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SBS gurus - please offer your advice - what would you do for an SBS 2003 network that's running OK

Posted on 2008-06-13
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
I've been doing SBS 2003 networking for a months now.  I read Harry's 2 books on SBS 2003, setup some networks and things are good.  But all this talk of managed services and a call from a client I haven't been to for months has me wracking my brain.

This call, from a church (so even moreso than a business, I don't want to bill them unnecessarily, being a charity / non-profit) was to have me check out their network.  No problems currently, but the Office Manager feels I haven't been there in a while and I should come in to check things out.

Now, with managed services, they'd have been paying me all this time.  But for what?  On a running SBS box, what would you do to maintain it / check it out?

Best practices analyzer?
Baseline Security analyzer?
Check hard disk space?
Defrag?
What temp / log files can be deleted?
check logs for errors (there's always going to be some red errors you can ignore, right?)

what else?

THANK YOU!
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Question by:babaganoosh
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9 Comments
 
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by:plug1
plug1 earned 400 total points
ID: 21777983
I'd simply apply all the lates updates/service packs, check the disk space, check the memory useage.

Advise them on best working practises, show them how to use OWA and RWW

Most importantly look busy.
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Author Comment

by:babaganoosh
ID: 21778049
look busy - I could do that at a corp. 8 - 5 type of job.  I'm doing it consulting on my own because I want to make sure I am actually making a contribution to clients.

There's no exchange database packing?  
Delete logs?  Which ones?
Delete temp files in the local settings / temp folder?  Where else?
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by:plug1
ID: 21778065
I wouldnt delete anything unless they are running out of space, if you want to make there money spent wisely then produce some site documentation while your there, give them som erecomendations on what they could be doing better i.e adding wireless, increasing broadband, stricter firewall etc.
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Author Comment

by:babaganoosh
ID: 21778229
thanks.  so what's with people charging several hundred dollars for servers and tens of dollars for desktops for 'managed services' each month.  some of my clients, I am only billing them hundeds of dollars a year!
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Expert Comment

by:plug1
ID: 21778388
Well the way we do it is if they are paying for a fully managed service we cover everythin, they can call us about any of thier software, hardware, we operate a call desk for them etc etc. We charge about $40 per pc per moth for that and $140 per server I think.
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waynewilliams earned 1600 total points
ID: 21778442
We carry out preventative maintenance on all our SBS customers servers which cover the following:

Backup logs and procedures checked
Anti Virus software checked and maintained
Server Hard Drive space monitored
Security Levels maintained and monitored
Spyware/Spam monitoring Server Performance monitored
Email and Internet Policy,
Exchange stores checked,
Web sites monitored
Event Logs checked
Complete system audit, system diagram and with 24 month strategy document
Current recommended service packs installed
Full hardware and software audit with licensing recommendations
Archive of Data and Directory Structures

That lot should keep you busy!
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Author Comment

by:babaganoosh
ID: 21779611
plug - 'we cover everything'...  I would love the steady stream of income from managed services.  I've erad the books from Eric, Paul and now Matt.  BUT. the clients I am dealing with, like this church haven't paid me much or anything in months.  and even when I am in there, it's only a few hours (wayne - see below about your list).  so to say, pay me hundreds a month and I'll take care of everything vs. pay me a few hundred once in a while when you call me.l...  these being small business, not bigbusiness or govt., there's less fluff / disposable $$ to spend on that.  hundreds every few monthes or hundreds every  month?  The system has been working fine, we haven't had to call him.  why pay him the 2nd choice (hundreds a month).  that's a big issue I am trying to come to grips with.  the systems work.  is MS really glorified babysitting?  excuse me for soundling like a heratic! : )

wayne - how do you - check the exchange store?how do you archive the data and directory structure?  DVD?  HD, tape?
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Expert Comment

by:plug1
ID: 21779633
Theres limits to what people pay mate. you need to chop and change depending on the customer.
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by:waynewilliams
ID: 21781801
What I mean by checking the Exchange Stores is really checking the size of them and defragmenting them. This is mainly to see if they are reaching the old 16gb limit or if they are on Exchange SP2 then of they are reaching the time when the registry keys need adding to increase the store size above 16gb.

The archive and directory structure is something we consult with the customers about as we find that al lot of the time there is a lot of disk space being used up by data that is no longer being accessed. Also, after a server has been in a while there can sometimes be old shares that are no longer needed, old programs that are no longer being used and various other items that are essesntially just clutter.  Archiving can be to anything you like.  If there is a lot of data to archive we put in a NAS device. Otherwise a simple external USB drive will do the job.
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