I'm so glad I'm not required to answer a question here for every one I ask,
because I would be so far behind I would never catch up. Here we go again.

As a one man shop, I rely on these lists. My forte is applications on the
IBM i as they relate to our business, not stuff to do with Windows. OTOH,
like many IBM i people, one has to know something about Windows just

Prior to 2009, we had a couple of Windows 2000 servers. They ran an
application that allowed our salesreps (food service distribution) to place
orders via laptop. The details of how that worked is not relevant to my
questions. In 2009, I decided I needed help with windows stuff. My
company (at my urging) hired a consultant to help improve the Windows area.
We had been using an IXS in our System i 520 (we still have the 520) as a
terminal services server. We installed a Dell Server with mirrored 160gb
drives and a Cybernetics SAN hosting 4 virtual servers via Hyper-V: (1)
domain controller (W2008), 2) application server for salesrep orders
(W2008), 3) application server/terminal services server (W2003), and 4) a
server that serves as backup domain controller and backup server for the
salesrep orders application (W2008).

Since that time we have added a 5th virtual server (W2008R2) that is the
terminal services server (because performance was too poor when terminal
services was combined with an application the other server). We have also
added a physical server (W2003 tower) that allows customers to place orders
over the Web.

The backup software that was installed for all this back in 2009 was Nova
Net to an HP LTO4 external drive. The same consultant did all this. I
used him for everything in the Windows arena

A couple years after setting this stuff up, he joined forces with another
local guy into a new company. The other guy is the owner. This last
spring they decided our equipment was getting old and quoted us new
equipment. VMWare and Veeam based. We did not bite because we decided to
investigate cloud solutions.

Got 1 cloud quote for both the IBM i and Windows. Too expensive per senior
management (3 of us) without having another quote. Tried to find someone
else local that could handle both and could not find one. (Started talking
to another company in May about doing both and still waiting on them.)

Then the other shoe dropped. Two weeks ago today the owner of the
consulting company we have been using emailed all their clients stating the
consultant that set up all our stuff was leaving. His last day was last
Wednesday. He followed that email almost immediately with another
specifically to me. That email stated my company was unique in those they
supported as we were the only ones using Hyper-V and one of only 2 with a
SAN. Both of these were recommended and installed by the consultant who

Got a managed services quote from another company. Too expensive per the
same management group. And if this company was going to do all that, why
do they need me?

The next day (a week ago Friday) I met with the owner of the company
supporting us. He was trying to arrange a reciprocal agreement with
another local company that knew a bit about Linux (the SAN). He all but
suggested we look for another company.

Early last week I emailed him about his ability to restore us from the Nova
Net backup in case of catastrophic failure. He finally answered today.
Stated that since we don't have a "full service plan" but a "monitor only"
plan that his company was not "responsible for developing and implementing
a bullet proof backup and recovery plan for Dilgard Foods." He then went
on to say that after my vacation (which starts Thursday) they would "revert
back to a break fix style of billing for support". Swell.

How do I get myself into this? Been here 40 years as the only IT guy.

My immediate concern is some kind of image/DR backup for recovery of these
servers should we have a failure. I understand W2008 server has something
built in but W2003 server does not. In any case, this is beyond my ability.

Should I not be able to find a local company willing and able to do this
for a reasonable fee? And what should I reasonably expect that fee to be?
About 300gb total.


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