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View Full Version : Advice on a quote for SBS2003 setup


Simmy
01-09-2008, 12:23 PM
We've been asked to setup a Small Business Server for a local company, which is going to run 18 computers running Windows XP Professional. So far they have bought a Dell PowerEdge 1950 server and all the necessary licenses.

I've never really setup SBS2003 before, but after messing about with it at home it seems pretty straight forward.

The basic plan is;
> Create a domain
> Setup DNS/DHCP server
> Setup roaming profiles on all the machines/Network shared drive
> Setup network printer

There will be two of us working on this job and I believe we could get it done in 4 to 5 hours (allowing for complications). We were planning to quote 500 for the work. Does this seem reasonable? Any advice appreciated :)

Blues
01-09-2008, 01:51 PM
seems maybe a tad low but Im not really sure on the value of your currency

Simmy
01-09-2008, 01:55 PM
500 = $1000 US ($986.85 to be precise :p). Considering it's out first job of this type, I'm not too fussed about charging loads because I'm mainly doing it to get the experience. How much would you charge Blues?

Blues
01-09-2008, 06:22 PM
Ive not really set one up I currently manage one with about 500 computers. but for that size I guess thats not bad. I would consider how much that is to you more then the difference between our currencies. It should be a small job but I also think you might have to put more trime into it then 4-5 hours.

Simmy
01-09-2008, 06:48 PM
Thanks for the reply.

When I say 4-5 hours, I mean 4-5 hours with 2 people working on it. So a total of 8-10 man hours.

tartis
01-09-2008, 06:56 PM
Thanks for the reply.

When I say 4-5 hours, I mean 4-5 hours with 2 people working on it. So a total of 8-10 man hours.

I am thinking that you will have double the hours after trying to get everything to work correctly, adding all of the machines to the domain, and getting all the directory structure and login scripts to work correctly. Don't forget that the users are going to have a lot of questions. What about backups for this server? What are they using now for a server? Do you need to move data from one server to another?

dipper
01-09-2008, 09:42 PM
There will be two of us working on this job and I believe we could get it done in 4 to 5 hours (allowing for complications). We were planning to quote 500 for the work. Does this seem reasonable? Any advice appreciated :)


It take at least double that amount of time.

Installation and initial setup of the SBS machine will take from 2-5 hours.

Then you will have to copy across any shared data (anyware from 10 minutes to an hour), setup each XP machine, create new profiles, copy across user data (My Documents, Favourites etc), copy across users email, contacts and calendars etc.

Simmy
01-10-2008, 10:25 AM
Thanks for the responses. We're going to visit their offices today to take a look at the setup and ask them what needs doing, so all of your advice is very helpful. Maybe my original quote was a bit ambitious!

Simmy
01-18-2008, 06:47 PM
Just thought I'd post an update on how this job went. We carried out the work on Tuesday but we came across a few unfortunate problems which erm...slowed us down some what :p

We were on a Dell Poweredge 1950 server and unfortunately the owners decided to try and set some of it up themselves before we arrived. They couldn't exactly tell us what they'd done, but the machine was doing some strange things. So after trying to blindly undo their work, we installed a few windows updates and after restarting, it refused to load into windows! We booted into safe mode and figured out the problem was a windows update called Sharepoint, but uninstalling it and disabling any services didn't fix the problem, yet it was still throwing a wobbly in eventlog and kept referring to sharepoint. So we decided to reinstall Windows 2003 SBS. It turns out you have to download the install management CDs for these dell servers, but the version on the Dell site was incorrect (didn't include RAID controller drivers for out machine). There was no floppy and booting from USB using the Dell USB Floppy drive application wasn't working. After phoning Dell and getting a link to the correct ISO for the Installation Management CD, we came across another problem. The chap on the end of the phone seemed to think Windows 2003 SBS shouldn't have been supplied with the poweredge servers as none of the supplied CDs contained the correct drivers for the setup. So eventaully we got a link to some RAID Controller drivers (again different to the version on the Dell website, which we'd previously tried) which we slipstreamed using nLite and eventually, 12 hours later we got it formatted! I think we must have spent 2/3rd of that waiting for ISO files to download and waiting for windows to shutdown and boot. Another 5 hours later, we had setup the server and all 18 user machines on the domain, along with roaming profiles.

We only quoted 500 for the work, which would have been spot on had we been able to format the machine straight away (It might even have been less if we'd have started with a freshly formatted and updated install). But the kind chaps at the company said they would give us 800 for our troubles :) A couple of them even stayed in overnight with us, although they had been to the pub for 4 hours, which helped to keep them awake. The job took from 2.30pm to 7am the following morning, but we learnt alot from the hands on experience and got it all up and running in the end. They've only had one problem so far, which wasn't even anything to do with our work, but more a user error. Hopefully they will come back to us again, now that they've seen we see it through to the finish.

Blues
01-18-2008, 08:06 PM
Im sure you learned the fun fact servers are not fast machines when it comes to a reboot a solid 10 minutes min. from what I have seen for a reboot. But hey they aren't made to go done daily so 10 min is fine they are made for running an extended period of time with heavy use.

greggh
01-19-2008, 12:32 AM
Are you doing folder redirection along with the roaming profiles too? It is highly advised for desktops.

jamesbhp
01-19-2008, 04:53 AM
Since I haven't left my current company, I will share some of our billing methods. Keep in mind, when I start my own home business, the rates will be significantly lower, but within the appropriate ratio for the area.

When quoting a server install, we quote each workstation as 4 hours of work. I forget the exact pricing on server alone, but I will check with my office manager's notes and post that at another time. We generally rollout either Dell or IBM servers, both which are installed using their own loader program; unlike most us installing it at home as practice using the direct window installer.

Our rates are 125 an hour and sometimes discounted dependent if we are doing the entire cable dropping or phone lines as well.

We also generally prep the servers at our office before going live at the location. When we unload the server, it just needs to be promoted. We also prep the firewall ahead of time if that is in the order as well.

Simmy
01-19-2008, 10:16 AM
Are you doing folder redirection along with the roaming profiles too? It is highly advised for desktops.

We transferred the local profiles onto the server, if that's what you mean? So everytime they logon, a copy is pulled from the server onto the local machine and then transferred back to the server when they log off.

One thing we still need to sort out it setting up outlook emails/contacts to run from the profiles stored on the server. We weren't quite sure how to do this, and at 7am we weren't going to try and learn. When we tried to run Outlook from within one of the roaming profiles, Outlook came up with an error saying it didn't have permission to read the local folders - basically it was still trying to read files from the old local user profile. Can anyone point us in the right direction, so Oulook uses the server profile folder to store emails?

EDIT - I've just looked up folder redirection, so I know what you mean now. No we haven't set that up, but it's a good idea for their "My Documents" folder. Would it be worth doing that for their outlook files aswell?