Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Migration SupportWith the availability of Windows 7, the business justification for upgrading to 64-bit processing has never seemed stronger. However, many network administrators are understandably reluctant to launch a sizable upgrade task when the main advantages — improved dependability, capacity, and speed — are too intangible to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with years of background helping businesses to implement system-wide upgrade projects, Progent can assist your company to understand the costs and benefits of adopting 64-bit computing, design an economical upgrade strategy that reduces business disruptions, and deliver affordable, high-level remote consulting while you update the system software powering your current servers and desktops.

With the majority of office networks, 64-bit processing is a great unexploited resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU chip makers, have been incorporating 64-bit capability in their commodity processors for years, with the result that all classes of business computing hardware including notebooks, desktop computers, engineering workstations and advanced servers already have the ability to run in 64-bit format. However most of these in-place devices continue to run 32-bit operating systems.

The primary reason for this common reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for upgrading in-place computers has appeared to be small in comparison to the effort needed. There is no automatic path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean installation, which calls for reinstalling current applications, saving and restoring data files, and installing new drivers. This demands thorough planning to carry out economically. Furthermore, most office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit versions, so where's the advantage?

Benefits of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The benefits of 64-bit over 32-bit processing may seem subtle and hard to define precisely, but they are real. The RAM memory partitioning schemes used in 32-bit systems are basically a technical afterthought that undermines stability. Memory-hungry programs are often not able to utilize available RAM since the operating system cannot assign it efficiently. This can be the cause of software shutting down or running fitfully even when a machine seems to have ample available memory. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support far more physical memory than 32-bit ones and crunch twice as much data per CPU cycle. You can also jump from one RAM-hungry program to another more quickly when using a 64-bit system. Basically, 64-bit computing makes environments more stable, more scalable, and more efficient, which makes companies more productive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit CPUs used in most computers currently installed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's "Itanium" software is limited to special advanced CPUs and is designed for environments that require large-scale multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, the majority of Microsoft desktop applications including 2007 Office and Visual Studio 2005 were offered only in 32-bit editions, which can still be used on x64 Windows. The latest family of Microsoft Office 2010 delivers dramatic enhancements. For example, Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge databases that are not limited to the 2-Gbyte maximum file size imposed by 32-bit releases of Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 editions of key Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, BizTalk Server, plus System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server 64-bit editions are priced the same as 32-bit versions, so typically you pay nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For desktop PCs, Microsoft supplies Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-cost 64-bit versions that provide advanced dependability, scalability, and performance. Like all migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the upgrade can’t be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server requires a clean setup that entails reconfiguring application software, backing up and recovering data, and configuring 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for most current desktop PCs, and for all PCs running XP, any release of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will require you to perform a clean install. Consequently, there has never been a better time to move to 64-bit processing on the desktop, since it will require little extra effort.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides helping your organization to evaluate the practical advantages, costs, and technical variables associated with upgrading to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan, document, implement, manage, and troubleshoot 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 applications that you intend to keep plus the latest 64-bit editions of applications you wish to run. If moving to 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 you to determine which workstation computers and programs can or should be retained, and design a migration process that is minimally disruptive to your business productivity.

Additional ways Progent's consultants can help your business to migrate to x64 processing include:

  • Progent's experience delivering online computer consulting and support can save your business effort and money during your x64 migration, and Progent's background cooperating with in-house support staffs and providing technical information sharing to them can increase the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can verify that your network infrastructure is optimized to accommodate your 64-bit computing environment, that it is simple to monitor, administer, and troubleshoot, and that it offers a high degree of security and fault tolerance.

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

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC security specialists can assist you create a company-wide security strategy that deploys some of the powerful security mechanisms included with x64 server platforms. Progent can also provide network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or validate your company's adherence to industry or government security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization engineers can help you benefit from 64-bit virtual server solutions to conserve equipment, streamline administration, enhance reliability, lower colocation expenses, and speed up recovery time in case of a disaster.

  • Progent's online instruction can help bring both your network management team and your desktop workers up to speed rapidly and affordably by providing interactive online webinars specialized for your network environment and business procedures.
Contact Progent to Get Support for Upgrading to 64-bit Processing
For more information about how Progent's engineers can help your business to migrate to 64-bit processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.