Preparing for 64-bit Computing
64-bit Upgrade SupportWith the release of Windows 7, the business case for migrating to 64-bit computing has never seemed stronger. However, many network managers are predictably reluctant to take on a major upgrade task when the main benefits — improved stability, scalability, and speed — are too intangible to quantify precisely. Being a Microsoft Partner with more than a decade of background assisting businesses to carry out network-wide migrations, Progent can help your company to assess the costs and benefits of moving to 64-bit processing, design an efficient migration scheme that reduces productivity disruptions, and provide affordable, expert remote support while you update the system software running your existing computers.

For most office IT systems, 64-bit computing is a giant untapped resource. Intel and AMD, the top CPU makers, have been incorporating 64-bit ability in their mainstream processors for years, so that all classes of business computing hardware such as laptops, desktop computers, engineering workstations and advanced servers already possess the architecture to run in 64-bit mode. However most of these in-place computers still run 32-bit software platforms.

The primary reason for this widespread reluctance to participate in the 64-bit millennium is that the business advantage for updating existing computers has seemed to be modest in relation to the effort required. There is no seamless path to migrate from a 32-bit to a 64-bit operating system. The upgrade demands a clean install, which calls for reinstalling existing applications, backing up and restoring data files, and configuring new drivers. This requires thoughtful planning to carry out economically. Meanwhile, most office applications are currently offered only in 32-bit editions, so what's the benefit?

Advantages of Upgrading to 64-bit Computing
The advantages of 64-bit vs. 32-bit processing may appear to be vague and hard to quantify, but they are real. The RAM memory allocation techniques used in 32-bit systems are essentially an engineering afterthought that limits stability. Memory-starved programs are sometimes unable to access available memory since the operating system cannot assign it effectively. This can be the cause of software shutting down or executing fitfully even though a computer appears to have ample unused RAM. In addition, 64-bit operating systems support much more addressable memory than 32-bit systems and process more data per clock cycle. You can also switch from one memory-intensive program to another faster when you are using a 64-bit environment. Fundamentally, 64-bit processing makes systems more reliable, more expandable, and faster, which in turn makes companies more competitive.

Microsoft's 64-bit Computing Software
Microsoft's “x64” technology works with the 64-bit processors used in virtually all servers and desktop PCs now deployed in office IT systems. (Microsoft's 64-bit "Itanium" initiative is limited to a few advanced Intel and AMD CPUs processors and is designed for applications that require massive multi-processing.) Before the availability of Office 2010, most Microsoft client programs such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 were available solely in 32-bit editions, which can still be run on x64 Windows. The latest generation of Office 2010 delivers dramatic enhancements. For example, Office Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit edition that permits you to build spreadsheets with huge datasets that are not restricted by the 2-Gbyte maximum file size that hampers 32-bit releases of Excel.

Microsoft offers native x64 versions of many Microsoft Server System products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2005, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, as well as System Center Operations Manager. Windows Server x64 versions are priced identically to 32-bit editions, so ordinarily it costs nothing extra for 64-bit server software or hardware.

For client computers, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows 8 in same-price 64-bit editions that provide high stability, scalability, and throughput. As with all upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems, the move up can’t be done seamlessly. Each workstation and server needs a clean installation that entails reconfiguring application software, saving and recovering data files, and installing 64-bit device drivers. In fact, for typical current desktop PCs, and for all PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, the 32 or 64-bit edition of Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 will require you to perform a clean installation. This being the case, there has never been a better opportunity to migrate to x64 computing on the workstation, since it will require little extra effort.

How Progent Can Help Your Business to Migrate to 64-bit Computing
Besides assisting your organization to evaluate the business benefits, costs, and technical variables associated with migrating to 64-bit processing, Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, document, implement, manage, and repair a system-wide move to 64-bit server and desktop OS software and applications. Progent can help you test your 64-bit environment to verify that it supports all of the important 32-bit applications that you intend to keep plus the new 64-bit editions of software you wish to run. If moving to Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is part of your x64 migration strategy, Progent's Windows 7 experts, Windows 8.1 consultants, and Windows 10 testing and migration consultants can help your company to determine which workstation hardware and applications can or ought to be retained, and design an upgrade process that is the least disruptive to your business operations.

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

  • Progent's expertise providing online network consulting and troubleshooting can save your business time and expense over the course of your 64-bit migration, and Progent's experience cooperating with internal support staffs and providing technical information transfer to them can increase the efficiency of your network support team.

  • Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants can make sure that your network infrastructure is configured to accommodate your 64-bit computing solution, that it is easy to monitor, administer, and repair, and that it offers a high level of data protection and fault tolerance.

  • Progent's disaster recovery consultants can help you in developing and testing a disaster recovery plan that includes your 64-bit servers. Progent's Microsoft certified Microsoft System Center SCDPM support experts can assist you to deploy System Center SCDPM to support automated remote backup with the capability of fast data restoration.

  • Progent's CISSP and GIAC network security engineers can assist you create a comprehensive security strategy that implements some of the new protection technologies incorporated into x64 servers. Progent can also carry out network security vulnerability checking to evaluate or verify your network's adherence to mandated security standards.

  • Progent's virtualization experts can help you use 64-bit virtual server technology to leverage your hardware, simplify administration, improve fault tolerance, lower colocation and hosting costs, and speed up restoration time in the event of a disaster.

  • Progent's live online education can help get your IT support team and your office workers up to date quickly and affordably by providing remote virtual training specialized for your computing requirements and business processes.
Contact Progent to Get Expertise in Upgrading to x64 Computing
To learn more information about how Progent can assist your business to migrate to x64 processing, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.