Managed Services

The End of the Network Documentation Resource by Karl Palachuk

Karl has announced that his excellent Network Documentation Book/CD is no longer going to be available but it’s had a major impact on what many of us do. In fact, Karl has had a major impact and if there’s people of "high value" that other colleagues talk of then Karl is one of them. I’ve personally used his comments about Community on the Microsoft OEM Roadshow last year and they have been an inspiration for me to be involved. So to be mentioned in his blog post is fantastic, but again Karl makes a key point which is

The community of SMB Consultants and Small Business Specialists has dramatically raised the bar of professionalism within our profession.

Even this great book was not Karl’s best work nor the Service Agreements for SMB Consultants book, for me it was the SMB SAN Primer. An absolutely excellent title on using SANs, setting up/configuring them for an SMB scenario. It was a book way before its time and remains so …but it will have its time. I will put money on this and if you haven’t got a copy get one quick! It might just make you rethink what you do and how you deploy things.

SANs have been coming down in price all the time and it was no coincidence that Dell bought Equallogic.

As great as WPC was, there was one regret for me that Karl wasn’t there.

Autotask Offer to SBSC Partners

Now, before you get too excited I think this is US only. But there are details of an Autotask offer to SBSC Partners which I believe is quite interesting and after David Salzberg of Autotask came to our SBS Group meeting, I understand this might arrive in the UK sometime as well.

If you’d be interested in this being available in the UK, then maybe leave a comment and I can try and feed this back to Autotask.

Kaseya's Support for Intel vPro Technology

To be honest I had never heard of this until the recent Kaseya meeting at our SBS Group. It sounded pretty cool and actually very useful. It is the ability of the latest Kaseya offerings to monitor and control machines which have the Intel vPro Technology regardless of power state and regardless of the Operating System. Don’t ask me how it does it, for all I know it’s done by telepathy or something :-)

Read the Kaseya Press Release and the Intel Overview of this "Voodoo" technology.

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Managed Services Resources on Microsoft Partner Portal

I came across this a while back and meant to blog it. Microsoft has a set of Resources on the Partner Portal for Managed Services which includes such things as the Managed Services Handbook which is described as a set of guidances for how to develop, market and sell a Managed Services offering to your customers. They have presentations for to help customers understand the value of your Managed Services offerings. There’s a load of templates to use as well. It’s amazing what you find on the Portal sometimes!

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Managed Services

This was one of the hot topics from the SBSC Symposia and I recently attended a seminar run by Bull Terrier Systems regarding their hosted Kaseya solution. There are some good solutions out there such as Level Platforms, Kaseya and Hound Dog but I have a problem with these. Since Microsoft mandated that all new products should have a MOM Management Pack, then I would like a solution which plugs in to this. Running MOM for SBSers has been a problem, because the solution has to be cost effective and work over a multi-domain environment where there is no trust relationship between these domains. Microsoft’s System Center Essentials 2007, holds out some hope for those running SBS boxes for customers, although this product is currently in Beta 2.

You know what it is like looking at event logs, they can be very esoteric (that’s the way developers are when reporting back errors to users!). Anything which actually allows a deeper understanding of what’s gone wrong and how to fix it is a good thing. Also, SBS 2003, does a great job out of the box for having a managed services approach and is one of the key reasons to chose it over something like Linux. 

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