Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade HelpThanks to the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit computing has never been more compelling. However, many network managers are understandably hesitant to launch a significant migration task when the main benefits — increased stability, scalability, and speed — are too vague to evaluate with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with years of background assisting businesses to implement network-wide migrations, Progent can assist you to understand the risks and rewards of moving to 64-bit computing, design an efficient upgrade strategy that minimizes business interruptions, and deliver affordable, expert remote engineering help while you update the system software running your existing servers and desktops.

With most office networks, 64-bit computing is a great unexploited power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computers such as notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and back-office servers already have the ability to run in 64-bit format. Yet the majority of these in-place computers still host 32-bit software platforms.

The main cause for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for updating existing systems has appeared to be modest in comparison to the work required. There is no seamless process to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement demands a clean install, which means reinstalling existing applications, backing up and recovering data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires careful planning to do economically. Furthermore, many popular office applications are still available only in 32-bit editions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, but they are significant. The RAM partitioning techniques utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that limits system stability. RAM-hungry applications are sometimes not allowed to access free RAM since the operating system is unable to allocate it efficiently. This results in programs freezing or executing fitfully even when a computer seems to have ample available memory. Also, 64-bit operating systems support far more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much information per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry application to another faster when running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's x64 Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology supports the 64-bit processors used in most computers now installed in office IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is limited to special high-end CPUs and is designed for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client applications such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Office 2010 offers significant enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte file size imposed by previous releases of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced and licensed identically to 32-bit editions, so in most circumstances it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer advanced stability, scalability, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade canít be done without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean installation that entails reinstalling application software, backing up and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place workstations, and for every PC powered by XP, the 32 or 64-bit release of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 requires you to perform a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit computing on the desktop, since it will require scarcely any additional effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to assisting you to understand the business advantages, costs, and technical variables attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, administer, and troubleshoot a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop operating systems and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit applications that you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit versions of software you plan to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and upgrade experts can assist your company to decide which desktop computers and programs can or should be preserved, and plan an upgrade procedure that is minimally disturbing to your business operations.

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

  • Progent's expertise delivering remote computer consulting and support can save you time and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience working with internal IT staffs and delivering technical information transfer to them can increase the effectiveness of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to track, manage, and repair, and that it offers a high level of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in creating and validating a business continuity plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center SCDPM consulting professionals can assist you to configure System Center SCDPM to provide automated online backup with the capability of rapid system recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC certified network security consultants can assist you create a company-wide security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or validate your company's adherence to mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve equipment, streamline administration, improve reliability, cut colocation costs, and reduce recovery time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help get both your network management team and your desktop workers up to date quickly and affordably by providing interactive online virtual training customized for your computing environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Expertise in Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
To find out additional information about how Progent can assist your business to upgrade to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.