Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade SupportWith the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. Still, most network managers are understandably reluctant to take on a sizable upgrade task when the primary advantages — improved dependability, scalability, and performance — are too vague to quantify with precision. As a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of experience assisting companies to carry out network-wide migrations, Progent can assist your company to understand the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, create an efficient upgrade scheme that reduces business disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level online engineering help as you upgrade the software running your existing computers.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU manufacturers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their commodity processors for years, so that all types of business computing hardware including notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers already have the architecture to run in 64-bit format. Yet most of these computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main cause for this widespread reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be small in comparison to the work needed. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The upgrade requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data, and installing new drivers. This demands careful planning to do economically. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are still available only in 32-bit versions, so what's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem vague and hard to define precisely, but they are real. The RAM memory partitioning schemes used in 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that undermines system stability. Memory-hungry programs are sometimes not allowed to access free RAM since the operating system is unable to assign it effectively. This results in software shutting down or performing fitfully even though a machine appears to have plenty of available memory. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow much more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also go from one RAM-hungry application to another faster while using a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which in turn makes businesses more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē software works with the 64-bit CPUs used in most servers and desktop PCs currently installed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is restricted to a few high-end CPUs and is intended for applications that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft desktop programs including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were offered solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Microsoft Office 2010 offers dramatic improvements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers previous releases of Office Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced identically to 32-bit counterparts, so typically you pay nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and performance. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the move up canít be done seamlessly. Each desktop PC and server needs a clean installation that involves reinstalling application software, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. In fact, for most current workstations, and for all PCs running XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to migrate to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any additional work.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping your organization to evaluate the business benefits, costs, and technical risks attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the key 32-bit programs that you intend to retain as well as the latest 64-bit versions of applications you plan to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can help your company to determine which desktop hardware and programs can or ought to be preserved, and plan an upgrade process that is the least disruptive to your network productivity.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing include:

  • Progent's expertise delivering online computer consulting and support can save your business time and expense during your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house IT staffs and delivering technical information sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your x64 computing environment, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high degree of security and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can assist you in creating and testing a business continuity strategy that incorporates your 64-bit 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 near-continuous remote backup with the advantage of rapid data recovery.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and CISA security experts can help you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the new protection mechanisms included with 64-bit servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your network's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to save money on hardware resources, streamline management, enhance dependability, lower hosting expenses, and reduce restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online education can help bring your IT management team and your desktop employees up to date quickly and affordably by delivering remote webinars specialized for your computing requirements and business procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Processing
To learn more details about how Progent's consultants can help you to upgrade to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.