Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade SupportWith the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been more compelling. Still, most network managers are understandably reluctant to take on a major migration task when the main benefits — improved stability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background assisting businesses to implement system-wide migrations, Progent can assist you to understand the costs and rewards of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that reduces productivity disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level remote support and troubleshooting as you upgrade the software powering your current servers and desktops.

For most business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip manufacturers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already have the ability to operate in 64-bit format. However most of these devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main cause for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the real benefit for updating existing computers has appeared to be modest in comparison to the work needed. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, backing up and recovering data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and difficult to define precisely, but they are real. The RAM management schemes used in 32-bit platforms are basically an engineering afterthought that limits system stability. RAM-hungry applications are sometimes not able to access existing memory since the O/S is unable to allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of software shutting down or performing fitfully even when a computer appears to have ample available memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow much more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and process twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry application to another faster when using a 64-bit environment. Basically, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit processors used in most servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is limited to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be used on x64 platforms. The new family of Microsoft Office offers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by previous releases of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed identically to their 32-bit counterparts, so in most circumstances you pay nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that provide advanced dependability, scalability, and performance. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade canít be carried out without effort. Each workstation and server requires a clean installation that involves reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for every PC running XP, even the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a clean install. Consequently, there has never been a better time to move to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will involve little extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
Besides helping your organization to understand the practical advantages, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, administer, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit programs that you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you plan to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 upgrade plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can assist your company to determine which desktop hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and design an upgrade process that is the least disturbing to your business productivity.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help you to migrate to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote network support services can save your business effort and expense over the course of your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to support your 64-bit computing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and fault tolerance.

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

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security consultants can help you create a company-wide security plan that deploys some of the powerful security mechanisms included with x64 servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or verify your company's adherence to mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can show you how to benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve hardware, streamline management, enhance robustness, lower hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online training classes can help bring your network support team and your desktop workers up to speed quickly and affordably by providing remote virtual training customized for your network environment and operational procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Migrating to x64 Processing
To find out additional details about how Progent can help you to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.