software running your existing computers.

With most office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all types of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. Yet most of these devices still host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main cause for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the work needed. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, saving and recovering data files, and installing new drivers. This requires thorough planning to do economically. Furthermore, many popular office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM management techniques utilized by 32-bit systems are basically an engineering afterthought that limits system stability. RAM-hungry applications are often unable to access available RAM because the O/S is unable to allocate it effectively. This can be the cause of programs freezing or running fitfully even when a computer appears to have plenty of unused memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow far more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch more data per CPU cycle. You can also go from one RAM-intensive application to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and faster, which makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Support
Microsoft's “x64” technology supports the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now deployed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" support is restricted to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The latest family of Microsoft Office offers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily 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 64-bit versions that offer high dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be done without effort. Each workstation and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for every PC powered by XP, the 32 or 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to carry out a "from scratch" installation. Consequently, there will never be a better time to move to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will involve scarcely any extra effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping you to understand the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit programs that you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of software you plan to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can help your company to determine which desktop hardware and applications can or should be preserved, and design a migration procedure that is minimally disruptive to your business productivity.

Other ways Progent can help you to migrate to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing online network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and money during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal IT staffs and providing technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is configured to support your 64-bit computing environment, that it is simple to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of security and robustness.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consulting professionals can help you in creating and testing a workplace recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support professionals can assist you to configure System Center SCDPM to support automated remote backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC security experts can help you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new security technologies included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or confirm your network's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can show you how to use 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on equipment, simplify administration, enhance robustness, cut colocation and hosting costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online training classes can help get both your network support staff and your office employees up to speed rapidly and cost-effectively by providing remote virtual training customized for your network requirements and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Help Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
To learn additional details about how Progent can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.