Right-sizing SBS 2003 hardware [Advanced SBS 2003 Best Practices book excerpt]

Howdy y’all – fast and mad this Monday was! I an the publisher of the Advanced Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best PRactices book and I like to hold virtual book readings – so read on! BTW – my SBS 2008 book is now here!



Right-Sizing SBS Hardware

With a thorough understanding of what’s happening in today’s server hardware world, you’re better equipped to make the appropriate buying decisions based on features and capabilities. However, the real art involves “right-sizing” a hardware configuration to the needs of each customer. A wise man by the name of Roger Otterson, one of the driving forces behind the San Diego Small Business Server Group (www.sandiegosbs.org), explained right-sizing as the ability to evaluate a business’ needs and, based on a rough budget (which gets even more complicated if the customer doesn’t have any idea what they should be spending), propose a complete package that covers all of the bases for that entity. According to Roger, one of the most difficult aspects of right-sizing is that businesses often aren’t sure exactly what they need. The customer might have a raw feeling with regard to price and performance, akin to buying a new car and knowing the difference between a Toyota Corolla and a Lexus LS430, but it’s the job of the technically-minded consultant to synthesize knowledge and an understanding of the customer. That means shedding the medium-business IT mentality of buying an entire Lexus fleet. Instead, maximize the potential of something less expensive, to fit within the confines of a small business budget.

In other words, a business with 10 client workstations running a standard suite
of Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft
Windows SharePoint Services, and perhaps a Microsoft SQL Server database,




Visit www.smbnation.com for additional SMB and SBS book, newsletter and conference resources.





CHAPTER Chaper 2 1 So Understanding You Want to Hardwre Be an in SMB the SBS Consultant?!?! Environment

probably won’t tax a dual-processor server with a SCSI RAID array. Moreover, suggesting a $700 server, adding $300 for a pair of external hard drives, $600 for software, and another $500 for additional network hardware might very well turn off your customer, leaving them with an impression of you akin to the stench of a car salesman angling for a big commision.

There is no hard and fast equation for determining what hardware a server that’s communicating with 5, 10, 25, or 50 clients will need to function smoothly. Perhaps the easiest way to make that valuation is to consider the benefits of each platform—Xeon versus Pentium 4, and Opteron versus Athlon 64—and determine which features are imperative. If the business with 20 client machines doesn’t need DBS or EMT64, and doesn’t anticipate doubling in size over the next few years, there isn’t any need for a Xeon. Going the Pentium 4 route will save hundreds of dollars. If the customer plans on turning their server off every night, if they won’t be running an enterprise database application, and if they don’t plan on serving large files to each client on a regular basis, there probably isn’t any need for SCSI hard drives either. Investing in Serial ATA will yield more capacity, comparable speeds in light-load environments, and modest reliability, and again will save hundreds of dollars. Finally, if an office is already wired for 100 Mbps Ethernet and Gigabit isn’t explicitly required, you can surely save even more money by sticking to the older standard.


Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (www.smbnation.com)

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – my Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is now here!


Leave a comment

Filed under Book

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s