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mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






Maniaman posted:

How do you have your service agreements structured if you don't mind telling?

I charge per workstation and per server. I'm gonna be vague about my pricing because I haven't finalized it yet for all my clients, but usually I charge several hundred a month per server, which includes 'network support' (ie routers, telco vendor, etc) and then around $40-80 per workstation per month. This includes unlimited business hours remote support, and they pay per hour if I have to come on site.

I'm flexible about my terms though - I have one client who didn't want to pay per workstation, so I instead gave them a set price (similar to what they would have been paying for their 9 workstations), but instead just gave them the same unlimited support, and X hours of onsite support. hardly any difference in my mind, but in theirs, I think they just wanted it on their own terms.


St0rmD posted:

You could, and in 5 years you might have a web site that does half of what a GFI or Continuum (formerly Zenith Infotech) does, half as well, with less support. Instead of thinking "I could get a full-time programmer and a cheap tech for this", think "I'm getting a whole team of programmers who have already built the application and are in support mode, and a whole NOC staff for this"

Also, why aren't you just factoring the cost of your monitoring platform into your pricing and passing it along to the client the way every other MSP does?

A. you don't get a NOC staff
B. I hate the argument 'why don't you just factor in the cost?'. I mean, of course you factor in the cost! no one ever doesn't factor in the cost - but it doesn't matter when you get to the bottom line.

with the average small business client though, there's X amount in their mind that they're comfortable paying per month for IT support. Could be $300, could be $1500, who knows. But that budgeted amount exists. As a support company, its your job to figure out and skate around that budget. The cost of your MSP software is going to be the same to you for any client you take on, no matter what. So, the more the MSP software costs you, the less profit you can make off selling a managed solution to your client. The client gives two rats asses if your invoice says $500, managed server & workstation support, or $200 - GFI fees and $300 IT Company Support fees. They just care that their bill for IT is $500.



granted, to your point StormD, I think GFI is cheap, and it shouldn't matter how many servers and workstations you put it on, so long as you're charging per workstation per month. With my pricing model and the numbers trinitrotoluene provided, I'd be taking in about $130-165,000/mo, with GFI costing me $3600-4750/mo. I mean hell, hire the programmer and low level tech, and keep GFI too, with those profit margins!





edit: $130k/mo... god, I need to pick up some new clients

mindphlux fucked around with this message at Feb 15, 2012 around 18:39

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Trinitrotoluene
Dec 25, 2004



St0rmD posted:

You could, and in 5 years you might have a web site that does half of what a GFI or Continuum (formerly Zenith Infotech) does, half as well, with less support. Instead of thinking "I could get a full-time programmer and a cheap tech for this", think "I'm getting a whole team of programmers who have already built the application and are in support mode, and a whole NOC staff for this"

Also, why aren't you just factoring the cost of your monitoring platform into your pricing and passing it along to the client the way every other MSP does?

I see where you are coming from but I don't quite agree. The reason I am not doing it is because I wasn't there from Day 1, otherwise you can be damned sure it would be factored in. We already have monitoring for servers, it's just not as versatile or in depth as I'd like. The thing with GFI is it is ridiculously difficult to customise and in some cases a rip off $1 a month to ping a server? That's $1200 a year just do a ping.

I also have to factor what I need out of a program like GFI. I am sure a lot of the functionality would be redundant, I don't see any reason to monitor workstations that are none business critical. If you set the server up correctly you hardly have to touch them.

I'm not a master programmer, infact I am mostly a nublet but if I had 6 months and a solid understanding of .NET I genuinely think I could replicate the functionality that I roughly have at the moment, which is why I was after something more polished.

As a MSP I have never been impressed buying everything modularised, 1 here for this, 2.50 for this, it starts to become expensive very fast.

Trinitrotoluene
Dec 25, 2004



mindphlux posted:

granted, to your point StormD, I think GFI is cheap, and it shouldn't matter how many servers and workstations you put it on, so long as you're charging per workstation per month. With my pricing model and the numbers trinitrotoluene provided, I'd be taking in about $130-165,000/mo, with GFI costing me $3600-4750/mo. I mean hell, hire the programmer and low level tech, and keep GFI too, with those profit margins!

I can't emphasise this enough. The client does not, for the most part care about what the costs are for their monthly figure, they have an amount in mind and if you want to win that work you have to come closer than anyone else bidding for it. Infact, in my experience clients don't really care about the technical stuff. What they do want:

1) Immediately answered phone calls with an engineer who can sort out their issue immediately on the other side
2) Engineers that see a problem through and ensure they are happy
3) Quick response on anything

Sort those out and they will never leave.

Be interested to chat about what you charge your clients exactly Mindphlux but like you I am not putting our rates on a public forum. I will add you to Google Talk sometime later on this week!

Trinitrotoluene fucked around with this message at Feb 15, 2012 around 20:05

NotWearingPants
Jan 3, 2006

Certainly I was sufficiently insecure to have felt the need to establish to my own satisfaction before the age of 33 whether or not humans can fly. If that makes me a chippy little autodidact in your eyes then so be it.

I've been using GFI max for around 6 weeks now and so far I really like it. We have 2 clients on it for a total of 3 servers and 42 workstations. These clients were previously break-fix clients.

Maybe it will change going forward as these machines get up to speed on patches etc, but I consider the costs to be pretty much inconsequential compared to the labor costs involved. If you're telling a client that you are doing patch management, you can't just install GFI and be done with it. In my (limited) experience, there are a lot of patches that don't get installed (.NET framework service packs, IE upgrades, etc.). And while GFI allows you to do this remotely, it still takes time.

I'm suggesting to my boss that we bill it at $20/month per workstation and $50/per month per server. This is just for our "Monitoring, Patch Management and Remote Support" package. I'm telling him that those prices may not be enough to cover the costs of my labor for the first month or two, but that I anticipate it will be enough for a little profit after that. Any hours performed outside of the realm of patch management and making sure A/V is active will be additional, whether billed as part of an expanded service contract or a la carte.

Also, I notice that GFI has a webinar entitled "Selling Cloud Services to Business Owners, not IT Managers" coming up on the 23rd which may help some of us more tech oriented people frame the advantages to less technical people: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/289764678 I don't know if it will actually help, but it's something I could personally use. I find that when I try to explain the benefits of an MSP product to clients it comes out sounding like I want them to pay for a tool that will make my life easier.

NotWearingPants fucked around with this message at Feb 15, 2012 around 21:03

St0rmD
Sep 25, 2002

We shoulda just dropped this guy over the Middle East"



mindphlux posted:

A. you don't get a NOC staff

Fair enough, I haven't used GFI Max and don't know all the particulars. You get NOC staff support from Continuum though, for about the same price.

Trinitrotoluene
Dec 25, 2004



I'm not sure how GFI does patch management but we use WSUS. One upstream server with groups setup for every client. We have test groups identified and setup for each client for each set of hotfixes. I can rollout an emergency fix across all my clients with a few clicks.

KuroKisei
Feb 17, 2004
conformist


I'm in the same sort of boat here as mindphlux was to begin with. I've gone through heaps of free trials and testing with different RMM software, but am having trouble finding the best software fit for what I need.

I work for a small division in a much larger company and act as an MSP for third party customers. All together we'd have about 14 customers throughout the east coast of Australia and at each site there would be between two to twenty workstations which our company supplies and owns. There are no servers and all the PCs are basically just sitting in workgroups talking only to eachother.

At the moment we're only really providing a break-fix service, but we're charging service fees for a service that I think needs a lot of improvement. We're also at the mercy of our customer's networks for access and have to use combinations of PPTP VPN, IPSec VPN, LogMeIn and RDP to connect to our customers. My biggest want is just to have some of unified dashboard that I can use to connect to a PC without having to pull out a list of passwords and IP addresses. I'd also like the ability have monitors running to check all the normal things - disk space, critical errors, PCs being offline for prolonged periods of time. On top of that, I like the ability to transfer and receive files without interrupting the customer as well as create custom monitors to watch particular folders incase they grow too large.

So far the most promising RMM I've tried was Labtech. It's interface felt cluttered and hacked together, but it had every feature I could possibly want and I liked the ability to script custom monitors. The only downside to it was that I found the interface to be very slow. This could have been because I was trialling the Labtech Cloud which is hosted on Amazon's S3 servers in Singapore.

My question is, how do the people that mentioned they switched to Labtech earlier find it when using a local server and what do you think of it now? Do you regret leaving Kaseya? Or are there any new contenders in the market that are worth looking at?

sanchez
Feb 26, 2003


Zenith, now continuum will do what you want as far as remote access and alerts/monitoring go. It's fairly clunky too but very powerful once you figure it out for scripting/deploying software and patches. They use logmein components for desktop access.

We reviewed Kaseya recently and were unimpressed. The remote desktop access was slow, the sales guy was an idiot and the whole product didn't seem very polished.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






KuroKisei posted:

I'm in the same sort of boat here as mindphlux was to begin with.

My question is, how do the people that mentioned they switched to Labtech earlier find it when using a local server and what do you think of it now? Do you regret leaving Kaseya? Or are there any new contenders in the market that are worth looking at?

Labtech requires (pretty much) dedicated servers though, right? I guess this isn't really a downside given the shitstorm of uncooperative tech you're dealing with now, but is this at all a concern to you?

sanchez posted:

Zenith, now continuum will do what you want as far as remote access and alerts/monitoring go. It's fairly clunky too but very powerful once you figure it out for scripting/deploying software and patches. They use logmein components for desktop access.

We reviewed Kaseya recently and were unimpressed. The remote desktop access was slow, the sales guy was an idiot and the whole product didn't seem very polished.

Agree about Kaseya - the price isn't an inherent turn-off so long as it's polished as gently caress and works exactly how you'd want it to - but kaseya seemed downright horrible.

so, someone earlier in this thread was talking about zenith/continuum offering outsourced NOC stuff - do you use that? is it mandatory? I can't really get over the idea of some random tech of an unknown skill level touching the servers/workstations of my clients. I didn't know they used logmein for their remote access though, that's a huge plus. I absolutely adore logmein, I just wish their 'central' product was more like a RMM MSP tool, and less like a tool to aid inhouse IT teams.

mindphlux fucked around with this message at Mar 19, 2012 around 07:28

KuroKisei
Feb 17, 2004
conformist


mindphlux posted:

Labtech requires (pretty much) dedicated servers though, right? I guess this isn't really a downside given the shitstorm of uncooperative tech you're dealing with now, but is this at all a concern to you?

I don't see a dedicated server being much of a concern.

After talking to someone on the forums, they mentioned that the Labtech Contol Center is slow over VPN and great locally, but they were able to get around the problem by serving it as a RemoteApp. One of the divisions in our company provides virtual hosting, so I'll get them to set up a new 2008 R2 server to do a second Labtech trial.

Studebaker Hawk
May 22, 2004



If having a dedicated server to run your rmm on is an issue than you have some real problems. All rmm tools are available hosted if you can't swing it for some reason.

Also, anyone should be able to get a minimum of 20-30% off your first quote. Don't be afraid to make these salespeople work for their commission.

KuroKisei
Feb 17, 2004
conformist


The division I work for is a three man operation that's part of a much larger international company. This means that our budget is relatively small and we need to rely on the rest of the company for resources. I did look at the requirements for the RMM server and am hoping I can get away with using a reasonable VPS to host it since there will be less than 100 agents.

To try implement my own dedicated server, it wouldn't just be the cost of the hardware. I'd also need a public facing network to attach it to since it couldn't be attached to our corporate network. My leash here with regards to what I can do is very short...

St0rmD
Sep 25, 2002

We shoulda just dropped this guy over the Middle East"



mindphlux posted:

so, someone earlier in this thread was talking about zenith/continuum offering outsourced NOC stuff - do you use that? is it mandatory? I can't really get over the idea of some random tech of an unknown skill level touching the servers/workstations of my clients. I didn't know they used logmein for their remote access though, that's a huge plus. I absolutely adore logmein, I just wish their 'central' product was more like a RMM MSP tool, and less like a tool to aid inhouse IT teams.

Continuum's NOC support is great for some things, like fixing AV clients that aren't keeping definitions in sync with the server, or remediating failed windows updates. Beyond that, you can occasionally get help with them mostly on issues that relate to the continuum software running on the system (fixing logmein if it shits the bed, fixing corrupted agents, etc). In the capacity we make use of them, they've always been quite competent, although we're pretty hands on about doing most of our work ourselves. It is nice that they call us whenever a server goes offline.

NotWearingPants
Jan 3, 2006

Certainly I was sufficiently insecure to have felt the need to establish to my own satisfaction before the age of 33 whether or not humans can fly. If that makes me a chippy little autodidact in your eyes then so be it.

Since this thread got bumped, I'm still using GFI-MAX and I really like it.

It may not be as advanced as some of the others, but it's easier to use, it's cheap as hell, it gives me teamviewer for each machine, and does a decent job with patch management. It's been a tool that I use to make my job easier rather than a project where I'm spending an unreasonable amount of time learning to use it.

Also, I like that's hosted and doesn't require a server because I can use it for the tiny clients with a few workstations. These are usually my least favorite clients for on-site service calls because those calls are usually short and traveling there feels like a waste of my time (With larger clients there's almost always a bunch of things I can do while I'm there.)

NotWearingPants fucked around with this message at Mar 19, 2012 around 16:38

sanchez
Feb 26, 2003


mindphlux posted:



so, someone earlier in this thread was talking about zenith/continuum offering outsourced NOC stuff - do you use that? is it mandatory? I can't really get over the idea of some random tech of an unknown skill level touching the servers/workstations of my clients. I didn't know they used logmein for their remote access though, that's a huge plus. I absolutely adore logmein, I just wish their 'central' product was more like a RMM MSP tool, and less like a tool to aid inhouse IT teams.

You don't have to use it at all.

vty
Nov 8, 2007

oh dott, oh dott!


I recently joined a venture that's using Continuum and while it seems powerful, jesus this UI is the most confusing thing ever.

univbee
Jun 3, 2004

Let's maintain dazzling beer indefinitely.


At the MSP I work for, with just shy of 500 endpoints, we've collectively been getting increasingly annoyed with random Kaseya issues and are seriously considering a move to some other solution, with LabTech looking the most promising but by no means the only contender.

Currently we script heavily through Kaseya, using a Ninite Pro membership and other software to leverage things like automated silent installers, mostly-intelligent scripting to consider variables like what Windows language is installed, and do a lot of server monitoring and patch management, as well as the obvious remoting into customer PCs as needed. I'd like some no-holds-barred feedback from people who've happily moved away from Kaseya to something else, with details on what their target RMM platform did better or worse, and any migration headaches they ran into, so we can know which platforms are worth further investigating and which are a pack of lies.

Our biggest issue is cost, especially when a lot of new features require a whole other subscription module which often completely changes the interface (and in at least one case is a separate program entirely). Other issues include hit-and-miss scripting issues (e.g. some stuff will trigger UAC prompts and others won't, with no rhyme or reason or good way to troubleshoot), and remote connectivity that's similarly unreliable and can take several minutes to get going if it gets working at all.

Jesus Stick
Dec 14, 2004

Bomb Hills, Not Countries

I work at an MSP, and my only contribution to this thread is that I hate LabTech with a passion.

My company moved from n-able (Awesome at monitoring, getting better at management) to LabTech (Better management tools, THE WORST loving MONITORING EVER, cheaper) and it's been a nightmare for my clients.

gently caress LabTech. We're even moving to LogicPro for monitoring.

EDIT: Here's my most recent e-mail to the team about it. http://i.imgur.com/5M204.jpg

Jesus Stick fucked around with this message at Mar 20, 2012 around 23:18

univbee
Jun 3, 2004

Let's maintain dazzling beer indefinitely.


Can you elaborate on the poo poo monitoring? Like, does it have far too limited options, or you tell it to monitor something and it doesn't work, or something else?

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






sanchez posted:

You don't have to use it at all.

I guess I should at least get a continuum demo... I read back over this entire thread and actually none of the people who use it seem to be complaining. What's the pricing like? Done per seat? Just curious to get some real life numbers to compare to what they quote me...

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






Well, I was quoted a baseline of $4/ per workstation and 15-20 per server, depending.

that's about 4x what I'm paying per workstation right now, I'm not sure if that's a worthwhile leap to make.

a lot of my clients use logmein on their machines, and having to tell them they they'd have to give it up might be a bit of a problem. Also, I'm not 100% sold on this whole NOC thing, but I've been told the $4/workstation includes "proactive NOC services", and that there is no way to separate that out.

guess I'll try the demo next week...

St0rmD
Sep 25, 2002

We shoulda just dropped this guy over the Middle East"



I'm pretty sure that's what we're paying too (I don't get much involved with the money side of things).

Your clients don't have to give up LogMeIn access, Continuum has an end-user login portal that you can set up, with custom end-user accounts assigned site-level or system-level access. The end user gets a list of all the pcs s/he can connect to when s/he logs into your portal. You'll have to retrain the users to log in through https://user.itsupport247.net/ vs logmein.com, and show them around the slightly different UI for connecting to pcs, but once they get into the remote control, it's the same logmein they'll know and love. For many of them, it'll be a free upgrade to LogMeIn Pro, or an excuse to cancel that expensive pro subscription, to boot.

univbee
Jun 3, 2004

Let's maintain dazzling beer indefinitely.


We ended up rolling a LabTech Cloud trial for about a week and like it a hell of a lot more than Kaseya already. Very cool features like being able to right-click a service on a computer's console page and starting a monitoring of the service in just a few clicks, silently uninstalling applications from a silent add/remove programs on the same page, and it seems everything Kaseya flat-out refused to do, like being able to run alerts on a schedule, are doable here. I may, time allowing, do a more detailed write-up on comparisons once I've gone a bit deeper and if there's sufficient interest.

Temiko
Aug 9, 2004


I'd certainly be interested in a detailed comparison if you can find the time.

We're not an MSP but have about 150 computers at over twenty small offices on isolated networks that I manage alone, so an agent-based system like Labtech (or Continuum if they'll sell it to us) that is an all-in-one solution to centralize management/support and automate processes is very appealing to me. Right now I just use LogMeIn Pro and almost everything else is done manually (inventory, updates, etc).

With that said, I have a general question: Since I'm an IT department rather than an MSP, would you guys recommend looking at any particular product over the others?

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






Temiko posted:

I'd certainly be interested in a detailed comparison if you can find the time.

We're not an MSP but have about 150 computers at over twenty small offices on isolated networks that I manage alone, so an agent-based system like Labtech (or Continuum if they'll sell it to us) that is an all-in-one solution to centralize management/support and automate processes is very appealing to me. Right now I just use LogMeIn Pro and almost everything else is done manually (inventory, updates, etc).

With that said, I have a general question: Since I'm an IT department rather than an MSP, would you guys recommend looking at any particular product over the others?

If I were a IT department rather than having to deal with multiple clients/sites, I'd probably just use a single seat of logmein rescue, or if I were on a budget, logmein free and spiceworks/thedude? I guess?


I'd be interested in temiko's comparison of labtech vs kaseya if he ever has time to write it up, sounds like an excellent read.

KuroKisei
Feb 17, 2004
conformist


univbee posted:

We ended up rolling a LabTech Cloud trial for about a week and like it a hell of a lot more than Kaseya already. Very cool features like being able to right-click a service on a computer's console page and starting a monitoring of the service in just a few clicks, silently uninstalling applications from a silent add/remove programs on the same page, and it seems everything Kaseya flat-out refused to do, like being able to run alerts on a schedule, are doable here. I may, time allowing, do a more detailed write-up on comparisons once I've gone a bit deeper and if there's sufficient interest.

How did you find the responsiveness of the Control Centre app when using the Labtech Cloud?

univbee
Jun 3, 2004

Let's maintain dazzling beer indefinitely.


KuroKisei posted:

How did you find the responsiveness of the Control Centre app when using the Labtech Cloud?

I found it quite good. Admittedly we have a 100 megabit connection here, but I haven't find it problematic so far. We may yet go with an in-house server for increased control, though.

Temiko
Aug 9, 2004


mindphlux posted:

If I were a IT department rather than having to deal with multiple clients/sites, I'd probably just use a single seat of logmein rescue, or if I were on a budget, logmein free and spiceworks/thedude? I guess?

That's the thing - I'm an IT department but with many remote sites on isolated networks. I manage them in a fashion similar to how an MSP manages their clients. Spiceworks is not an ideal solution because it's primarily designed for computers on a single network. LogMeIn Rescue is not ideal because it only helps with single-instance remote tech support and not ticketing/task management, inventory, monitoring or anything else. LogMeIn Pro has only a few of these features and they are not as mature as some of the other products appear to be.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






alright, I'm officially loving done with GFI. At this point, I hardly even ever use it for the clients I have it deployed to, despite paying a bucketload of money a month - for the following reasons :


  • the monitoring software has caused at least two systems to memory leak / BSOD, which I've gotten angry calls about - even though I have the systems set to reboot after a BSOD, for whatever reason they don't, and aren't remote accessible until someone onsite resets the machines.
  • monitoring is useless - things like "hacker check" report thousands of false positive CRITICAL ERROR events, while things like "event log monitoring" fail to catch drive access errors that would indicate an impending HDD fail.
  • remote access loving sucks - it's all done via teamviewer, which I'm officially also fed up with. it doesn't work half the time, and when it does - I don't want my remote access thing to pop up with TEAMVIEWER.COM every time I remote in to a client computer. I want it to be <my company name here> - or at very least a neutral nondescript thing.
  • patch management is completely lol. I get weekly error messages like WSUS has X number of client computers missing Y number of critial updates!!! (all having been installed with GFI's management software, set to update patches on workstations daily.). Also, I'll log on to servers and find that critical patches haven't been applied, despite the fact that I have it set in GFI to apply all critical level patches and reboot servers if necessary every Sunday morning at 2am.
  • a million other tiny details to do with reporting and things generally not working as they should, also I've outlined all these problems on their 'ideas'/support site, and noone has ever given me the time of day.

bleh. continuum is at the top of my list for replacement vendors (though 3-4x as expensive), but just wanted to bump this thread to continue to get feedback from you all.

univbee
Jun 3, 2004

Let's maintain dazzling beer indefinitely.


We're currently running a months-long trial of LabTech.

Its monitoring is insanely thorough by default; it will, for example, regularly do nslookups for google.com, yahoo.com, cnn.com and .com on ALL servers, and report if those gently caress up for anybody. I put my own computer on its monitoring and my inbox filled up with everything my system was doing horribly wrong. This will definitely take quite a bit of tweaking, but there seem to be options to keep these alerts aside (and not send email) and then if someone calls saying they're having issues, there's something to check.

vty
Nov 8, 2007

oh dott, oh dott!


If any of you are using Connectwise I'd suggest you contact me immediately. I've been auditing the software for the first time after a recent "invoices are viewable!" issue was discovered and that isn't even half of the concern. Software like this is specifically why I despise working in Windows environments where "admins" just click next>next> to get things configured, aren't actual system designers and never perform audits (I walked into using CW). And that's the prime environment for Connectwise users (small tech shops).

I'm on freenode as vty.

vty fucked around with this message at Jun 1, 2012 around 18:16

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






vty posted:

If any of you are using Connectwise I'd suggest you contact me immediately. I've been auditing the software for the first time after a recent "invoices are viewable!" issue was discovered and that isn't even half of the concern. Software like this is specifically why I despise working in Windows environments where "admins" just click next>next> to get things configured, aren't actual system designers and never perform audits (I walked into using CW). And that's the prime environment for Connectwise users (small tech shops).

I'm on freenode as vty.

hey, I'm sort of interested, but don't use connectwise. was debating it vs autotask, but came to the conclusion that neither brought enough value to my small shop to be worth the price. still though - are you talking about the connectwise 'cloud' version, or the onsite? etc? sounds like some pretty serious vulnerabilities...

vty
Nov 8, 2007

oh dott, oh dott!


mindphlux posted:

hey, I'm sort of interested, but don't use connectwise. was debating it vs autotask, but came to the conclusion that neither brought enough value to my small shop to be worth the price. still though - are you talking about the connectwise 'cloud' version, or the onsite? etc? sounds like some pretty serious vulnerabilities...

I'm referring to on-site, although with how ridiculous this issue was I'd love to see how they've configured their "cloud."

They released a security patch today (after I've mentioned releasing white papers on twitter) Patch #13135 thats explanation is "Updated web.config folder access settings." that may have fixed things, although I haven't tested it nor audited it as I resolved the issues myself.

I won't explain the methodology out of respect for those who haven't updated (I warned and secured a few friends CW configs) but it allowed anyone who knew file names to not only access all invoices, but it also allowed all documentation (passwords, rack diagrams, etc) to be accessed with 0 authentication.

It's an EXTREMELY obvious issue and I can only assume that due to how simple it is that they don't have the software routinely audited by third party Security/Windows engineers. At some point I'll go through and actually see what else is going on with the software, although CW hasn't provided me any security team information at this time (if they even have a security team).

bj2001holt
Apr 6, 2003



Will do my best to keep this short. I work for one of the largest MSPs in the world, top 10 according to the stupid MSP mentor list. I started working for the company at 5 people, currently over 250 employees in our division (now part of a larger company). We use a combination of monitoring systems which sort-of apply to the conversation here, our experiences have varied drastically over the years so I think I have some pretty good input.


N-central:
We use this system for performance monitoring of infrastructure devices. We have been a customer of N-able since 2005, we were one of their first real customers and are currently one of their (possible the) largest. We currently monitor approximately 350 customers, 15,000 devices and 400,000 monitored services mostly made up of servers and network equipment. We run the system in-house out of our datacenters and it is a very efficient system considering our size.

We have a love-hate relationship with N-able and always have. In the early years the product struggled with stability problems and horrible support, these issues have basically gone away. The monitoring functions in N-able are amazing, solid with a great UI. The remote control functions have vastly improved over the past few years to the point that we use it full time for an 80-person NOC. Deployment of N-central is insanely fast. We have spent significant time working with them on development of the system and been able to influence a number of features that have really helped us grow our company.

The thing that always pissed us off about N-able that they still struggle with is poor development control, poor development testing, and piss poor documentation. System upgrades (every 6months or so) are always a mystery, our recent upgrade resulted in 30 support tickets on undocumented issues. This being 2 months after the last HF release...who passed this crap through QA...seriously? They have also spent the past few years watching them integrate a bunch of crappy products that clutter the system. Their AV and backup solutions are the worst in the market. Meanwhile they are dropping key support items that their larger customers need, like voice system monitoring. Their desktop management is terrible and we really wish they would re-focus on the market they are good in.


netForensics:
We have used this system for about 2 years for security monitoring. We moved to this as a cloud based replacement following the Cisco MARS system dieing a slow death. We run the service out of our datacenters as a "cloud" system for our customers. About 200 customers on this system, not sure on device count.

Overall they are an interesting company. Good monitoring system but it is still suffering from the early product development blues. Weird problems, poorly designed UI, and un-scalable deployment practices to name a few.


Kaseya:
We use Kaseya for desktop management, patch management, managed AV (Kaspersky) and recently mobile device management. Our service desk is about 50 customers with about 40 employees in the department. Customers range from 50 to 500 devices, not sure on the total system device count.

We have been pretty happy with Kaseya for what we use it for. I don't personally use the system a whole lot but of the features I occasionally use work well; Patching, asset management, remote control. We have been happy with it. The system has been reliable and fast, we run it out of our datacenter.

Probably our biggest issue with Kaseya isn't the product itself but the company and its sales/pricing structure. Their sales staff is terrible, they seem like a bunch of used-car salesmen who have no clue what they are selling or who their market is. Whenever new features come out the company tries to charge astronomical amounts of money for licensing, AV and MDM are perfect examples of this. Eventually they figure out that they cant charge 10x everyone else for products that are half-good just because it is more convenient since it is "integrated".

bj2001holt fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2012 around 13:51

Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


Finally set up a trial of the labtech cloud version.

I feel like this could be insanely powerful, but man is the interface horrible and unpolished. Going to spend a few weeks experimenting with it and see if I can learn how to use it better and if it will work for what I want.

I'm not sure if its just me, but using the cloud version seems to have some pretty bad latency/delay as well.

Then I have to nail out pricing and find a few clients to get on board. Hate to front 25 agents + the $99 hosted fee when I only have a couple small clients interested at the moment, though I'm sure if I offer it more will come.

xov
Nov 14, 2005

DNA Ts. Rednum or F. Raf


Maniaman posted:

Finally set up a trial of the labtech cloud version.

I feel like this could be insanely powerful, but man is the interface horrible and unpolished.

We're working on a pilot rollout of LabTech for some of my clients, and on my first look at the interface I thought "wow, programmers designed this thing." (as opposed to graphics/UI designers)

The amount of customization power you have within it borders on insane, though. If you like sifting through data, it's a wet dream.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






hey guys, would anyone be interested in having either a online groupchat meeting or just an e-mail exchange to discuss your MSP's service offerings? or just sending me a brochure/pdf/whatever of your service levels (and pricing structure if you're willing to discuss specifics)

I've been offering MSP type services to about 20-25 clients for almost 2 years now, but have never really formally set my pricing structure or advertised or anything. my levels really vary by what each company needs, and is willing to pay, but I need to get away from that. I'm about to start work on rigidly "productizing" my services just to make billing and poo poo easier on myself, but I'd love to hear what is working for some of you guys (and your companies), as well as share what has been working for me market wise. I really have no bones about sharing any and all information, I doubt any of you guys are local competitors, and even if you were, I still don't think I'd care!

Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


I would love to be in on something like that. I don't have a ton of info to offer, but I would love to gather some information, as I've been trying to figure out the best way to structure my service plans/offerings.

Consolidated Ed
Mar 4, 2005
Lineman for Justice

Maniaman posted:

I would love to be in on something like that. I don't have a ton of info to offer, but I would love to gather some information, as I've been trying to figure out the best way to structure my service plans/offerings.

Agreed. My company is looking to transition to an MSP-type flat-rate model for existing (and new) customers, and I think it'd be useful to compare notes.

On another note: does anyone here have definite opinions on ConnectWise or AutoTask for IT workflows (pro or con)? I've already asked two people about them outside of the thread, but I'd love to hear from anyone else who's used these products, for ticketing and the like.

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Jesus Stick
Dec 14, 2004

Bomb Hills, Not Countries

Consolidated Ed posted:

Agreed. My company is looking to transition to an MSP-type flat-rate model for existing (and new) customers, and I think it'd be useful to compare notes.

On another note: does anyone here have definite opinions on ConnectWise or AutoTask for IT workflows (pro or con)? I've already asked two people about them outside of the thread, but I'd love to hear from anyone else who's used these products, for ticketing and the like.

If you spend the time to configure ConnectWise how you really want it for workflows, it is an amazing tool. With all the latest releases, we think, "Wow, we didn't even know we needed that, but it's awesome"

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