So, a couple of weeks ago I posted a blog about the importance of making sure that you have the right demonstration infrastructure and following on from that I decided to actually put together a project where we will go through the actual process of putting that infrastructure together.
After discussing this with a number of my colleagues at SAP we realise that there are a number of potential ways that you can build a demonstration infrastructure. For example, you could decide to take the approach that I am about to lead you through where you build your own internal server infrastructure. Or you could decide to go down the path of working with a completely hosted demonstration infrastructure sitting on a cloud-based solution.
Alternatively of course, what you could do is run with each of your pre-sales and sales people having their own demonstration system on a stand-alone laptop which they carry with them.
DISCLAIMER: All of these options are valid and it’s up to you to choose which one works are you. Certainly, I believe that’s the approach of utilising your own demonstration server that you have full control over is the best approach and it has worked to me the many years however it is important to note that this does not represent the official position from SAP on how to effectively manage your demonstrations.
Over the next couple of months you can expect to hear more from SAP about some other options which may be available to you.
So let’s get going.
The first thing I want to do is tell you little bit about the environment that we will be working with. What I decided to do is go out and acquire a brand new Dell server and you can find the specifications of this server attached to this blog. In summary, the server has two quad core’s aeon processes, 32 gigabytes of RAM and 6 x 1 TB hard drives which are configured as a RAID 1 array to hold the operating system and a RAID 10 array which will hold our virtual servers. Heres the order confirmation from Dell with my personal details stripped out showing the configuration of the server Dell Server Details
We will be running the entire system using Microsoft’s Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 which is available for download from Microsoft’s website free of charge and we will be setting up a number of virtual servers which will be interacting with one another and you will be able to bring different virtual servers online as you require them.
For example, you may have one virtual server environment that is just running an out-of-the-box SAP Business One demonstration environment whereas another virtual server may contain one or more SSP solutions. The advantage of this approach of course, is that you are able to quickly and easily commission your demonstration environments, you can have multiple demonstration environments as I mentioned and by using the functionality of Hyper-V you can even set up your demonstration environments so that at the end of each demonstration session you can roll back any changes that you made to the virtual server in preparation for the next demonstration.
So I think you’ll agree there are lots of great advantages to going down this path.
A couple of other things that you will need in order to make sure that your demonstration environment is correctly licensed. In order to ensure that you have the correct Microsoft licenses available for all of the infrastructure my recommendation is that you sign up as a Microsoft partner, even at the registered partner level, and then purchase a Microsoft action subscription which will record contain all of the necessary licenses that you will need to build your demonstration environments.
Check with the Microsoft office in your country for the specific pricing of the Microsoft action packed but I think you’ll find it is a worthwhile investment.
You will also need the necessary licenses for SAP Business One which you can get as an SAP Business One partner. If you encounter any issues with your demonstration licenses then of course you should contact your local product expert, your partner service advisor or of course, your SAP channel manager.
Step one of our process is to take our server and configure it with Hyper-V.
As we go through each step in the process I will video the necessary actions and post the videos to my YouTube channel as well as attaching them to each of my blog posts.
Below you’ll find the first of these which have been filmed using a video camera as unfortunately during this stage, it is impossible for me to use any other screen capturing technique so I do apologise if the videos are a little bit less than ideal however I think you’ll find you can see exactly what’s going on in the process enough to follow along, which is of course the idea behind all of these sessions, to give you a process that you can replicate yourself.