Microsoft SharePoint 2010 has generated a lot of interest among IT professionals and, although it won't be generally available for awhile yet, there are some steps you can take to prepare to upgrade to Microsoft SharePoint 2010. Each of the following six steps is integral to a successful upgrade. They are all common sense steps that may take a little time to complete, but will be worth the effort when your upgrade runs smoothly.
Step No. 1: Make sure you have 64-bit hardware for your SharePoint servers and SQL Server
Most SharePoint installations currently run on Windows Server 2003 in 32-bit mode; however, they will require 64-bit Windows Server 2008 or 64-bit Windows Server R2 to utilize SharePoint 2010. SQL Server also will require 64-bit mode on SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008. Don't forget about your virtual environment-Virtual Server and Virtual Desktop both support only 32-bit images, so you will need Windows Server 2008 Hyper V to support the virtual images commonly used in SharePoint development, testing and production environments.
Step No. 2: Upgrade your current installation to SharePoint Service Pack 2
This is one of the most important things you can do to prepare to run PreUpgradeCheck (included in SP 2), the free Stsadm command that is key to providing guidance on upgrade requirements and determining whether your upgrade will be successful. Service Pack 2, or one of the newer cumulative updates, is required for running PreUpgradeCheck.
Step No. 3: Discuss Office 2010 with the desktop team
If you are still running Windows XP and Office 2003, now is a good time to consider an upgrade to Office 2010 and Windows 7. Office 2010 provides the richest SharePoint integration available so far, as well as the best innovations for editing office clients since Office 97. Windows 7 is widely considered the best operating system ever.
During your discussions, don't forget to include the possibility of using Office Web Applications, which are versions of Office applications available by subscription from the cloud. Office Web Applications can be cost-effective, save time and improve your organization's productivity.