Here is a sample Intel based server that we would configure for a small SMB with 5-10 seats.
- Intel S3420GPLX Server Board
- Intel Xeon Processor X3450 @ 2.66GHz
- 8GB DDR3 ECC Kingston RAM
- Intel RS2BL040 RAID Controller
- 146GB 15K RPM Seagate SAS Drives x4 in RAID 10
- About 280GB of usable storage with high I/O.
- 6 Bay Hot Swap Backplane
- Intel SC5650UP Server Chassis
One can find a similar setup in a Tier 1 machine, though the cost may be a bit higher.
Essentially, today’s entry level server systems that have been configured _properly_ to run Small Business Server 2008 should run about $3,000.00 (in Canadian Dollars).
Now, take that $3K and divide that over the life expectancy of the server:
- $3K/3 = $1,000.00/Year
Okay, now, let’s say we are dealing with a client that has 5 seats.
- $1K/5 = $200/Year/User
Now, the next step is to break that figure down a little more to provide some context to the business owner:
- $200/1800Hrs = $0.11/Hr per user
- The 1800Hrs per year is calculated roughly on 50 weeks worked with some days off for statutory holidays.
Part of the discussion is to also ask our contact for a general gross annual income for the company. We take that number and break it down just as we do the costs. We generally end up with an employee’s value being anywhere from $65/Hour all the way up to $125/Hour.
Knowing these details helps to explain the value proposition of our IT solution.
During our conversations we spend a fair amount of time learning what our clients or prospective clients value in their IT solutions. That can be anything from user’s productivity to having a disaster recovery plan and the appropriate backup structures in place.
When we know what our contact values the most in their IT solution, we can place a dollar figure on it and start talking to them about the return on their investment (ROI) versus their total cost of ownership (TCO) without using all of those fancy acronyms or Geek Speak.
Explained this way, the total solution cost starts to take on a _very_ different perspective.
Have a great Labour Day Weekend everyone and thanks for reading! :)
UPDATE: Added a sample configuration sheet to our Intel Server Configuration downloads page.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book