You may be wondering, what does a Linux expert cost, and what can Linux guys actually do? Since this is not a commodity service, explaining pricing guidelines is not easy, but based on our rates we’ll do our best to give you an idea.
Potential Duties of a Linux Consultant
This is a vast area, but here are some key things that Linux engineers provide:
- Review and audits of existing Linux servers: Many organizations have some form or shape of Linux servers already. Linux engineers will review them for current health and best practice alignment, and if required come up with a stabilization plan. Since most Linux servers are snowflakes and completely different from each other, knowledge of many Linux distributions, applications, and management styles is fundamental.
- System (re) engineering: Linux system architects will review business requirements for security, functionality, and uptime and come up with a solid plan to either build a new platform or improve existing systems.
- Security: A common myth is that Linux is more secure because there are no viruses for it. Nothing can be further from the truth. Constant vigilance is required to implement multiple layers of security from firewalls to encryption to password management to patching to code review and more.
- Disaster Recovery Planning: Backups are of course necessary, but more importantly, a Linux business continuity expert will work to build confidence in fast recoveries. What good is a backup if it takes days to get back up and going?
- Integration with Microsoft servers: We live in an interconnected world. Linux system administrators can implement and support Active Directory integration. It is important to use the best tool for the job, and Linux is not always the best tool.
- Proactive maintenance: A thoughtful Linux consulting company will put a customized plan in place to handle critical software security updates, routine system health checks, and automated monitoring to know when a system is not behaving properly. This will avoid costly emergency repairs and minimize downtime.
- Scalability planning: Linux server engineers can help scale a server using system automation. Sometimes a single server is sufficient, but some high traffic websites may need tens, hundreds, or even thousands of cloud servers to handle the volume. In these cases, using a CDROM to install Linux manually on each server would be lunacy.
- Legacy application support requirements: While Linux is constantly evolving due to thousands of grassroots supporters around the world, some business applications may be lagging behind but still need to be supported. We do our best to combine best practice security and disaster recovery with reliability for legacy applications.
- Custom integration: A passionate consultant who understands Linux and programming can integrate and customize anything in very creative ways.
- Database optimization: A smart Linux DBA can also optimize databases like PostgreSQL and MySQL to remove bottlenecks and maximize performance with existing hardware resources.
- Emergency Response: Disasters happen, but an experienced Linux consultant can quick respond to blow out the fires asap.
Cost of Retainers for Linux Consultants
As you can see from the partial list above, the duties of a Linux expert engineer or consultant can get pretty expansive, as well as the time it takes each month to properly perform these duties.
Here at Crafty Penguins, our clients generally range from $250 – $10,000/month in terms of the monthly retainer cost. This number is directly influenced by the scope of work, and it “really depends” on what you need.
When all is said and done, as a technology team that is considering bringing in outside help to manage your Linux servers and network so that you can focus on what you do best, you need to be able to answer only two very important questions:
- Because we are not managing our servers properly, what risks are we incurring such as downtime, information disclosure, and loss of reputation?
- Because we are not managing our systems properly, what inefficiencies and costs are we incurring that are slowing down our growth?
By thinking hard about these two questions, your process of hiring an outsourced IT company will be much easier.
Further questions? Need a quote? Contact us here.