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How much is the regular rate?

Posted on 2009-05-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
My friends wife has a workplace that needs a domain set up (Active Directory) for management purposes and they do not know how to do it.  I have some experience and can set up the Domain with some GPO funtionality along with the DNS setup.  

What is the going rate for this kind of setup, i am providing zero software or hardware, just my time and knowledge.  But i have NO CLUE what to even begin to charge.

Thanks in advance... BTW if it matters we are in indiana. Windows server 2003 and about 15 users.
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Question by:MGaff
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marine7275 earned 500 total points
ID: 24377666
A good price is $50-$75/hr and a basic AD install should take no more than 8 hours.
$400-$600 should be your lowest price.

Beware.... Once you help them do the install you will be bothered with all of their issues from now on. Make sure you want to take this on before you accept. Another option is hire someone. If your in Jeffersonville, IN I know of someone out of Louisville who can complete.
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by:Mike Kline
ID: 24377685
Man this is a hard one and I'm guessing you will get a bunch of different answers.
It really depends on who you get but being in Indiana and during these economic times I think $30-$50/hr is not unheard of.
I know some consultants out there that still won't work for under $100/hr...and many of them are not working.
What I'd do is get your wife to throw out some numbers at her friend and see how she reacts.
Thanks
Mike
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by:Mike Kline
ID: 24377704
Well me and Marine are close at $50
...there always has to be some differences between a Marine and a former Army guy :)  
Thanks
Mike
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by:flopez235
ID: 24377866
You could also call up local IT people and ask for a price quote.  After 3, you can give that to your friend's wife and undercut the competition by however much you want.  USUALLY those IT shops run 60-100 bucks an hour.

But this way, you have done research for them and you are not trying to rip them off.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 24378063
Oh, they're working... they're cleaning up the messes of the guys who don't know what they are doing and are charging $50/hour.

New York is one of the more expensive places to do this - that's where I am.  But I did a little analysis for myself - "Going Rate" needs to be enough to pay your bills as an independent consultant, PLUS pay you a reasonably good salary.  Factoring in training costs, probable number of billable hours per week, sick time, vacation time (and not generous vacation time), Advertising, time to attend one or two major conferences to try to stay current, fees required for various programs so you have the resources you need, rent and car payments, insurance, including errors and omissions insurance, your healthcare coverage, etc, etc., those in New York would need to be billing a MINIMUM of $60 per hour to cover expenses PRE-SALARY, then for every thousand dollars you want to make per year, bill a $1 per hour - so if you want to make $30,000/year gross before taxes, then you need to bill at least $90/hour.

As for installing this particular setup, 8 hours is not long enough.  Think about it - you need to join 15 users to the domain.  allowing 8 hours to do this means you have slightly more than 30 minutes per user - and that does NOT include any time whatsoever setting up the server.  Now even if you can take care of a user in 15 minutes, that's 4 hours to handle the users and 4 hours to setup the domain... if you have to install the server from scratch, update it, setup the domain, etc, then that's not a lot of time.  Further, it's not clear to me - Server 2003 is not usually the appropriate choice for a small businesses like this.  Are you sure they don't have small business server (SBS)?  If they do, this is a DIFFERENT BEAST.  And if you don't know how to setup a small business server (SPECIFICALLY) then I would tell them to hire someone who does.  IF you don't setup SBS properly it does not function optimally and features and capabilities aren't appropriately utilized that should be and reliability CAN be an issue.  When it's setup properly, it works great.

Things you need to factor into the time it takes to install:
1. Is the OS preinstalled?  If so, by whom?  You may need to reinstall/modify the install.
2. How fast is the internet connection?  A 768 K DSL connection won't allow you to download updates as fast as a 30 M Cable connection.
3. Do the users need their profiles copied over?
4. Are you going to provide training (even basic training about logging on to the domain)?
5. Are you going to provide any group policies/logon scripts to customize the environment?
6. How fast is the server?  Installing a Windows Server on 512 MB of RAM running on a 1 GHz system with a small RAID 1 mirror is going to take longer than installing on a new server with 4 GB RAM and quad core processors with a RAID 10.
7. Are you going to deploy any applications, such as server managed Antivirus?

If you're going to go the managed services route, then you can charge a flat rate, with the understanding that they are going to play a flat rate for most additional support over the next several months at least.
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by:MGaff
ID: 24378168
Yes the goal is to configure the Domain, AD, DNS, DHCP...  then i will be setting up the GPO's and NTFS permissions on another visit in the future.  This is just to get them off a system he tried to set up that has half the users on domain and half the users on Workgroup becasue they could not join the domain... (i was thinking because the FQDN was to long?) over 20 characters.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 24378317
Then time wise, you can't begin to estimate accurately since you don't know what kind of mess you're going to have to clean up.  It probably has nothing to do with the FQDN.  You can have FQDNs over 20 characters.  I believe Netbios names are limited to 15-20 characters, but I believe it warns you and doesn't let you use ones that long.  The problem, I suspect, is misconfigured DNS - it usually is.
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Author Comment

by:MGaff
ID: 24378405
Yes that did seem to be the case because when i trouble shooted their network removing the DNS role and static IP configuring the Clients for the router worked fine for people internet access... We did this on the fly one day because they said they need to get to the internet if nothing else.

Thx guys.
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by:marine7275
ID: 24378945
Now if you want to get crazy with it, you could always...

Start with a Scope of Work meeting and discuss what the client would like to have done.
This could include a network inventory and analysis, AD deployment including client upgrades domain membership, etc., data backup strategy with a DR plan, network security improvements, training for the end users, deployment wrap-up meeting, and discussion of continuous support.

You could string this project on for a couple of weeks if you wanted to. I was just giving an estimate of the server build itself. As I said before, make sure you want to open this can of worms. I see so many people who play online games and assume they know how to setup a network and they get in over their heads.
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by:snusgubben
ID: 24379154
> ...there always has to be some differences between a Marine and a former Army guy :)

So a marine is worth more then you :) -> totally off topic but I couldn't help it. Sorry!

Back to the topic. Installing AD and GPO's should not be a problem, but I would setup a backup plan and documentation of what you have done (including groups, domain admin pw, enterprise admin pw etc)


SG
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by:Mike Kline
ID: 24379199
haha nice snusgubben Hoooaaah!!!
Do you also have to setup email for this office.  If so then SBS may be something to look at too.
Thanks
MIke
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Author Closing Comment

by:MGaff
ID: 31581117
This was first and close to others... Plus once a marine always a marine... OOOORAH 3/5 raid company.  (I am a marine)
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by:marine7275
ID: 24384605
Semper Fi!
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 24388019
I see... so my information wasn't worth anything to you?  You could have split the points and on an opinion question like this, that would seem more appropriate.
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