► Most server customers are more concerned about reliability and uptime than performance. Focus on reliability and proven compatibility of hardware/software components.
► Allow for some expansion, especially with RAM and hard drives. A customer will value the ability to upgrade rather than replace during the expected life of a server.
► Consider noise, especially with pedestal servers for SMB. Ensure there is good fan speed control. It may be operating in an open office environment.
► When quoting servers, option the redundancy features so that the client can see the value in the components that will deliver uptime.
► Explain to the customer the advantages of investing in good quality raid, hot-swap and hot-spare hard drives when it comes to recovering from disc failure. It's better to offer the option upfront, even if it's not taken up by the client. If a failure does occur and results in extended downtime, then the client had been given a choice.
► Backup, backup, backup. Especially when working on a customer's data.
► If replacing a motherboard in a server using on-board RAID, ensure the RAID is activated in the BIOS otherwise data may be lost (but of course there is the backup isn't there?)