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How many IT support staff do you need to support a company of this size?

Posted on 2007-10-03
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I am an IT Manager at an organization where I am trying to validate the number of IT support staff I need for my team. Unfortunately we are not a "standard" organization and do not fit into any kind of mold I am aware of so I am querying you as to what your thoughts are. Here is our rough setup:

- 110 users mix of laptops and desktops
- 3 locations
- BlackBerry's and BES
- 40 servers and appliances ranging from DC's to encryption appliances to application servers of various sorts and a SQL and Oracle DB; redundant NAS devices; exchange clsuter; CItrix farm
- workgroup printers, network faxes and MFD copiers throughout the facilities
- 10 international and domestic data and voice lines ranging ranging form DS3's to P2P T1's and most are P2P or private circuits; with associated routers

This group runs all aspects of IT from the desk phones to the routers and firewall.

This should give you a good idea. WHat I am looking for in repsonse is something liek this:
You should have:
1 IT Manger
X  SNE's
X LAN Admins
X L1 desktop techs




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Question by:violator72
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by:jordibartrina
jordibartrina earned 100 total points
ID: 20010687
Hello,

We are in the same topology, and we are:

1 IT Manager
1 System Engineer for each site (I think sites are distant).
3 LAN Admins on central building covering 3*8 from Mon to Fri
2 Helpdesk from  9 to 5 Mon to Fri covering all the sites

July and August..., well, hollydays are a problem for cover 5*24 but... yes, hollydays are for all.
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by:NoodlesWIU
NoodlesWIU earned 100 total points
ID: 20010876
Roughly how many nodes are on your network.  You stated 110 computers.  Are you using IP phones?  How many network printers?

From what you have said so far, I would have to agree with the above recomendation with a slight modification

1 IT Manager
1 system engineer for each site
4 LAN Admins/Help desk, they can take on both roles.  1 for each site, and one floater who can be moved between the locations as needed on a daily basis.  This individual should be experienced enough to be above the standard LAN admin, but probably just below a systems engineer.
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Author Comment

by:violator72
ID: 20011073
We have about 10 workgroup printers and 4 network faxes. We are not using VOIP.

Thank you both for the initial feedback. Anyone else with thoughts? Also, two of the offices are within 2 miles of each other with the mian office being about 2 hours away.
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Author Comment

by:violator72
ID: 20011095
Forgot your other question. With a node being a terminal/computer we are about 120 with 110 users.

Some other good info is our site breakdown by nodes:
Site 1 - 90 nodes
Site 2 - 20 nodes
Site 3 - 10 nodes
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by:MikeKane
ID: 20011118
Hold on now.   A support staff can't easily be defined in a short answer.   A lot depends on the type of business you are supporting.

I've run a 500 node network at 15 locations with 2 people total.   We just built it properly and outsourced some key components.   Since the network was pretty static, everything was scripted and support was handled with pre-defined triage docs....  it worked.  

Now if you are a law firm, you usually have a initial install and nothing much will change after that.  

If you are bank, then you have a lot of compliance to worry about, especially segregation of duties, strict deadlines, etc....  

You should really take a long hard look at the historicals for each site.  SPeak with the managers, the employees, find out what kind of issues there were before you came on board.   From this you can judge how much support time you can expect in man hours.  Then figure in daily work, log review, reports, etc...   Figure that in man hours.  Then comes new initiatives, projects, patch fixes, etc...   Basically take all aspects of the expected job and figure how much of each day a person would take to complete the task.   Esentially you end up with a number of man hours to get your job compelte and figure how many people you would need to fill in.  Take into account backups for sickness/vacation, compliance requirements, Cross training expertise, look for key items to outsource, and the rest is your 'hunch'.    

Figuring in that each company has different needs....  to say that you need a person at each branch is a big assumption.   Find out if the branch has never had a major breakdown, or needs daily tweaking.  Find out if your site has a person who can swap out a spare, imaged machine for the faulty one and can change toners for you... You usually find an eager person who will volunteer.   Basically, you need to tailor the staff to fit the business.   Its not something cookie cutter with a correct answer for all businesses.

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by:NoodlesWIU
ID: 20011175
Well with 40 servers, id say 1 systems engineer, and 1 or 2 LAN admins who can take on the roll of help desk.  From your breakdown it looks like most of your time will be spent in the main building.  Even though some organizations have 500 nodes, and only 2 tech's, it is also important to stress proactive solutions, not just break fix, where in that kind of enviornment the techs are stretched too thin to really move into that proactive state even if they are able to "keep up".
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Author Comment

by:violator72
ID: 20011319
MikeKane...I understand exatly what you are saying and I do know how many peole I have and need however your answer doesn't address my question. You are attempting to be too logical and complex when I am looking for a ROM based on the facts I have laid out. Not trying to sound harsh as I do appreciate everyone taking the time to answer. As I said I know what I need to support the business however I am looking for the opinions of the rest of the community as backup to my opinion.

More info:
Our users requrie lots of help. We generate roughly 250 tickets a month for normal operations. This doesn't include server and application maintenance and patches, management of firewalls, vendor management, policies and procedures, and evreything else that coems with running an IT organization. We do have compliance implications as we are a manufactruing company and we exchange data with multiple partner companies in the US and abroad. So we have all of this plus the information from my earlier posts:
- 110 users mix of laptops and desktops
- 3 locations
- BlackBerry's and BES
- 40 servers and appliances ranging from DC's to encryption appliances to application servers of various sorts and a SQL and Oracle DB; redundant NAS devices; exchange clsuter; CItrix farm
- workgroup printers, network faxes and MFD copiers throughout the facilities
- 10 international and domestic data and voice lines ranging ranging form DS3's to P2P T1's and most are P2P or private circuits; with associated routers

This group runs all aspects of IT from the desk phones to the routers and firewall.
Forgot your other question. With a node being a terminal/computer we are about 120 with 110 users.

Some other good info is our site breakdown by nodes:
Site 1 - 90 nodes
Site 2 - 20 nodes
Site 3 - 10 nodes

Once again thank you all for your input!!




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by:NoodlesWIU
ID: 20011328
What type of manufacturing does your business do, I am curious?
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MikeKane earned 200 total points
ID: 20011531
Based on what I see....and not knowing more details, my *very* rough guess:

1 IT Manager (obvious)
2 SNEs (Offers a backup , security benefits, and lowers risk, 1 position remote at times)
4 Admins (3 at headquarters, 1 remote)  Not knowing the distribution of servers, the 1 remote man is an assumption that there are servers at the remote location.  
2 Help Desk techs (backup and from me making assumptions aboutthe environment, sounds like more issues are in the back end than with the typica "help me print" type of calls
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Assisted Solution

by:nexissteve
nexissteve earned 100 total points
ID: 20012359
1 IT Manger
2.5 X  SNE's
1 X LAN Admins
3 X L1 desktop techs
1 X PTE Oracle
1 X PTE SQL

Above would keep the wheels ticking. This excludes all project work and specialised system support. With fine tuning - Utilising systems like Altiris, Enterprise monitoring, making more use of citrix you could reduce this slightly.

What will always kill are projects.

Cheers

S

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Author Comment

by:violator72
ID: 20014271
I have given you all points for responding. Thank you again for your feedback. Anyone else please feel free to add your thoughts.  
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