Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade HelpWith the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been better. Still, most IT administrators are understandably hesitant to launch a significant migration project when the main benefits — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are too intangible to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background assisting companies to carry out network-wide migrations, Progent can help you to assess the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit computing, design an efficient migration scheme that minimizes operational disruptions, and deliver cost-effective, high-level online consulting as you update the software running your current servers and desktops.

With the majority of office networks, 64-bit processing is a great untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been delivering 64-bit capability in their mainstream CPUs for years, so that all classes of business computers including notebooks, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and back-office servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit mode. However the majority of these computers continue to host 32-bit operating systems and applications.

The main reason for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit revolution is that the real benefit for upgrading existing systems has appeared to be modest in comparison to the effort required. There is no seamless process to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade requires a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, saving and restoring data, and installing new 64-bit drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, many popular desktop productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem vague and hard to define precisely, yet they are real. The RAM management techniques utilized by 32-bit OS platforms are essentially a technical band-aid that limits system stability. RAM-hungry applications are often unable to utilize available memory because the operating system is unable to allocate it efficiently. This can be the cause of programs freezing or performing erratically even when a machine appears to have ample unused memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support much more addressable RAM than 32-bit ones and process twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one memory-hungry application to another more quickly while running in a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Initiative
Microsoft's ďx64Ē technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs now deployed in business IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" support is limited to a few high-end processors and is intended for environments that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft 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 enhancements. For 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 by the 2-Gbyte file size imposed by 32-bit releases of Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 editions of key 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 x64 versions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit editions, so typically it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 editions that offer advanced stability, capacity, and performance. As with all migrations from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up canít be carried out seamlessly. Each workstation and server needs a clean setup that involves reconfiguring applications, saving and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current workstations, and for every PC powered by Windows XP, any release of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better time to upgrade to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will involve little extra work.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, administer, and repair a network-wide migration to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the key 32-bit programs which you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of software you wish to run. If moving to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is included in your x64 migration plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can assist you to decide which desktop computers and applications can or should be preserved, and design a migration process that is the least disruptive to your business operations.

Other ways Progent's consultants can assist your business to migrate to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering online network consulting and support can save your business effort and money during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal support staffs and delivering technical information transfer to them can improve the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit processing solution, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it provides a high level of data protection and reliability.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in creating and testing a workplace recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager support 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 network security engineers can assist you develop a company-wide security plan that deploys some of the new protection technologies included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability checking to assess or verify your company's compliance with mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware, simplify management, enhance reliability, cut hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's online training classes can help bring both your network support team and your desktop workers up to date rapidly and affordably by delivering remote virtual training specialized for your network environment and operational procedures.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Upgrading to x64 Computing
For more information about how Progent can assist you to upgrade to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.