Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade ConsultantsThanks to the availability of Microsoft Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit computing has never been stronger. However, many network managers are understandably reluctant to launch a major upgrade task when the primary advantages — increased stability, scalability, and speed — are excessively intangible to quantify precisely. As a Microsoft Partner with years of background assisting companies to carry out system-wide migrations, Progent can help you to assess the risks and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, design an economical upgrade scheme that minimizes productivity interruptions, and provide cost-effective, high-level remote technical support as you upgrade the software powering your current servers and desktops.

With the majority of business IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped power source. Both Intel and AMD, the leading CPU chip makers, have been delivering 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all classes of business computers such as notebooks, desktop computers, high-powered workstations and advanced servers now possess the ability to operate in 64-bit format. Yet the majority of these computers still host 32-bit software platforms.

The primary cause for this widespread hesitation to join the 64-bit revolution is that the business benefit for updating in-place systems has appeared to be small in comparison to the effort required. There is no seamless path to upgrade from a 32 to a 64-bit operating system. The enhancement requires a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling existing programs, backing up and restoring data, and configuring new drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, most office productivity software are currently available only in 32-bit versions, so where's the advantage?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit computing may appear to be subtle and difficult to define precisely, but they are significant. The RAM memory partitioning schemes used in 32-bit OS platforms are basically an engineering band-aid that undermines stability. Memory-starved applications are often not allowed to access available memory since the operating system is unable to assign it effectively. This results in software shutting down or running fitfully even though a machine appears to have plenty of unused RAM. Also, 64-bit software platforms allow much more addressable RAM than 32-bit systems and crunch more data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly when running in a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more expandable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Processing Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs found in most servers and desktop PCs now installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" initiative is limited to a few advanced processors and is intended for applications that need large-scale multi-processing.) Prior to the release of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft client applications including Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available only in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The new generation of Office delivers significant improvements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version that permits you to create spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit versions of Excel.

Microsoft has developed true x64 versions of key Microsoft Server platforms, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, as well as Operations Manager. Microsoft Windows Server 64-bit versions are priced and licensed the same as 32-bit counterparts, so ordinarily it costs nothing more for 64-bit server software or machines.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost x64 versions that offer high dependability, capacity, and performance. Like all upgrades from 32- to 64-bit platforms, the move up can’t be carried out seamlessly. Every workstation and server requires a clean setup that entails reinstalling application software, backing up and recovering data files, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current workstations, and for every PC powered by XP, any release of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to carry out a clean installation. Consequently, there will never be a better opportunity to upgrade to 64-bit computing on the workstation, since it will require little additional effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Upgrade to 64-bit Computing
In addition to helping you to evaluate the practical benefits, expenses, and technical risks attached to migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, carry out, manage, and troubleshoot a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and business applications. Progent can help you pilot your 64-bit infrastructure to make sure it supports all of the important 32-bit programs which you intend to retain plus 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 certified Windows 7 engineers, Windows 8.1 migration consultants, and Windows 10 planning and migration experts can help you to decide which desktop hardware and programs can or ought to be retained, and design a migration procedure that is minimally disruptive to your business productivity.

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

  • Progent's expertise providing remote network consulting and troubleshooting can save you time and expense during your x64 upgrade, and Progent's background working with internal IT personnel and delivering technical knowledge sharing to them can improve the efficiency of your network support staff.

  • Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit processing solution, that it is simple to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high level of data protection and robustness.

  • Progent's business continuity consultants can help you in developing and testing a business continuity strategy that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified System Center System Center Data Protection Manager consulting experts can help you to configure Microsoft System Center System Center Data Protection Manager to support automated remote backup with the advantage of rapid data recovery.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security specialists can help you create a company-wide security strategy that implements some of the powerful protection technologies included with x64 servers. Progent can also perform network security vulnerability checking to assess or validate your network's adherence to industry or government security requirements.

  • Progent's virtualization consultants can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your equipment, streamline administration, enhance dependability, lower hosting expenses, and reduce recovery time in the event of a catastrophic breakdown.

  • Progent's online education can help bring your network management team and your desktop workers up to date quickly and cost-effectively by providing remote webinars specialized for your computing requirements and operational processes.
Contact Progent for Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
To learn more information about how Progent can assist you to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.