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Re: freelance sysadmining - $50k - rates [WAS: "Red Hat recommends Windows for consumers"]

hi ya scruloose

-- list of "who exactly is doing all this"
	- providing linux support, training, etc
	( you can search for it )
	- there's a whole list of consultants for most distributions
	- there mailing lists, chatrooms, ....archives, howtos,...

On Tue, 11 Nov 2003, ScruLoose wrote:

> > > $50,000 / 2000hrs/year = $25/hr thank you drive through :-)
> > 
> > good point, except its 24x7 coverage from them, so its more like $8/hr ...
> Yeah, but if your $50,000/yr client only needs 50 hours of actual
> service during that year, then it's a grand an hour. 
> All of a sudden, it doesn't sound too hard to undercut that.

ah ... i see you havent been getting too many "tech support calls"
on a fixed plan basis :-)
	- its more like $5.oo/hr by the time you've provided
	the proper and satisfactory answer to the point that they'd
	renew the contracts
	- i like it because, sometimes i get to fill in the blanks
	before they go hire a 24x7 in house staff for the same $50K/yr
	( i fill in to just solve the 1 or 2 problems that didnt get
	( resolved before the "whole thing" needs a complete overhaul
	( "whole thing" == network, pc, instslls, windoze, ... )

> Plunk your average PC-owning end-user down in front of woody + KDE3 +
> OO.o + recent Mozilla, and their maintenance needs are likely to go
> about as far as ssh-ing in to their box and running an apt-get update
> when security fixes come out.
> Charge a couple of hundred bucks a year for that and it's well into the
> black.

- how often does patches for those apps come out???
	- do you automatically apply them via cron ???
	- do you tell them they better be prepared for either
	a) you apply the patches remotely and everything is fixed or
	b) you apply the patches and things break

- when things break ..  did it break because of your updates and patches
  or was it broken before you made your changes
	- they never touched anything or changed anything ...
	( which can be verified ..

	- how or who changed it is a separate issue of why its now broken

	- sometimes chattr +i /etc/*  is a good idea :-)
	- and i have a few of them out there ... they can't break it
	- unless whomever they are getting knows about chattr and its
	- new renamed name...

> Might make sense to have several levels of service.
> (Please note that I'm thinking in Canadian dollars, but these are
> wild-ass-guess numbers anyway)
> -  Routine patches:  $50/year

you cant apply all the patches for $50/yr ... no way .. not even
via cron ... 
	- at $5/hr ... thats 10hrs/year ...
	- at $25/hr .. thats  2hrs/yr for applying all patches

> -  Patches + version upgrades + up to n hours of other work that can be
>    done over ssh:  $200/year ... or maybe $n*100/year

and you will be out of available hours, when a "REQUIRED, YOU MUST APPLY
PATCH NOW" comes out, otherwise they are a sitting duck ..
	- limited number of hours wont work for applying "patches"
	- what if the patch breaks something else ??

		- apache + mysql + php + *ssl + perl + bugzilla is a big
		unknown when one is patched separately form the rest
		( been burnt by it .. a couple [free]months down the drain

		and it was when ssh just had its announced exploits before
		slapper came out ... 

	- limited number of hours for "their questions" and you reply
	to their questions is okay

> -  House calls extra (but discounted if you're on a plan)

whether you go there or they bring to you ... doesnt make much difference

i prefer to go there, so you can see what else is the problems
because ti will probably work when they bring it to you
	- i prefer they dont touch anything, and have a repeatable
	problem that i can see what they did that didnt work for them

	- sometimes, just turn the power switch on !!!
	( just happened about 2 weeks ago ... costs them $3,000-$5K in
	( expenses a client incurred for their customers

	- power cords do get kicked around ... :-)
	and they didnt do question/answer before heading out..
> -  Maybe offer the "insurance" plan including coverage of ID10T errors
>    for quite a lot more per year 
>    (not necessary if you go with the $n*100/year formula I guess)

insurance plan, that is NOT authorized/written by the local
"dept of insurance" of your state is a null/void insurance plan
and probably get yoou into deeper trouble

warranty of the hardware is covered by the original manufacturer
of the cpu/mem/disk/powersupply ...etc..
	- notice, not a single fan manufacturer warranties their fans

> -  Maybe cover additional machines in same household for a discounted
>    rate?  Home LAN packages with file- and printer-sharing?

1 machine or 100 machines costs the same to maintain

- granted that maintaining 10 machines is fulltime job
  and than the other 90 are just auto-updating and clones
  but still costs the same ... "1 full time job"

	or one 20hr/week job ... however amt of work you're doing
	for each "different supported configuration"

	number of paid hours can be adjusted for the number of machines
	and the tasks you and they consider critical and the $$$
	available for the tasks ...

- i prefer taking 1 or 2 good paying customers than to have 100
  users and not have the bandwidth for wha they need done 

- either situation ( few customer or many ) must meet at least 4 or 5 
  out of 6 "requirements" of  time vs $$ vs performance vs security vs
  reliability vs "who does it" terms/conditions

	- usually $$$ is what most people care about ...
	and rest is irrelevant ( they wish for everything all they like )

c ya

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