Friday 3 September 2010

SBS 2008 Entry Level Server Configuration

Here is a sample Intel based server that we would configure for a small SMB with 5-10 seats.

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.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer


Andrew said...

Thanks, that was informative and very handy info. How would your default config change if you were installing a virtualized SBS08 Premium solution (ie. Win Standard or Core with Hyper-V role,+ virtual SBS2008 and Standard with Terminal Services /SQL)

Nick Stango said...

Do you get a cock-eyed look when you tell them the you should upgrade a the 3 /4 /5 yr life cycle. Intel stops supporting after 3. You can invoice the client for an addtl 1-2 yr warranty pkg if you keep parts in stock after the 3yr warranty.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


A post on the what we would configure for an SMB that requires SBS 2008 Premium will be forthcoming.


None of our client systems ever go beyond the three year age if we can help it.

Using the same numbers found in this post we talk to them about the overall cost increase/risk due to compoonent age. In our experience, chance of component failure increases exponentially beyond the two to three year mark.