Our central office needs a new server. Configuration is hardly rocket science: it's a mission critical application, DNS, and DHCP server, as well as a domain controller for the office. Fortunately, there are never more than 10 people accessing it, so a single server can get the job done. The existing server, however, is low on space, really low on performance, lost a hard drive from the RAID array last week, and is definitely on its last legs.
I've been finding great deals with HP lately on laptops and the servers they configured for the high school have performed well, so I figured I'd just go HP (all the major OEMs use the state bid list here in Massachusetts, so I don't need to go through competitive bidding). The configuration the vendor proposed, however, was even more budget basement than even we wanted. This server does need to handle our entire payroll/HR application and keep the office running smoothly, so I'd rather not cheap out.
I figured, just for grins, that I'd fire the same specs over to my Dell rep. Dell hasn't exactly been synonymous with superior customer service lately and as I've priced out some small, individual purchases lately, Dell hasn't been tops in price either. However, within a couple hours, I had a suggestion from a Dell engineer to stick with a single server instead of two lower-powered machines, a very competitive price, and a very robust backup solution.
The next day, I made a quick tweak via email based on a suggestion from the HRM application vendor and the whole order was placed before the end of the fiscal year today. Nice.
It's good to be able to put Dell back onto my short list of vendors as we outfit the districts administrative staff with PCs. Hopefully, this wasn't a one-shot deal.