Should I hire a Server Admin? How?
Have setup 2 servers with Linode now, and might setup another 2, for a total of 4 servers, to run what I hope will be fast growing site.
It's taking allot of my time/effort to do this. Would like to hire a Server Admin, but not sure how to go about it, and have a very tight budget.
Ideally someone part time, on call, who could jump in if there is a issue and fix it.
Should I hire locally? Or is there a service that can do this?
The other option would be to use Linode's "Managed" service, which would cost $400 per month total for 4 servers.
Any input is appreciated.
P.S. I am in Utah
It kind of depends on what you're looking for. Personally, I've done a few server setup jobs here and there, usually just one-off setups, but it's not my primary job and it's kind of best-effort. I know there are people out there like that as well if you don't need a solution that has guaranteed response times and so on.
Hope this helps.
They charge by Linode, so you would be better off upsizing your current Linodes to support your needs rather than doubling the number of Linodes (and thus your Admin costs).
If you've got a four Linode setup and you want to split load between machines, you're paying them $4,800 per year for management alone, shouldn't that kind of cost include the initial setup of MySQL/Apache/PHP/etc?
@Main Street James:
You could look at Linode's own server admin services:
IMHO, it's not worth the cost. An organization I work with was in the Linode Managed beta for several months, and in each case when something would go wrong, their response (even with things simple things like broken MySQL replication or something) was: "Hey, something is wrong, you should look into it.". When we asked them to look into things further, they refused, stating that they didn't set things up and as such, can't provide any in-depth troubleshooting or support.
…which makes it more or less worthless. There may be a few edge cases where Linode Managed is worth the money, but it does not replace having a competent sysadmin on staff or available on an on-call basis.
That's always been my concern… It's hard to draw the line as to what 'managed' actually means. In theory, you could go to them 24/7 and ask them to do the work that you should be doing. Cost is high too for the managed option. I'm hoping they will reduce it, but I'd rather go it alone atm.
Just in case I cannot fix something myself, I have bookmarked a server support company that charges per the hour to support people like me as and when we need the support. Thats because monthly plans are just too much, as they are always by server, and you may rarely need them depending on the setup you have, and yet I think its better to have many small servers rather than few big ones (eggs in one basket and all that).
It would cost me $1200 or so to have all my servers managed at $100pm. I have NEVER had to use this emergency support company in the two years since I found them. Thats a hell of saving!
I did have one issue I couldn't fix, Linode would not boot, some kernel issue that goes over my head, but a restore of a Linode backup fixed that and it never came back.
So I suppose I am risking having problems I may not be able to fix (or take longer to fix them) in order to save a LOT of money, what with us being a small business and all.
A truly hands-off, managed solution is VERY expensive. I've got an arrangement like that with a provider at work. They host two physical servers (storage and MySQL), seven VMs (4x App, 1x MSSQL, 1x FTP, 1x memcache), a Cisco ASA, and a Cisco ACE and the total monthly bill for servers, bandwidth, and fully-managed support is around $7K if memory serves. I don't recall the breakdown between hardware and support, but I believe it was something like 50/50.
If all you are getting for $3.5K a month is incident response you are paying way too much. That might be about the right price if they are spending lots of hours admining these machines or if you are buying support for some really specialized software. For standard Linux stuff it's just too much money for too little work.
Obviously I'm rushing to judgment here because I don't know all the details of your case.