Independent Evaluation

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by Oswald_, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. Oswald_

    Oswald_ [H]Lite

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    I have a small side business and recently had a customer that wanted a independent evaluation of the current hardware and general infrastructure of their site.

    This is a larger customer than I usually deal with so I'm wondering do any of you guys charge any type of consulting fee or evaluation fee to assess what needs to be done to improve the overall infrastructure? If so what do you charge?
     
  2. Captain Colonoscopy

    Captain Colonoscopy 2[H]4U

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    I charge my normal houurly rate for network discovery & inventory
     
  3. cyr0n_k0r

    cyr0n_k0r [H]ardness Supreme

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    Are you going to be the one that sells him the needed infrastructure upgrades?
    If so, you can roll the discovery phase into your contract fee.

    If not, charge him hourly.
     
  4. oakfan52

    oakfan52 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Just make sure your rate is on par with your expereince and skill set.
     
  5. Oswald_

    Oswald_ [H]Lite

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    If they decide to go with the quote I draw up I'll be the one selling the necessary infrastructure upgrades.

    This project is starting to look like a nightmare. Apparently the guy that provided service had a bunch of "custom built" pc's and servers put in place. :eek: They are also experiencing frequent drops to remote sites because they are runnning tunnels over dsl connections.

    I'm beginning to get scerred.
     
  6. slowbiznatch

    slowbiznatch Gawd

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    Some of my highest uptimes are from AT&T DSL installations... what's the problem with running a site-to-site IPSEC tunnel from a DSL connection?
     
  7. XOR != OR

    XOR != OR [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Depends on the VPN implementation and the quality of DSL lines.

    I run a remote site over DSL, and I've had absolutely no issues with it ( but then, I use openvpn which is rock solid stability wise ).

    SMB tend to have more custom stuff than the larger or more institutionalized organizations. While custom doesn't necessarily mean bad, it's quality can vary wildly, which is why a lot of us are weary of it. That said, I've done a number of custom jobs simply because the financials weren't there for a real server from a known vendor. If they are custom, and they are large enough, get them started on a 3 year desktop replacement and a 5 year server replacement program. Then, migrate what needs to be migrated to your vendor of choice ( I'm a fan of HP; they've got some killer deals on servers when compared to Dell ).

    Never be scared of a lot of money. :D
     
  8. Oswald_

    Oswald_ [H]Lite

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    I'm not sure of the provider they are using but one of the biggest complaints they are having is frequent tunnel drops. I'm also not sure of the hardware they are using yet. If they want guaranteed uptime I'm going to recommend a service that provides high reliability and not a home grade connection.

    I've done some custom jobs and I can see a place for it in VERY VERY small ma and pa shops, but when you need reliability and service the last thing you want is your IT servicer running around trying to find 50 different drivers for 50 different video cards in 50 different systems. Wastes my time and theirs.
     
  9. XOR != OR

    XOR != OR [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Oh, I'm not arguing that point at all. You are right of course. However, there are ways to mitigate the problems. On all of my custom work, I include the drivers on the server's C drive ( along with all of the software and keys necessary to reinstall the server from scratch ), as well as a couple DVDs with the same data. If it's on the server, it goes on the DVD, then multiple copies are made to protect against discs going bad.