Having a configuration tool to use while working with a client on the possibility of deploying a High Availability solution based on the Intel Modular Server is a big plus.
Enter the IMS 3D Configuration Tool:
The tool is found on the IMS micro site:
Once we click into the tool we are greeted with a Welcome page:
Click begin configuration and choose the chassis type by dragging it up into the top right quadrant:
We can now go through configuring the Compute Modules on the front of the IMS chassis then spin it around and drop in the needed Ethernet Switch module, second Storage Controller Module, and the additional 2 power supplies.
Click on any component category in the left hand column to find and click on a component to drag it into its respective place in the IMS chassis.
Having this tool is really great.
But, there is an absolutely critical element to utilizing this tool to close a solution sale with a client and that is _Product Knowledge_.
In our own office on our own time we need to use the Intel Server Configurator Tool and our distribution Web sites to price out the various configurations we will be positioning for the client.
Having two or three compute module configurations as standards for entry, mid, and high compute intensive tasks running in the cluster would be a good idea.
Knowing the costs on 146GB 15K SAS versus 160GB X25-M Intel SSDs and then Near Line 7200RPM SAS would be a valuable asset when considering the various possibilities with the client.
Understanding how each component interacts and/or requires another component for things to work is also a key element to a successful solution close.
Finally, to the business owner or contact that we are working with, our understanding of _their_ business and the relative costs for systems down time is _very_ important. We can then position High Availability as the best insurance against incurring lost productivity costs against their employees.
Lost productivity = lost dollars! It is important to emphasize that those dollars add up extremely fast for SMB/SME companies and that High Availability pays for itself in the immediate to long run.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book