Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Migration ConsultantsThanks to the release of Microsoft Windows 7, the business case for moving to 64-bit processing has never seemed better. Still, most network administrators are predictably reluctant to take on a sizable upgrade task when the primary advantages — increased dependability, capacity, and speed — are excessively vague to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping businesses to implement network-wide migrations, Progent can help you to assess the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit processing, create an efficient migration scheme that minimizes productivity disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level online support while you update the software powering your existing servers and desktops.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit processing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their commodity CPUs for years, with the result that all types of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers now possess the architecture to operate in 64-bit format. However the majority of these in-place devices continue to run 32-bit software platforms.

The primary cause for this common hesitation to join the 64-bit millennium is that the real advantage for upgrading existing computers has appeared to be small in comparison to the effort required. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current programs, saving and recovering data files, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This requires thorough planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, most office productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so where's the benefit?

Benefits of Moving Up to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may appear to be vague and difficult to quantify, but they are real. The RAM memory allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit systems are basically a technical afterthought that undermines system stability. Memory-starved programs are often not able to access existing RAM since the O/S cannot allocate it effectively. This results in software freezing or executing erratically even when a machine seems to have ample available RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow far more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and crunch more data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-intensive application to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes environments more reliable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Support
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now installed in office networks. (Microsoft's "Itanium" platform is limited to a few high-end CPUs and is designed for applications that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before 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 nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The new family of Office delivers dramatic enhancements. As an example, Excel 2010 is offered in a 64-bit version that allows you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not restricted to the 2-gigabyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of many Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 versions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit editions, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price x64 versions that offer high dependability, scalability, and throughput. Like all migrations from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade canít be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reconfiguring applications, saving and restoring data files, and configuring 64-bit drivers. On the other hand, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for all PCs running XP, even the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will involve scarcely any extra work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping your organization to understand the practical advantages, expenses, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you plan, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a network-wide move to 64-bit server and client OS software and business applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to verify that it handles all of the important 32-bit applications which you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit versions of applications you wish to run. If adopting Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your 64-bit upgrade strategy, Progent's certified Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 evaluation and upgrade experts can assist your company to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or should be preserved, and outline a migration process that is the least disruptive to your network operations.

Other ways Progent can help you to upgrade to x64 computing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote computer consulting and support can save your business effort and expense over the course of your 64-bit upgrade, and Progent's experience cooperating with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network engineers can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to accommodate your x64 processing solution, that it is easy to track, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's disaster recovery engineers can assist you in developing and validating a disaster recovery plan that incorporates your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center SCDPM to provide automated remote backup with the capability of fast data restoration.

  • Progent's CISM, CISSP, and GIAC security experts can assist you create a comprehensive security plan that deploys some of the powerful protection technologies incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also carry out security vulnerability checking to evaluate or confirm your company's adherence to mandated security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to conserve hardware, streamline management, improve robustness, lower colocation and hosting expenses, and speed up recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's live online training classes can help get both your network support team and your desktop employees up to date quickly and affordably by delivering remote webinars customized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
To learn more details about how Progent's engineers can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.