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Re: AYT? Support network, anyone up to?

George Bonser <grep@oriole.sbay.org> writes:

> On Fri, 10 Apr 1998, Tracy Camp (Gemnis 2.1) wrote:
> You can go to our company web page and grab a helpdesk CGI that we
> published in System Administrator magazine.  It is free.  It needs polish
> but it is useable in assigning trouble tickets to people and allowing
> people to browse their tickets.  It is sort of a watered down version of
> Quintas WebQ if you have ever used that. Feel free to improve on it if you
> like.
> http://www.captech.com

Nice looking web page.  I'll take a look at it.
> I am not so much the "seat of the pants" hacker.  I have several years in
> hardware service and in system administration. The main thing I have found
> before committing to support something is to find out exactly what it is
> you are agreeing to support. Debian makes this fairly easy since the
> system is pretty much in a known basic configuration with some
> customization specific to the customer's operation. 

I find Debian installations to be much more consistent over time than the
equivalent Red Hat installation.  Windows NT installations tend to be
very consistent over time - because you have to reinstall it every couple
of months.  :-)
> One think I would like to offer is simple basic system maintenance.
> Example: Customer signs up for a basic maintance contract. CERT comes out
> with an advisory for bind. You log into the supported systems, upgrade
> their bind, then notify them by email that their system has been upgraded
> to fix a potential security problem and you inform them of other operating
> systems/versions that might be affected so they can contact those vendors.
> In some cases, it might be wise to notify them in advance that packages
> x,y,and z have been upgraded and that you want to schedule a time when
> the affected services might be unavailable for a few minutes while the
> upgrade is taking place. 
> It is support like this that many MIS departments like. It impresses them
> when you are proactive in notifying them of the upgrades and that it is
> part of the maintenance program that they signed up for. 

I agree that is a good service to offer.  I basically do the same thing
for my clients.

I am sure that we will have quite a bit to talk about when it comes to
choosing a set of services to offer, and setting rates.

> BTW, my expertise is more along the lines of services configuration. I am
> pretty good at getting the email, DNS, NIS, UUCP and news working and
> keeping it that way.  I also know gated and can get PPP working ;).

Sounds good.  I can do email, DNS, NIS, and PPP - but I've never done
UUCP or gated, and I've only done a personal news spool for myself.

So we already have a complementary set of skills.  :-)


 - Jim

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