Servers feature: Pros and Cons

Servers feature: Pros and Cons

Making a server play in the SMB space is not without its pitfalls. Brennan IT’s BEN LEGGO shares his thoughts on what to avoid.

There are lots of pitfalls to avoid when making a server play in the SMB space, not least of which involves burdening clients with complexity and gratuitous boxes.

According to technical services manager at mid-market integrator Brennan IT, Ben Leggo, dropping boxes on clients can cause difficulties down the track, especially as IT strategies evolve.

"The net effect of having a large number of servers in one location is that if you then want to transpose that into a disaster recovery site your cost is prohibitive and the technologies available to you will be few and quite expensive," he said. "Then you are still hamstrung by the telecommunications network in Australia where the costs of the pipes to facilitate replication of your data can be excessive."

While de-duplication technology is one solution to help overcome the problem, a more appropriate tack would be to simply not throw boxes at clients in the first place. Leggo said the channel should take the time to consult with the client and explain solutions such as virtualisation to achieve better business outcomes.

"What we are seeing in terms of pitfalls are companies that are perhaps at the small end of the market who are not willing to adopt VMware or virtualisation-oriented technologies this year," Leggo said. "There is still some immaturity in that space and they don't think the product is well enough involved. We see a lot of uptake in the enterprise but while the price has come done considerably we're not seeing the level of uptake one would expect in SMB. A large part of that comes down to personal opinion of internal IT managers.

"The pitfall is more for the client than anything else. But certainly the sell is more difficult due to a lack of faith or familiarity with the product."

Leggo predicted Microsoft's entry to the server virtualisation market would help raise the profile of virtualisation but the jury is still out on whether it will be successful in convincing SMBs to get on-board.

"Explaining it and being able to produce case studies, not necessarily case studies that are from the US but particularly local case studies from your own client base...tends to be quite a powerful tool," Leggo said.

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