Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit processing has never been more compelling. Still, most network administrators are predictably hesitant to take on a sizable upgrade project when the main advantages — increased stability, scalability, and performance — are excessively vague to evaluate precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with years of experience assisting companies to implement system-wide migration projects, Progent can assist your company to understand the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, create an efficient migration strategy that reduces operational interruptions, and deliver cost-effective, expert remote technical support while you upgrade the system software running your existing servers and desktops.

For most office networks, 64-bit processing is a giant unexploited power source. Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers including laptops, desktop PCs, engineering workstations and advanced servers already possess the architecture to run in 64-bit format. However the majority of these computers continue to run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The primary reason for this widespread hesitation to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for updating existing computers has appeared to be small in comparison to the effort needed. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which means reinstalling existing programs, backing up and recovering data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem vague and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning schemes utilized by 32-bit systems are essentially a technical afterthought that undermines stability. RAM-hungry applications are sometimes not able to utilize free RAM since the O/S is unable to allocate it effectively. This results in software freezing or performing fitfully even though a machine seems to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more data per clock cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly when using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Software
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs currently installed in office networks. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is limited to special high-end Intel/AMD CPUs and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Before the availability of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Office offers dramatic improvements. For example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted by the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by 32-bit versions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of many Microsoft Server platforms, such as Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so typically it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be done seamlessly. Every desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring applications, saving and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current desktop PCs, and for every PC running Windows XP, even the 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to x64 computing on the desktop, since it will require little extra work.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting you to evaluate the practical benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of software you wish to install. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration consultants can assist you to determine which workstation hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and outline a migration procedure that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.

Additional ways Progent can help your business to upgrade to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote computer consulting and troubleshooting can save you effort and money during your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house support staffs and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the effectiveness of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your x64 processing environment, that it is easy to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in developing and validating a business continuity strategy that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support experts can help you to configure System Center SCDPM to support automated remote backup with the advantage of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA security experts can assist you develop a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your company's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on equipment, simplify administration, improve robustness, lower hosting expenses, and speed up recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online training classes can help bring both your IT management team and your desktop workers up to date quickly and affordably by delivering remote virtual training customized for your network environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
For additional details about how Progent can help you to upgrade to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.