Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration SupportThanks to the availability of Windows 7, the business case for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never been better. Still, many network managers are predictably hesitant to take on a significant upgrade task when the main benefits — improved stability, capacity, and performance — are excessively intangible to evaluate with precision. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than 20 years of experience assisting businesses to carry out system-wide migration projects, Progent can assist you to assess the costs and rewards of adopting 64-bit computing, create an efficient migration scheme that reduces operational disruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote engineering help as you upgrade the software running your current servers and desktops.

For the majority of business networks, 64-bit computing is a great untapped resource. Both Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all classes of business computers such as laptops, desktop PCs, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit format. However most of these devices continue to host 32-bit operating systems.

The main cause for this common reluctance to join the 64-bit millennium is that the business benefit for upgrading existing systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the effort needed. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This demands careful planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, many popular office applications are still offered only in 32-bit editions, so where's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit over 32-bit computing may seem vague and difficult to define precisely, yet they are significant. The RAM memory allocation schemes utilized by 32-bit platforms are basically a technical band-aid that limits system stability. Memory-starved applications are sometimes not allowed to access available memory since the operating system is unable to allocate it efficiently. This results in software shutting down or performing fitfully even when a computer seems to have plenty of unused RAM. Also, 64-bit operating systems allow much more physical RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch twice as much information per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry program to another faster when using a 64-bit system. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which in turn makes businesses more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Initiative
Microsoft's “x64” software supports the 64-bit CPUs used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs currently deployed in business IT environments. (Microsoft's "Itanium" technology is limited to a few high-end CPUs and is intended for environments that need massive multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Microsoft Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop programs such as 2007 Office and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can nevertheless be run on x64 platforms. The latest generation of Office offers dramatic improvements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to create spreadsheets with enormous databases that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit releases of Excel.

Microsoft offers true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server System products, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, SQL Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Commerce Server, BizTalk Server 2006, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced and licensed the same as their 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server operating systems or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit versions that offer advanced dependability, capacity, and performance. As with all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms, the upgrade can't be done without effort. Every workstation and server needs a clean installation that involves reconfiguring applications, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. On the other hand, for typical current desktop PCs, and for every PC running Microsoft Windows XP, any version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 requires you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there will never be a better opportunity to move to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will require little additional work.

How Progent Can Help You to Migrate to 64-bit Processing
In addition to assisting you to understand the business advantages, costs, and technical variables attached to upgrading to 64-bit computing, Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can help you design, document, carry out, administer, and repair a network-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit programs that you want to retain as well as the latest 64-bit editions of software you plan to run. If adopting Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your 64-bit upgrade plan, Progent's Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and upgrade consultants can help your company to determine which workstation computers and programs can or should be preserved, and outline an upgrade process that is the least disruptive to your business operations.

Additional ways Progent can assist you to upgrade to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's experience providing remote network consulting and support can save your business effort and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's experience working with in-house IT staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your support staff.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network architecture is optimized to support your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to monitor, manage, and repair, and that it provides a high level of security and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's business continuity consulting professionals can assist you in developing and testing a business continuity plan that includes your x64 servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting experts can help you to configure System Center SCDPM to support near-continuous online backup with the advantage of fast system restoration.

  • Progent's CISM and CISA certified network security specialists can help you develop a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection technologies included with 64-bit server platforms. Progent can also provide security vulnerability testing to assess or validate your network's compliance with industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to save money on hardware resources, streamline administration, enhance dependability, cut hosting costs, and speed up recovery time in case of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online instruction can help get both your network management staff and your desktop workers up to speed quickly and cost-effectively by providing online webinars customized for your computing environment and business processes.
Contact Progent for Support for Migrating to 64-bit Processing
To find out additional information about how Progent can assist your business to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.