Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the release of Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. Still, many network managers are understandably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade project when the primary advantages — increased stability, capacity, and speed — are excessively intangible to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background assisting companies to implement system-wide upgrades, Progent can help you to assess the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, create an efficient migration strategy that reduces operational disruptions, and provide affordable, high-level remote support while you upgrade the software running your existing computers.

For most office networks, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, so that all classes of business computing hardware such as laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers already possess the architecture to run in 64-bit format. However the majority of these in-place devices still host 32-bit software platforms.

The main cause for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for updating existing computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean install, which means reinstalling existing programs, saving and recovering data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands thoughtful planning to do efficiently. Meanwhile, many popular office productivity software are still offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may seem subtle and hard to define precisely, but they are real. The RAM memory partitioning schemes used in 32-bit operating systems are essentially an engineering band-aid that undermines system stability. Memory-hungry programs are sometimes not able to utilize available memory because the operating system cannot assign it effectively. This can be the cause of programs freezing or performing erratically even when a computer appears to have ample unused memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow much more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch more data per CPU cycle. You can also switch from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's x64 software works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs now installed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" technology is restricted to a few high-end Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop applications including 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Office offers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Microsoft Office Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to build spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, plus Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced identically to 32-bit versions, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit editions that offer advanced dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade cant be carried out seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean setup that involves reinstalling application software, saving and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical current workstations, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, even the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a clean install. This being the case, there has never been a better time to migrate to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any extra work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping your organization to evaluate the business advantages, expenses, and technical variables associated with migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the key 32-bit applications that you want to retain plus the latest 64-bit editions of software you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can help you to decide which workstation hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and plan an upgrade process that is minimally disruptive to your business operations.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you effort and expense over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's background working with in-house IT staffs and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network architecture is configured to accommodate your x64 processing solution, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high level of security and dependability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can help you in developing and validating a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM support professionals can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security experts can assist you create a comprehensive security plan that implements some of the powerful security technologies incorporated into x64 server platforms. Progent can also perform security vulnerability checking to assess or confirm your network's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware resources, simplify administration, improve robustness, lower colocation and hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help get your network management team and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by delivering interactive online webinars specialized for your computing requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Support for Upgrading to x64 Processing
For additional details about how Progent can assist you to migrate to x64 computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.