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General Chat Thread, Budget...how do I do it? in General; I've recently started my job as Network Administrator at a small college, and my boss (the CIO) wants a budget, ...
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    ronanian's Avatar
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    Budget...how do I do it?

    I've recently started my job as Network Administrator at a small college, and my boss (the CIO) wants a budget, or maybe just budget input so he can do the budget right. I have no clue how to do a budget. Most stuff seems to be functioning fine here, and the rest just looks like work I need to do to myself. However, I suspect that if I don't ask for much this year, I'll be required to work with even less next year. Isn't that how budgets work?

    Where can I read about budgeting for a small college IT department?

    What kind of things should I worry about having to spend money on? I've never worked in academia before, and never been in such a high-ranking position...

    It just occured to me that I should look at past budget info from my predecessor.

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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    it just really depends on what you are going to be managing on a daily basis.

    If you are looking after computers, you should put in place a hardware maintainance budget so if you need to replace items, you have the money for it...

    If you are doing printers, the cost of consumables needs to be accounted for, ink, drum, toners etc etc.

    Development budge for any software that you might want to buy to improve the network.

    Network hardware, like switches if you are planning on upgrading your core network.

    but i would def ask for some money, even if in the end you dont need to spend it, you could just get something else from it.

    HTH

    N

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    If you're using MS products there's the annual cost of the licensing.
    What is the age of the machines and how often do you replace them?
    Do you buy into any sort of managed service, such as an off site partner to run the servers? (I've just noticed where you're based, so you may do some things a little differently there)
    Looking at a past budget would also be a good idea.

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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    Things to budget for:

    Consumables - Ink, toner, projector lamps, paper, etc...
    Maintenance and repair - How many projectors are likely to need repairing? How much for those repairs? Same for computers, printers etc... How about cleaning tools such as compressed air or anti-static cleaner?
    Rolling replacement - Do you replace computers every 3/4/5 years? Are you due to replace any? Printers? IWB's? etc...
    Software - Ongoing licensing costs (microsoft etc...), new network management software, upgrades of older packages.
    New installations - are there anywhere where things are lacking?
    Old equipment disposal - This costs too

    Once you've looked at that lot, add 20% just in case.

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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by ronanian
    I've recently started my job as Network Administrator at a small college, and my boss (the CIO) wants a budget, or maybe just budget input so he can do the budget right. I have no clue how to do a budget. Most stuff seems to be functioning fine here, and the rest just looks like work I need to do to myself. However, I suspect that if I don't ask for much this year, I'll be required to work with even less next year. Isn't that how budgets work?

    Where can I read about budgeting for a small college IT department?

    What kind of things should I worry about having to spend money on? I've never worked in academia before, and never been in such a high-ranking position...

    It just occured to me that I should look at past budget info from my predecessor.
    Is that MA as in massachusetts ?

    Yes, you should look at past budgets, but it would help to know ballpark figures. I mean with IT spend you could ask for half a million, and you and you're colleagues would have little trouble in spending that over the year.
    Depending on the needs of the college, it's not as hard as people think to justify that kind of spend. Getting it is another matter. This is where you're product knowledge and presentation skills come into effect.

    100,000 and you'd have to think carefully about what to spend over the year, and if you're not careful you could whizz thru the lot within a few months.

    Budget for the boring stuff, printer toners and crap like that.

    Look at the servers and infrastructure do they look as if they need an upgrade.

    Upgrading to newer gigabit switches perhaps ?

    Budget for projects you think you should be doing i.e wireless if you haven't already got it, VoIP or SAN.


    Let us know a bit about you're current environment and user base. Then I can makes some recommendations

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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    Projector bulbs!

  7. #7
    richard
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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    Things to budget for:

    Consumables - Ink, toner, projector lamps, paper, etc...
    Maintenance and repair - How many projectors are likely to need repairing? How much for those repairs? Same for computers, printers etc... How about cleaning tools such as compressed air or anti-static cleaner?
    Rolling replacement - Do you replace computers every 3/4/5 years? Are you due to replace any? Printers? IWB's? etc...
    Software - Ongoing licensing costs (microsoft etc...), new network management software, upgrades of older packages.
    New installations - are there anywhere where things are lacking?
    Old equipment disposal - This costs too

    Once you've looked at that lot, add 20% just in case.
    I would add 30% instead of 20%. That way if they decide that you have asked for too much and want to cut it back then they can and you will not loose too much.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    If look on page below there is a total cost of ownership tool

    http://www.lgfl.net/lgfl/leas/camden...b/ICT/ICT_TCO/

    You enter what you have and it gives you figures of what budget you need to continue at current rate, what you need to increase etc etc

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    ronanian's Avatar
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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    Thanks for the help, everyone. I now have a better idea about what's expected of me. I'm not responsible for the whole budget. I'm just supposed to provide ballpark figures for any major projects I might want to do. It turns out that I won't have to worry about the budget for consumables, projector bulbs, or hardware replacements.

    torledo: Yes, that's MA as in Massachusetts.

    So, I'm thinking of asking for money for software license renewals, upgrading our spam filter software, a few tools, and some sort of a backup system.

    Any recommendation for a cross-platform (Windows and Linux) backup system good for a couple terabytes (and maybe some expansion later)? I'm thinking something like a simple RAID 5 NAS that I can mount on Windows and Linux...uses standard hardware and is accessed as a standard share.

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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by ronanian
    Any recommendation for a cross-platform (Windows and Linux) backup system good for a couple terabytes (and maybe some expansion later)? I'm thinking something like a simple RAID 5 NAS that I can mount on Windows and Linux...uses standard hardware and is accessed as a standard share.
    FreeNAS works decently well for storage. I belive it can do raid. I know it can be accessed as a standard share.

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    ronanian's Avatar
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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by claridentech
    FreeNAS works decently well for storage. I belive it can do raid. I know it can be accessed as a standard share.
    I just looked it up, and it looks really cool. It reminds me of the Linux Router Project, on which I used to be a developer.

    However, in this case I'm looking for an effortless pay and play system with whole-system paid support. I'm trying to use money, not save it!

    It will almost definitely solve the problem I've been having at home. It sounds like exactly what I was looking for a couple months ago on an abandoned project.

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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    @ronanian: You might want to satrt a separate thread about your backups, I would suggest using a SAN for storage (EMC Clariion or the like) with large tape libraries. To tie this back into your budgeting problem, remember that storage requirements grow annually and as such your backup solution will have to grow too.

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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by ronanian
    Thanks for the help, everyone. I now have a better idea about what's expected of me. I'm not responsible for the whole budget. I'm just supposed to provide ballpark figures for any major projects I might want to do. It turns out that I won't have to worry about the budget for consumables, projector bulbs, or hardware replacements.

    torledo: Yes, that's MA as in Massachusetts.

    So, I'm thinking of asking for money for software license renewals, upgrading our spam filter software, a few tools, and some sort of a backup system.

    Any recommendation for a cross-platform (Windows and Linux) backup system good for a couple terabytes (and maybe some expansion later)? I'm thinking something like a simple RAID 5 NAS that I can mount on Windows and Linux...uses standard hardware and is accessed as a standard share.
    I know in you're post you're asking about a backup system, but i'm not sure if you've got you're actual storage requirements sorted out.

    depending on whether you go down the FC, iscsi or NAS route for you're storage will determine what to look for in you're backup hardware....

    Seeing as you're a small college i'm not sure you'd have the budget for it, by my suggestion for a multiprotocol storage device would be a netapp filer rather than a clariion. a clariion would be one of the better options for a FC/iscsi based array and the entry level clariion will start at around $40000 not including the price of 2TB worth of SATA storage. But the Netapp FAS270 is going to be more expensive while being more versatile.

    You may be able to get good discounts, have a word with you're local EMC, Dell or NetApp resellers.

    If you've already got the storage angle sorted you have the choice to backup to disk or tape or both. Enterprise backup software and disk-based backup could set you back another $30,000. It all depends on you're environment and whether you're planning on deploying a SAN fabric.

    If you're just going down the simpler NAS route, buy a Netapp Filer with 2TB, buy a tape/virtual disk library that supports NDMP for NAS backup and budget $80,000 for the project. If you only have backup requirements
    budget only $30,000 including the cost decent backup software.
    I personally wouldn't mess about with FreeNAS if you've got anything approaching a good budget.

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    ronanian's Avatar
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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    Yikes! In my last job we had lots of Clariion units, and they were nice...but I don't think I can use that many digits in my budget! 8O

    We've got an aggressive growth plan here, and in just a few years I might be able to ask for that kind of money for a data backup system. By then I'll probably wish I had tried now...

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Budget...how do I do it?

    @ronanian: Go for AX100 SANs (fibre to the servers and SATA discs and you can save lots of cash. Tandberg tape libraries are very cheap too.

    Your best bet is to get somebody in to recommend a system... with a cost. Add a couple of thousand and that is your budget for the project

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