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GreenNight
Feb 19, 2006
Turning the light on the darkest places, you and I know we got to face this now. We got to face this now.

Lord Dudeguy posted:

We use Barracudaís Message Archiving Service. Itís pretty good.

Oooh Barracuda.

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Kashuno
Oct 9, 2012

Where the hell is my SWORD?


Grimey Drawer

We just recently started looking at Veeam to backup our O365 stuff but mostly just SharePoint and OneDrive stuff because Mimecast archives the email

Coffee Jones
Jul 4, 2004

16 bit? Back when we was kids we only got a single bit on Christmas, as a treat
And we had to share it!


i worked for a competitor of veeam and now that name is dust in the wind

quote:

dont ever work for a MSP you'll be exploited hard

my little bro works helpdesk at an MSP and I keep trying to get him to do job hunting but "nah, things this month weren't as bad as last month."

"dude, there's a million infosec positions going unfilled, it's orthogonal to your existing MS certs and you'll never be out of work again."

"nah..."

Gabriel S.
May 20, 2006

I WILL KEEP IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IN A LOCKBOX, AND THAT PAYS DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT.

Put this Nazi Scientist fuck on ignore immediately!


While I recognize working managed service providers is lovely it's a good entry level position and not all them are terrible. Your mileage may vary.

Jerk McJerkface
Jan 16, 2004

LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX



Soiled Meat

Gabriel S. posted:

While I recognize working managed service providers is lovely it's a good entry level position and not all them are terrible. Your mileage may vary.

It's a good start but you have to cert up and bail after a couple years.

George H.W. Cunt
Oct 6, 2010



Does anyone have experience working at a MSP in a more senior role? Talking Senior Systems Admin, Solutions Architect, or even management level. How does it differ and is it worth it?

Internet Explorer
Jun 1, 2005


Yes, my title was Senior Project Engineer and I handled more complex projects and the onboarding of more complex clients. I started spending more and more time on internal projects and optimizations, much to the owner's frustration. They were in the middle of making a department for me to head up to do that sort of stuff when I left.

It still sucked. The business model of MSPs is the problem. It's a race to the bottom on pricing versus other MSPs and the way to make money is to underpay your engineers and do as little as possible for your clients. I basically have an open-ended invitation to make a branch of a new MSP that my friends started, be a partner and owner, and probably make double what I do now. Even when I was between jobs I decided not to do it. I truly believe the industry is that toxic.

[edit: That being said, I know some senior folks who have been doing MSP work for years and years and they love it. You'll also obviously be treated better than someone in helpdesk. I don't think it is a bad idea to work for an MSP for a bit to gain that perspective and to add it to your resume, but I would put a cap on how long you're going to be there and then get out unless you really love it. I made a lateral move to that MSP and my cap was 2 years.]

Internet Explorer fucked around with this message at 14:58 on Oct 25, 2020

Thanks Ants
May 21, 2004

Bless You Ants, Blants



Internet Explorer posted:

The business model of MSPs is the problem.

This is 100% accurate, and it's the reason there can be no good MSPs. The entire business is based on catering to clients who don't value IT enough to bring it in-house, make their decisions based purely on price and will shop around for someone cheaper than you at the end of every contract.

Coolnezzz
Feb 15, 2003

D 0 E S N 0 T E X I S T


George H.W. oval office posted:

Does anyone have experience working at a MSP in a more senior role? Talking Senior Systems Admin, Solutions Architect, or even management level. How does it differ and is it worth it?

Senior Network Engineer here, or top position at my MSP with about other 25 techs on staff. Been with the company for almost 8 years, started at the lowest rung on the helpdesk and was promoted 3 times (with massive raises each time). I perform all of the new client on-boardings, and the rest of my time is split up between projects, crypto-malware cleanups, and escalations from tier 2/3. It's not so bad, I've been able to work mostly from home for the past 3 years, but I do still spend a lot of time in our lab setting up gear and on-site at various clients deploying and setting up said gear, even during the pandemic.

Thanks Ants posted:

This is 100% accurate, and it's the reason there can be no good MSPs. The entire business is based on catering to clients who don't value IT enough to bring it in-house, make their decisions based purely on price and will shop around for someone cheaper than you at the end of every contract.

Yes, it is, and it's quite lucrative for us being in southern California. Many small and medium sized business can't (and sometimes can but still refuse to) actually afford to staff a full time IT person/department so usually the people we take that role from are the C-levels or some poor schmuck lower on the totem pole that had previously been doing it in their spare time and got tired of it. We have various tiers of contracts for monthly support, from full service of every IT aspect of the business down to just monitoring and alerting for larger business to T&M clients that only use us once in a blue moon for larger projects.

My main draw to the company is that I get to learn something new almost on a daily basis, which some people may not enjoy but I get a kick out of it. Also they pay and treat me well so I haven't felt a greater need to look elsewhere. We are definitely not the cheapest in the area by far, we have 4-5 main competitors and we often have clients jumping ship but their level of support suffers for it. Our VP of sales is extremely good at his job so we never have a lack of work, we definitely acquire more new clients than we lose and have done so the entire time I've been with the company. He doesn't oversell the clients and actually has a heart. Plus my senior peers and the VP of engineering are all incredibly smart and knowledgeable, so I enjoy working with and learning from them as well.

We do not have high employee turnover at all, our VP of engineering has been there almost 20 years, two other senior guys 10+, and the VP of sales was there when the company was founded 25 years ago. Some of our helpdesk team, while nice, have been in their positions for 5+ years and refuse to do anything to move up/on because they're comfortable where they are at and we pay decently enough for helpdesk. We have had a couple of folks that come in for a few months and jump ship at the next opportunity, mostly the guys right out of college who don't know anything but still have certs and a degree. I, personally, have neither, which may be one of the reasons I haven't put any effort into moving on as well, and the VP of engineering believes that experience and attitude is greater than certs/degrees. We definitely promote from within for the people who are into it and we are treated well.

Not having any kind of specialization can be a bit of a drag, we're all expected to be versatile in the things that we do. So no one focuses on one particular aspect except our director of security, but that position was only created because we needed someone with security in their title for a full time contract at one of the larger hospitals in the area, he's still just a senior engineer like myself. The range of work is large, one week I will be deploying 50+ new PCs and the next I will be configuring and deploying firewalls and switches or performing a migration from on-prem Exchange to Office365. Then I will get a call at 10PM because some loving idiot refused to heed our advice to shut off public RDP access and got their entire network encrypted before asking us for help.

So it's kind of poo poo but nice if you enjoy being in the poo poo. I'm sure if I put some effort into it I could move on to something that pays 30% more money and pick a specialization but I'm not sure I'd enjoy it as much.

MF_James
May 8, 2008
I CANNOT HANDLE BEING CALLED OUT ON MY DUMBASS OPINIONS ABOUT ANTI-VIRUS AND SECURITY. I REALLY LIKE TO THINK THAT I KNOW THINGS HERE

INSTEAD I AM GOING TO WHINE ABOUT IT IN OTHER THREADS SO MY OPINION CAN FEEL VALIDATED IN AN ECHO CHAMBER I LIKE


I currently work as a senior systems engineer for an MSP.

It's not horrible, I'm paid pretty much right where I should be, maybe slightly low for the title but I also don't necessarily deserve the senior title for this position.

I need to hit billable hours goals every month (135 billed hours) or at least not do sub-goal multiple months in a row (start of COVID was a lax time) and they also have a bunch of dumb things I have to do weekly/monthly for reporting, they want me to actually use my calendar to show that I'm scheduled for work otherwise they will harass me and try to pass stuff my way (which is fine if I don't have anything going on). I get bonuses for going over 135 hours; essentially we're extremely encouraged to work every waking hour basically but are compensated for it.

Overall I think we treat our clients well, people don't try to overbill hours, at least that I can tell, I know I don't. We aren't the cheapest but we aren't the most expensive either.

Gabriel S.
May 20, 2006

I WILL KEEP IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IN A LOCKBOX, AND THAT PAYS DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT.

Put this Nazi Scientist fuck on ignore immediately!


Thanks Ants posted:

This is 100% accurate, and it's the reason there can be no good MSPs. The entire business is based on catering to clients who don't value IT enough to bring it in-house, make their decisions based purely on price and will shop around for someone cheaper than you at the end of every contract.

This is not true.

As others have said, many businesses don't need a full time IT person because there isn't that much work to do in the first place. I've worked for two or three MSPs. The first one was basic PC Repair for major vendors like Lenovo, HP, Dell, etc. for multiple school districts and hospitals. My whole day would essentially be repairing pcs under warranty and I got an amazing $11/hr. Eventually, I moved up and started doing onsite visits fixing multiple problems from I can't print to our application on this server is slower than normal go solve this with the vendor. And I came in know absolutely nothing about these environments.

It's a great way to cut your teeth into entry level IT and there are larger MSPs that deal with all sorts of things for larger customers. Of course, I'll admit they're a dime a dozen but they're not all bad. Don't discount them.

Defenestrategy
Oct 24, 2010

Worst decision I ever made.


How much does it cost on average to hire an MSP?

I'd think that the only time it'd make sense to not have your own in house team is if you're so tiny in infrastructure that it doesn't make sense to not even pay 25k a year to a 2nd year IT/CS Major to do break fix for you or you're a medium sized business that needs something super specialized every now and again but won't justify hiring on a full time "Security", "AD", or "Email Migration" guy.


I can't imagine that for larger, mid, or even certain smaller companies that the savings you get for hiring an MSP to do your crap for you is equivalent to the advantages of having a team working for you that knows your business in and out and has a vested interest in the IT systems being as efficient as possible for your business specifically.

Defenestrategy fucked around with this message at 19:50 on Oct 25, 2020

Gabriel S.
May 20, 2006

I WILL KEEP IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IN A LOCKBOX, AND THAT PAYS DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT.

Put this Nazi Scientist fuck on ignore immediately!


Hourly, it was usually $100-250 an hour. Projects had set rates like $2,500 all the way to $10,000.

You also have to include the cost of hiring an employee, overhead, insurance plus all the time spent hiring, managing them, etc.

Internet Explorer
Jun 1, 2005


Gabriel S. posted:

Hourly, it was usually $100-250 an hour. Projects had set rates like $2,500 all the way to $10,000.

You also have to include the cost of hiring an employee, overhead, insurance plus all the time spent hiring, managing them, etc.

Your answer makes me think that your definition of MSP and most people's definition of MSP might differ. If you're not charging per user or per device at a monthly flat rate, then you're not an MSP. Are there time+material deals and larger projects that get charged like consulting? Yes, absolutely. But if the core if your business isn't a recurring charge to your client then I'm not sure you qualify as an MSP.

Internet Explorer fucked around with this message at 20:00 on Oct 25, 2020

22 Eargesplitten
Oct 10, 2010

Also sexism, religious bias, jingoism, and so on. Don't do it, people!

Dogs, don't do it either, even if the police man really tries to train you to do it.


There's also a (false) feeling of assurance that if you hire a MSP they will do it right, whereas you might be smart enough to know that you don't know whether the intern actually knows what he's doing.

Gabriel S.
May 20, 2006

I WILL KEEP IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IN A LOCKBOX, AND THAT PAYS DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT.

Put this Nazi Scientist fuck on ignore immediately!


Internet Explorer posted:

Your answer makes me think that your definition of MSP and most people's definition of MSP might differ. If you're not charging per user or per device at a monthly flat rate, then you're not an MSP. Are there time+material deals and larger projects that get charged like consulting? Yes, absolutely. But if the core if your business isn't a reoccurring charge to your client then I'm not sure you qualify as an MSP.

We had maintenance contracts with our customers but if you did the math that's the hourly rate.

22 Eargesplitten posted:

There's also a (false) feeling of assurance that if you hire a MSP they will do it right, whereas you might be smart enough to know that you don't know whether the intern actually knows what he's doing.

No doubt and pretty much any company can get whatever certification and claim they're a partner.

MF_James
May 8, 2008
I CANNOT HANDLE BEING CALLED OUT ON MY DUMBASS OPINIONS ABOUT ANTI-VIRUS AND SECURITY. I REALLY LIKE TO THINK THAT I KNOW THINGS HERE

INSTEAD I AM GOING TO WHINE ABOUT IT IN OTHER THREADS SO MY OPINION CAN FEEL VALIDATED IN AN ECHO CHAMBER I LIKE


Some MSPs are better than others for sure, but the architects/seniors should be doing a project plan + execution or two with mid-level/junior guys so they know how to do it right/the MSP's standard way.

Which does not always happen, partly because of time (everyone's overworked) and partly because people don't admit that they could use some help, even if it's just in the planning phase.

MF_James fucked around with this message at 20:21 on Oct 25, 2020

Bob Morales
Aug 18, 2006

Just wear the fucking mask, Bob


Iím torn on outsourcing things to an MSP

Most of them are not very good. Incorrect installs, forgetting to do stuff, selling you crap you donít need or wonít use...

The worst is when they resell something like email hosting or spam filtering, you can buy it for the same price and they are just going to screw stuff up like entering employees names wrong or charge you for calling support.

However, itís good to have a knowledgeable MSP on your side when you need to fill knowledge or skills gaps in your team. Networking, vioip, etc

I did a couple years at MSPís when I started and then got hired at a client. Certs are king. The work hours can suck (instead of being on call for your employer youíre on call for a bunch of companies and that also makes after hours patching a pain. Lots of weekends spent re-doing servers etc. or staying late at a client when air blows up.

It is fun not working on the same poo poo or at the same place every day. I get bored/disinterested at my day job, always have.

Tetramin
Apr 1, 2006

I'ma buck you up.


We have relationships with an MSP for the system stuff, and another for networking. They are helping us line up our conversion to meraki by coordinating local techs to go on site and rack stuff etc, purchasing and warehousing the equipment, it relieves a lot of tedious work from me. I have also called the main engineer we work with a few times for advice on stuff Iím not super familiar with. We donít contact them often but itís really nice to have a great source of knowledge you can reach out to sometimes.

uhhhhahhhhohahhh
Oct 9, 2012


We have a contract with an MSP and they're the absolute worst, but they can do no wrong in my bosses eyes and he loves to give work to them. One of their recent bangers include setting up a Microsoft Always On VPN server but not being able to get SSTP or IKEv2 to work, so they just enabled PPTP and said it was done and then handed it off.

My experience with them and this thread has put me off working at one completely, which sucks, because 95% of the new jobs I see are for MSPs.

Gyshall
Feb 24, 2009

Had a couple of drinks.
Saw a couple of things.


Not sure if this is the best place to ask, but I'm building out some colo racks (1 or 2 in a bunch of DCs around the US) and would love some guidance on cable management and best practices these days.

Each rack will have a firewall stack at the top, a management switch, a SFP+ style switch stack (for compute/vmware) and then a bunch of either 1u or 2u servers.

I've got basically an unlimited budget but I'm more concerned with making the cabling and setup as manageable and aestheticlly pleasing as possible, since we'll have auditors and folks looking at the setups and we want it to look super professional.

I haven't done data center/hardware for about 10 years but I know my way around enough.

PCjr sidecar
Jan 26, 2011

dude, you gotta end it on the rhyme



Find your local panduit reseller, give him a blank check, and tell him gently caress me up, fam.

Spring Heeled Jack
Feb 25, 2007


As someone who worked at an MSP for 4 years, I do everything I can to avoid using them. We have two, one on retainer for light firewall work that is also our CSP for 365 and the other is our Ďsecurity vendorí which is a fancy way of saying they give us these sad weekly reports on whatever our SEIM spits out.

BeastOfExmoor
Aug 19, 2003

I will be gone, but not forever.


Due to a misunderstanding on my part when I first started reading this thread, I have this subconscious belief that the epicenter of the Managed Server Provider industry is Minneapolis/St. Paul.

GreenNight
Feb 19, 2006
Turning the light on the darkest places, you and I know we got to face this now. We got to face this now.

More like the epicenter of lovely sports teams.

22 Eargesplitten
Oct 10, 2010

Also sexism, religious bias, jingoism, and so on. Don't do it, people!

Dogs, don't do it either, even if the police man really tries to train you to do it.


No, that's the epicenter of multiprotocol layer switching research.

Internet Explorer
Jun 1, 2005


Oh no
https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/ne...ernet-explorer/

Mr. Fix It
Oct 26, 2000

ayyy





F

wargames
Mar 16, 2008

official yospos cat censor



So many terrible corporate and government websites are screaming.

SpaceSDoorGunner
May 4, 2018




The military is hosed.

wargames
Mar 16, 2008

official yospos cat censor


SpaceSDoorGunner posted:

The military is hosed.

we clearly need to go back to windows xp to prevent the updates that makes them lose the ability to use IE.

BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006



I put in a brief stint in the MSP mines earlier in my career. Never again...

Like others have mentioned the business is a race to the bottom. Our sales guys would sell clients on us being able to reuse existing equipment and we'd consistently put in low-ball offers. That led to us Sr staff trying to figure out the least lovely way to get their small business server 2008 functioning in the year 2015. In my mind we were never as good as I felt internal IT staff would be for the larger clients. And for smaller businesses we worked with they would've been better off just migrating completely to O365 and never having to work with us again.

We were constantly overworked to the detriment of clients and staff. Our usual tier 1 person lasted about 6 months before they moved on to greener pastures, and the entire Sr staff rolled over completely in the short time I was around.

Bob Morales
Aug 18, 2006

Just wear the fucking mask, Bob


BaseballPCHiker posted:

small business server 2008
msp.txt

Darchangel
Feb 12, 2009

Tell him about the blower!



wargames posted:

So many terrible corporate and government websites are screaming.

Good.

Woof Blitzer
Dec 29, 2012


Just rename it Intranet Explorer. That's all it does really.

CloFan
Nov 5, 2004







Fun Shoe

Woof Blitzer posted:

Just rename it Intranet Explorer. That's all it does really.

This is good

We finally updated the MS Dynamics to no longer need IE and Silverlight literally yesterday, so good riddance

Vulture Culture
Jul 14, 2003

I was never enjoying it. I only eat it for the nutrients.


Gyshall posted:

Not sure if this is the best place to ask, but I'm building out some colo racks (1 or 2 in a bunch of DCs around the US) and would love some guidance on cable management and best practices these days.

Each rack will have a firewall stack at the top, a management switch, a SFP+ style switch stack (for compute/vmware) and then a bunch of either 1u or 2u servers.

I've got basically an unlimited budget but I'm more concerned with making the cabling and setup as manageable and aestheticlly pleasing as possible, since we'll have auditors and folks looking at the setups and we want it to look super professional.

I haven't done data center/hardware for about 10 years but I know my way around enough.
Auditors really don't care about how your servers look or literally nearly anything else

Sickening
Jul 15, 2007

Black summer was the best summer.

Vulture Culture posted:

Auditors really don't care about how your servers look or literally nearly anything else

Agreed. Unless this place is something a customer would see or something, this is a waste of time and money.

bull3964
Nov 18, 2000

DO YOU HEAR THAT? THAT'S THE SOUND OF ME PATTING MYSELF ON THE BACK.




Vulture Culture posted:

Auditors really don't care about how your servers look or literally nearly anything else

We had a FedRAMP audit and they were extremely nitpicky on this type of poo poo and basically required us to clean out and reorganize the server closet for the office (which wasn't even hosting any applications) because it wasn't tidy enough for them.

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22 Eargesplitten
Oct 10, 2010

Also sexism, religious bias, jingoism, and so on. Don't do it, people!

Dogs, don't do it either, even if the police man really tries to train you to do it.



I guess go to the police about a credible threat to your safety?

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