MSP or VAR or just avoid



  • We see Scott and others say all the time don't get a sales man or supplier / var to do hardware refresh or sizing type projects (plus other things)

    But how to you distinguish between them and get the right solution.

    I use what I would call 2 MSP and a few Suppliers/VAR.

    The Suppliers/VAR -Are used to purchase computers laptops switches ubiquiti stuff etc etc.

    Now what I consider as our MSP that we purchase "services" one does 3rd line support on the current hardware if we can't solve the issue, like server OS errors or SAN issues. The other support the MPLS (they don't supply it. We "purchased it from then" but it run by a ISP).



  • I think in the UK especially in Wales these sort of things are hard to distinguish as companies here tend to do everything.



  • So we have a project to refresh a ageing 3-2-1 setup, and from several of Scott's posts (and a few other) but he's more vocal on this topic ..... a SAN doesn't fit until you have several hosts and hundreds of VMs

    All I know we need xxTB of space and get sql seek times down to sub 5ms speeds

    So who do we trust?



  • It can be. hard to tell when a company does more than one thing.

    We do everything but sell stuff.
    I never sell anything except my time.

    So you could hire me to make recommendations. You could also hire me to implement. You can even hire me to do support.

    But all things are separate proposals.



  • I didn't but someone from the office mentioned we are looking at hardware, and of course when they came in and asked questions they poo poo the hypercoveraged solutions (like scale) and even ubiquiti as a "enterprise" kit.

    So I won't be looking at any solution from them!



  • @jaredbusch this is also where I get stuck. How do you go about finding the "right" person / company



  • @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    But how to you distinguish between them and get the right solution.

    VARs sell things, it's that simple. Are they selling you something? Then they are a reseller.



  • @scottalanmiller so is @JaredBusch a VAR as he's selling his services?

    I should add the "MSP" that does our MPLS will recommend us a solution but are happy for us to source it
    . So if they think something like scale fits we can go direct to them to purchase or go through them



  • @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    But how to you ... get the right solution.

    VARs provide products. MSPs provide support and other IT functions. You pay for advice (or provide it yourself.)

    Think of a VAR like Amazon. How do you get the right product from Amazon or even know that you need to buy something? You either research solutions yourself and know what to buy them go on Amazon to place the order. Or you hire an expert in whatever it is that you are trying to decide about, pay them for their advice, and then go to Amazon and buy what you and they determined you should get.

    It's just "get your IT from IT people" and "buy products from sales people".



  • @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @scottalanmiller so is @JaredBusch a VAR as he's selling his services?

    I should add the "MSP" that does our MPLS will recommend us a solution but are happy for us to source it
    . So if they think something like scale fits we can go direct to them to purchase or go through them

    Doesn't matter if they are "happy to let you source it." Either they are a VAR or they are not a VAR. Any concept of there being a grey area is wrong. VARs are binary. We could spend hours explaining how they make money anyway by recommending something and letting you buy somewhere else as long as they can sell it to you.



  • @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @jaredbusch this is also where I get stuck. How do you go about finding the "right" person / company

    Same as with ANYTHING. How do you hire good people? You research, you ask, you interview, you test. But you start by ruling out the people who can't be your option. So anyone who is a VAR, for example, can never be trusted to give advice.



  • The easiest divider I've found is if you have to pay for the time an engineer to tell you what to buy then you're probably talking to an MSP instead of a VAR.



  • @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    So we have a project to refresh a ageing 3-2-1 setup, and from several of Scott's posts (and a few other) but he's more vocal on this topic ..... a SAN doesn't fit until you have several hosts and hundreds of VMs

    Normally at least 12 hosts before a SAN starts to make sense. With the amount of compute available in a single server today, that could easily be thousands of VMs.

    All I know we need xxTB of space and get sql seek times down to sub 5ms speeds

    Considering that a 3-2-1 setup adds latency into the equation, compared to local disk.

    So who do we trust?

    Nobody but yourself. Seriously, who knows your environment better than you? Ask for advice, yes, but at the end of the day you have to make the final call. I think you've come to the best place to get advice right here, but unless you pay for someone's time to review your setup, we just can't know for sure.



  • @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    The other support the MPLS (they don't supply it. We "purchased it from then" but it run by a ISP).

    That's as VAR as VAR gets. The "R" stands for Reseller.



  • @kelly said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    The easiest divider I've found is if you have to pay for the time an engineer to tell you what to buy then you're probably talking to an MSP instead of a VAR.

    The only problem there, is that some VARs will charge you for labour to hide that they are a VAR.

    It's way better to look at it the other way, because the VAR is the taint, not the consulting.



  • So how do you find a MSP?

    As I don't know any companies in the UK that only do services/advice. They all will sell you kit



  • @travisdh1 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    Normally at least 12 hosts before a SAN starts to make sense.

    It's way higher now. It's like 12 before there is any change, and more like 40+ before it might start to get likely. With modern Network RAID and RAIN scaling past the hypervisor failure domain limits, SAN is beginning to no longer have the "large capacity space" value it had just a few years ago. There is no longer any size where it automatically starts to make sense like it used to.



  • @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    So how do you find a MSP?

    1. You never look for one locally.
    2. You have at least two in this thread.

    MSPs are all over, just waiting for customers. But VARs are willing to be more aggressive and deceptive and companies fall all over themselves to get the "easy" answers from VARs.



  • @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    As I don't know any companies in the UK that only do services/advice. They all will sell you kit

    In any market, 99% of companeis are VARs, not MSPs / ITSPs. The service provider market is actually very small, and very hard. SPs provide IT services, rather than products. So you have to pay them.



  • @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    I think in the UK especially in Wales these sort of things are hard to distinguish as companies here tend to do everything.

    It's always trivial to distinguish. What you find in most markets is that no one is going to build an MSP / ITSP in a small market because there are SO few customers who care.



  • @scottalanmiller said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @kelly said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    The easiest divider I've found is if you have to pay for the time an engineer to tell you what to buy then you're probably talking to an MSP instead of a VAR.

    The only problem there, is that some VARs will charge you for labour to hide that they are a VAR.

    It's way better to look at it the other way, because the VAR is the taint, not the consulting.

    I've never had that happen. Usually they want me to talk to their "sales engineer" for no cost.



  • @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    I think in the UK especially in Wales these sort of things are hard to distinguish as companies here tend to do everything.

    One thing that is really important is that VARs sometimes need to be local, *SPs should not be. There is no locality value to IT, so looking locally, even within your country is often pointless. You should be looking at the UK as a whole, or globally, because companies who want good consulting sure don't care that it is or isn't local, and the SPs that provide it definitely aren't worried about their locality, and the majority of clients are multi-regional anyway.



  • Sorry trying to answer and ask questions from a tablet, I an't keeping up with me lol
    But this is all good advice and tips for everyone I think.



  • @kelly said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @scottalanmiller said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @kelly said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    The easiest divider I've found is if you have to pay for the time an engineer to tell you what to buy then you're probably talking to an MSP instead of a VAR.

    The only problem there, is that some VARs will charge you for labour to hide that they are a VAR.

    It's way better to look at it the other way, because the VAR is the taint, not the consulting.

    I've never had that happen. Usually they want me to talk to their "sales engineer" for no cost.

    That MEANS it's a VAR, always. Anyone who is free, is a salesman.

    But there are loads of VARs that know that people use that trick, and offer to sell support too, to confuse customers.



  • @scottalanmiller said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    The other support the MPLS (they don't supply it. We "purchased it from then" but it run by a ISP).

    That's as VAR as VAR gets. The "R" stands for Reseller.

    The "R" actually stands for "bunch of crooked ass mafackas that will lie to your face to make more money".



  • @rojoloco said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @scottalanmiller said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    The other support the MPLS (they don't supply it. We "purchased it from then" but it run by a ISP).

    That's as VAR as VAR gets. The "R" stands for Reseller.

    The "R" actually stands for "bunch of crooked ass mafackas that will lie to your face to make more money".

    There really can be good VARs, they are just few and far between because there is so much more money in being crooked.



  • @Breffni-Potter is near London. @Huw3481 is in Nottingham. Not right next door, but closer than across the pond, and both are MSP/ITSPs.



  • @scottalanmiller said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @kelly said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @scottalanmiller said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @kelly said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    The easiest divider I've found is if you have to pay for the time an engineer to tell you what to buy then you're probably talking to an MSP instead of a VAR.

    The only problem there, is that some VARs will charge you for labour to hide that they are a VAR.

    It's way better to look at it the other way, because the VAR is the taint, not the consulting.

    I've never had that happen. Usually they want me to talk to their "sales engineer" for no cost.

    That MEANS it's a VAR, always. Anyone who is free, is a salesman.

    Think this gets me confused as we always "talk" to the " engineer " get get a solution



  • @scottalanmiller said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @rojoloco said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @scottalanmiller said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    The other support the MPLS (they don't supply it. We "purchased it from then" but it run by a ISP).

    That's as VAR as VAR gets. The "R" stands for Reseller.

    The "R" actually stands for "bunch of crooked ass mafackas that will lie to your face to make more money".

    There really can be good VARs, they are just few and far between because there is so much more money in being crooked.

    Like this shit...
    http://www.curiouscables.com/

    Audiophiles get fucking stupid



  • @scottalanmiller said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @rojoloco said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @scottalanmiller said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    @hobbit666 said in MSP or VAR or just avoid:

    The other support the MPLS (they don't supply it. We "purchased it from then" but it run by a ISP).

    That's as VAR as VAR gets. The "R" stands for Reseller.

    The "R" actually stands for "bunch of crooked ass mafackas that will lie to your face to make more money".

    There really can be good VARs, they are just few and far between because there is so much more money in being crooked.

    "I'm in sales" = "I'd _____ your grandma on her birthday to get a sale".

    I did sales. I know for a fact that they are a bunch of crooked mafackas. Sell what makes you the biggest commission.