Preparing for 64-bit Processing
64-bit Upgrade SupportThanks to the release of Windows 7, the business justification for migrating to 64-bit processing has never been better. However, many IT managers are understandably hesitant to launch a sizable upgrade project when the primary benefits — improved dependability, scalability, and performance — are too vague to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of experience assisting companies to implement network-wide upgrades, Progent can assist your company to understand the risks and benefits of adopting 64-bit processing, design an economical upgrade strategy that minimizes business interruptions, and provide affordable, high-level remote support while you update the system software powering your current computers.

With most office networks, 64-bit processing is a giant unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their commodity CPUs for years, so that all types of business computers such as notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and back-office servers already have the architecture to operate in 64-bit mode. However most of these devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems.

The primary reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the business advantage for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be modest in relation to the effort needed. There is no automatic process to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit OS. The enhancement requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling current applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to carry out efficiently. Meanwhile, most desktop productivity software are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Moving Up to 64-bit Processing
The benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may seem vague and hard to quantify, but they are significant. The memory partitioning schemes used in 32-bit platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that limits system stability. RAM-starved programs are sometimes not able to utilize available RAM since the O/S cannot allocate it effectively. This results in software shutting down or performing erratically even when a computer appears to have ample unused memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems allow much more physical RAM than 32-bit ones and process more data per clock cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly when you are running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and faster, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Support
Microsoft's “x64” software works with the 64-bit processors found in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now installed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" software is restricted to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is intended for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit versions, which can still be run on x64 platforms. The latest family of Microsoft Office delivers dramatic improvements. As an example, Microsoft Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous datasets that are not restricted to the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server x64 editions are priced the same as their 32-bit editions, so typically it costs nothing more for 64-bit server operating systems or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that provide high dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be carried out without effort. Each desktop PC and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, saving and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical in-place desktop PCs, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, any version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to carry out a "from scratch" install. Consequently, there has never been a better opportunity to move to 64-bit processing on the workstation, since it will require scarcely any extra work.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting you to evaluate the business benefits, costs, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and repair a system-wide migration to 64-bit server and client operating systems and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it handles all of the important 32-bit programs which you want to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of software you wish to install. 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 evaluation and migration consultants can help you to determine which workstation hardware and programs can or should be retained, and design an upgrade process that is the least disturbing to your network operations.

Other ways Progent's consultants can help your business to upgrade to 64-bit computing include:

  • Progent's expertise providing online computer consulting and troubleshooting can save your business effort and money during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with in-house IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network engineers can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to support your 64-bit processing environment, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it provides a high degree of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity engineers can assist you in developing and validating a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) engineering professionals can assist you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to provide near-continuous online backup with the capability of rapid data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC certified security experts can assist you create a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection mechanisms incorporated into 64-bit servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability testing to evaluate or verify your network's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server solutions to leverage your hardware, streamline administration, enhance fault tolerance, lower hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online instruction can help get your IT management team and your office workers up to date quickly and affordably by delivering online virtual training customized for your computing environment and operational processes.
Contact Progent to Get Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
For additional information about how Progent can help you to migrate to 64-bit computing, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.