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Custom MBX server helps CDW build managed services business

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mbx.com +1 847.487.2700 | SALES: 800.560.1195 | SUPPORT: 888.440.1617 | 1200 Technology Way, Libertyville, Illinois, 60048 | MBX Systems © 2020 11 CUSTOM MBX SERVER HELPS CDW BUILD MANAGED SERVICES BUSINESS CHALLENGE: Reduce the cost and space requirements of an expensive off-the-shelf server to help make CDW more competitive and profitable. SOLUTION: MBX custom-configured a half-rack short-depth platform using off-the-shelf components, reducing the price, size and weight as well as users' power and cooling costs. Appliance tailored to CDW needs 75% cost reduction over off-the-shelf server 50% smaller footprint Easier hard drive hot swaps by customer Reduced customer power and cooling costs Consistent componentry from order to order Cost-effective lights-out management No minimum quantities Rapid order fulfillment Lower shipping costs with smaller unit End-of-life component management Better customer acceptance of smaller unit Major expansion of customer base Increased managed services profitability Business Managed Services MBX Benefits Half the Size, One-Fourth the Cost & Better Functionality than Off-the-Shelf Hardware F or CDW Managed Services, a division of Fortune 500 technology company CDW Corporation, the secret sauce of the operation is bottled in a box that is used to monitor various aspects of customers' information technology infrastructure. In its first generation, that box was an expensive, off-the-shelf 1U server with two business drawbacks. The size was a snag with prospects trying to conserve data center space. The cost compromised CDW's ability to maintain competitive pricing as well as earn sufficient profit on smaller contracts. Several years ago, CDW turned to custom server designer/manufacturer MBX Systems to reduce the footprint as well as the price tag of the original hardware. Today, thanks to MBX engineering, CDW's Base Management Nodes are half the size, one-fourth the cost, and available in both single- and dual-node deployment configurations. The upshot: more managed services business, reduced customer acquisition expenses, and higher profit per sale. Sizing Issues Whether remotely managing networks, systems, databases and/or applications installed at the customer's site or hosting the customer's technology at any of its five data centers, CDW deploys one or more of its Base Management Nodes to provide the necessary monitoring and connectivity capabilities for its managed services operations. Each box houses both proprietary and third-party applications for functions such as remote management, health monitoring, account maintenance and secure client access. For simplicity's sake, every system is equipped with the same so ware and operating system whether CDW is monitoring five servers or 50, 200 network devices and a SAN, or on a remote or hosted basis. "These Management Nodes are what makes us different from any other managed services provider on the planet. It's not just how we manage but how we connect," said Jeremy Guthrie, Technical Architect, CDW Managed Services. "Instead of creating a VPN between the customer and our head-end that risks losing visibility if a connection is lost, we are constantly collecting information from the client environment with these units and are able to recover the data once the system is back online. The customer is completely protected even in the event of an outage." To deliver this level of service, however, CDW requires that each server include features and performance such as two hot swappable hard drives that provide redundancy in the event of hard drive failure. The only pre-built server appliance that met all of CDW's criteria was both oversized and overpriced for the company's needs.

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