SysAdmins in the Clouds

So you’re an admin eh, and you find yourself out of work or just down on your luck?

Perhaps there is a way to satisfy the hunger that small businesses have for properly maintained systems by using the cloud, the power of the canny businessman and Free and Open Source software and target customers which none of the big dogs are chasing. Basically the plan is this:

Use your nouse to get together a bunch of SMEs, charities or other orgs and nail down some simple requirements for services they could very much do with having. Sign them up for a time share in yourself or some other sys admins that could do with the cash and set them up everything from email and authentication to storage and version control.

No service is too complex for FOSS and no help page too long to read to get the job done.

With the cloud you can set each of your customers up with their own dedicated and secure “machine” and run their services in non conflicting ways. The users are happy because they have all their services delivered by contactable and usually local businesses in a way that doesn’t open them up to much of a security problem (if you do it right of course). And sys admins are happy because they get to eat more than pot noodle and beans on toast.

Extra bonus points for hosting it in a very reliable location and super extra bonus points if you have terms in your contract with your customer that allow them to move providers and take their instances with them.

Your Thoughts?

P.S. I just got back from Orlando and UDS so my brain _is_ a bit fried and this entry isn’t as edited or refined as some of my readers are starting to expect.

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3 Responses to “SysAdmins in the Clouds”

  1. Vince says:

    Sounds like an interesting idea.

  2. Randall says:

    Add super-duper-extra-bonus points for hosting your UEC instance locally (or as near to that as possible). When you do you keep money in your community, and flowing between neighbours. So, find a local hosting site, or start one. (It’s also easier to knock on the doors of a company that is local if they’re not living up to their promises.)

    Overall a good idea.

  3. jimcooncat says:

    How do you differentiate yourself from the other thousands of hosting services? I’m the bookkeeper for several organizations, who could all benefit from a service that could deliver:

    * lower latency
    * high availability
    * support in local dialect
    * smarter separation of public and private data
    * elimination of single points of failure — especially vendor bankruptcy

    I’m not sure how one person by themselves could support it, though. On call 24/7? No real vacation time? But it seems that a team of 3 to 5 like-minded individuals could make this happen in a great way, if they could get 60 to 100 customers to make a break-even point. (That’s just a guess.)

    I’ll throw out a caution to those who want to attempt a business like this: Do the math first.