IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Heads UP! A Mini-Series of Videos on Server Setup and Documentation

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to post a series of Friday videos on server setup and documentation - specifically with regard to the Cloud Five Pack offering that I've been offering since 2008. These will be on my YouTube Channel - www.youtube.com/smallbizthoughts. And of course I'll add notes here on the blog.

In addition to that, I'm playing with the latest (Gen8) HP Microserver before I put it in service at a client's office.

The HP MicroServer, Gen8

Note: I do not have anything to "sell" to computer consultants, VARs, or MSPs with regard to my Cloud Five Pack. I am merely using it as a tool to show you how you can make a LOT of money with cloud services.

My Cloud Five Pack is a series of bundled services that are sold for a low monthly fee. One big piece of that bundle is a strategy for success. The goal is to find clients who want 100% reliability with a combination of cloud services and onsite hardware.

The first video (tomorrow) will cover a bit of documentation you can start before you even have the server. Next week we'll look at labeling equipment and keeping track of the software and documentation that arrives with the server.

On the 26th I'll give a product review for my favorite server: The HP MicroServer, Gen8.

This server is perfect because it's right-sized for a cloud offering. Generally speaking, I want to have active directory onsite. And I want to control DNS through a server onsite. If files are stored locally, then all this machine has to do it authenticate logons and serve up files. If files are stored in the cloud, then we're going to use the server as the "backup" and copy those files down every night (when no one's around).

We don't tell the client we're using Windows Server Essentials for this - because they don't care! It just works. That they care about. To clients we refer to the entire setup as Server Lite.

We throw an RMM agent (LogicNow) on the machine so it gets patches and updates, plus anti-virus. Other than that, we do very minimal maintenance on these machines because (again) they just work.

More videos to follow, of course, on working through the server build checklist and documenting the important stuff after it's in place.

- - - - -

As a brief detour, I'm going to set up this machine with the operating system on a 128 GB Micro-SD card. I'm not sure I'll leave it like that, but I want to do it because I haven't before. I want to see how acceptable the installation and performance is.

I promised Richard Tubb I'd do a completely separate blog about that.

So stay tuned.

:-)

About the Author

Karl W. Palachuk, is a technology consultant, author, speaker, trainer, and coach. He is the author of fifteen books. He has built several successful businesses, including two managed services companies. His books include Managed Services in a Month and The Network Documentation Workbook. Karl is a frequent trainer and speaker in the SMB Community. His popular blog can be found at SmallBizThoughts.com. He has more than twenty years experience as an I.T. professional and serves on advisory panels for several hardware and software companies.

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