NethServer Support Program Feedback


(Alessio Fattorini) #1

Folks, I need your help and feedback on a new project I’m working on.
Recently I have collected some requests made by the community and listed below just some examples.

Since that Nethesis business model is based on selling services we tried to put together a rough proposal that can answer these needs. Some kind of subscription plan for community users on which I need your feedback.
I have to be honest, Proxmox business model inspired us :slight_smile: many of you spoke very highly of them :blush:

So, let’s get to it and let me know what do you think. What about the services offered? Are the costs competitive? I’m open to any advice. :point_down:

I’d like to tag specifically @Zoltan_Polyak @jgjimenezs @asl @drivemeca @wahmed @fmenegoli @ibinetwork @sharpec @pagaille @FixitFelix @PhaseMan @happnatious1 @des @m_farlotta @xcod @Enzo @maxbet @kg66 @alexcsilva @Hunv @tyronjerez @tjcarol @rmk @ashballan @flatspin @dz00te @PCXLan.es @gerald_FS @pa3hfj


So, what are you working on? - 2 Jan 18
Neth server suitability ect
So, what are you working on? - 28 Nov 17
Lock to "current release" enabled by default from 7.5
(Jeroen Visser) #2

I love you guys!! It feels like Christmas, reading this.
This would be perfect for those needing vendor backing due to ISO requirements.

I would like these payed questions and answers find their way back into the community if possible,so as to serve others.

But yeah, bring it!

Too enthusiastic here…

Looking at a Microsoft product costs more then what is proposed here. The price is certainly competitive as I wouldn’t know any product, able to replace this, without going sles or rhel, both costing significantly more and targeted at enterprises.

It might be wise to think about virtualization scenario’s and how that effects licensing. I can run one physical nethserver with 1000 virtual nethservers and one support contract and become real funny right now :wink:


(Ralf Jeckel) #3

First of all: I like the idea to have the possibility to get more than the community edition without to have to buy the full nethesis package. Somewhat a solution between edges IIUC.

@alefattorini can you give some more details. Your list is a little basic.

Does “Enterpreise Repository” mean to get also paid modules or “only” slow updates?
Is “Incident 100€” ment for the ssh remote support?
What is the “Asset Portal”?

In general I think a response time of 1 businessday for “Premium” and “Standard” is to long.
But as I know you and this community it will never last 1 day to get support. :slight_smile:


(Jeroen Visser) #4

iirc, the idea was to have tested updates in that repo to avoid stuff like the recent breaking of I think it was samba ad in certain scenarios.

Pos-update much drama was had in production environments. Enterprise repo was proposed to mitigate that repeating. Going by head, might have details wrong.


(Manuel Cabrera Caballero) #5

Hi Guys,

It seems right to me to pay for a support. The community often
misinterprets, opensource does not mean that you can not pay for support or
knowledge. As a freelancer, almost nobody supports a blogger, but everyone
wants help NOW.
If you want a quick answer and you can pay it, it’s your solution,
otherwise learn to solve it yourself.


(Markus Neuberger) #6

I like the idea of having a subscription possibility.

Maybe unlimited tickets is too much because in comparison to proxmox, which is “just” a virtualization environment, NethServer is a full server stack, where much different problems may occur.

I am also interested in details about the portals(monitoring, asset). How do they work? There are some free monitoring services like uptimerobot (https://uptimerobot.com/) already.

It’s really really nice price I think if you compare it to an M$ environment (the services nethserver provides won’t work on one server with M$) and to their support costs to have an extreme example. But even in comparison to proxmox NS provides much more for same price.


(Jose G Jimenez S ) #7

Casually in my company we will be giving economical commercial support for both community and companies.

https://hardsofttecnologia.com.ve/planes.html

soon we will attend to other countries.

We were consulted by several clients in and out of my country and we offered them that option. However, we recommend that you go to the community to register and opt for a larger help bank that can clarify your doubts at first.

Nethesis is the most direct and global support option. 100% recommended :+1:

Many of my clients don’t have IT staff


(Jeroen Visser) #8

That could work both ways… in comparison to nethserver, which is “just” a server installation, proxmox runs the complete server farm/tc farm/ etc, where downtime hits the complete organisation instead of just a single server :wink: I can not replace one with the other, and both serve me extremely well in replacing M$ in an organisation where Linux knowledge is extremely limited, and thus making it possible in the first place.

I do agree that unlimited support sounds like a bad deal on Nethservers side, given the pletora of packages one can install. Then again, it depends on how you define support.

I would not expect support beyond out-of-the-box-supported configuration & diagnosics and repair when possible, when things break because of updates or bugs.

If this support is to cover “I want 5 servers with exotic packages all integrated without any existing documentation or examples”, I’d expect you to either laugh or start project planning, with completely different fees attached :stuck_out_tongue:


(Michael Träumner) #9

I think the idea and the packages and the price is veryy good, but I would like to see additional packages.
What do you think about a package for more installations, 3 for example (or making an individual offer for this) and a package for supporters. Supporters could have a lot of customers with nethserver installations, but don’t need so much help, because it’s their job. If they have had a problem at one nethserver they can solve the equal problem at the next one themself.


(Markus Neuberger) #10

Sorry, I don’t think, it works both ways. NethServer also has virtualization so you may run the farm on NS. Yes, NS can replace proxmox but it’s never possible the other way round because proxmox is just virt and NS is virt (maybe not as good as proxmox but still there) plus a whole world of services. You are right, proxmox as base for virtualization has a kind of uptime importance but it’s the same for NS when hosting a farm, PBX or groupware.

Absolutely agree with you.

I think it’s hard to find an easy simple pricing model that really fits all needs without getting complex. Even if I like special packages, and as @planet_jeroen pointed out, we may need some virtualization model, we have to keep it simple because that’s the reason this proxmox pricing model was chosen.


(Jeroen Visser) #11

I heavily disagree that nethserver is a suitable proxmox replacement. I would have used it if it was.

Yeah, they are both implementations of KVM and thus in theory are equal. But the reason Nethserver is running in my environment is not because it’s capabilities differ much from the competition, but because everything is geared towards the intended goal and ease of use for otherwise enterprise functionality.

WebVirtMgr is hardly comparable to the Proxmox environment. It doesnt support iscsi, it doesnt support delegated user rights within the envitonment, it doesnt couple to AD from the webinterface, it doesnt do a lot of things that make it a mature sollution. It works and gets the job done. You wouldnt want to run TC’s from it or have an IT department work with it.


(Markus Neuberger) #12

You are absolutely right here, proxmox is much more specialized to virt than NS is. From the point of functionality (what I wanted to point out), NS usually does much more than just virt, although proxmox does virtualization really nice and for sure nicer than NS.


(Alessio Fattorini) #13

Thanks guys for jumping in. I appreciate your feedback.

  1. Yes it does. There are just a few modules on the enterprise repository and they’re not included (as for now)
  2. I guess that if you open an incident you really need support for a “complex” issue and you want see the case resolved as soon as possible. Ssh remote is included.
  3. Something like that :point_down: if you need more details I can ping @edoardo_spadoni

Nethesis Support can answer within 4 hours but just between 9-18 Italian timezone and just in Italian or English. That’s why 1 business day
Maybe in the future hiring people from different timezones :slight_smile: may help

Nethesis can’t support all the modules of course, just packges into the repository updates. I mean no steph’s modules and no nethforge modules. Offering professional support for everything is impossible :slight_smile:

If you have many installations I guess that becoming a reseller is more appropriate.

As @mrmarkuz said, keeping an easy and simple pricing model is better.

Other feedbacks?


(Dale Cliett) #14

I think this is an excellent idea. It successfully tackles two important things, raising funds and providing paid support for Nethserver.
I do have a few questions though if you don’t mind.

  1. What audience are you targeting?
    Resellers? Consultants? Sys Admins in small and medium businesses? Only community members? Any production Commercial application? Depending on your answer(s) depends on the services and prices offered as you need to accomplish two things. First, that you can clearly differentiate between the different tiers of support (which you have). Next, how are you going to differentiate between Nethesis Paid Support and Nethserver Paid Support? Last and perhaps most important from your point of view, is offering this going to cost Nethesis money by taking away potential customers?

  2. From the Point of View of a Small or Medium sized business that needs a “typical” server setup (Firewall/UTM, NAS, Domain Controller, Owncloud, Print Server or some combination) – how will you distinguish which product this business owner needs to use? What are the true differences between the Nethesis Product line and the Nethserver Product line? If we refer to http://www.nethserver.org/community-or-professional/ and compare the Nethesis “NethService” lineup and in turn look at the paid support options of Nethserver and Nethesis how do I determine which one is best for my application?

  3. Could you provide clarification on the differences between Asset Portal and Monitoring Portal?

  4. For the Community and Basic Subscription tiers 1 Day Support is acceptable, and honestly generous, but for the Standard and especially Premium tiers 1 Day is an extremely long time to wait for support while a Production server is down. Would there be anyway to make the wait time shorter or have a different approach such as “For Standard tier you get up to 10 general support requests per year with 48 hr response, and 2 Urgent Support requests per year with same day response” and for Premium you could allow 5 Urgent Support requests, for instance.

From an IT provider, reseller, and Consultant point of view I would need clarification on what the most appropriate service to sell my clients between Nethserver and Nethesis products. I really like Nethserver, the Community and support of the Community is fantastic, and I’m grateful for the time and effort that has been put into Nethserver for everyone to use. I’m all for paying for true support. I would just worry that Nethserver become competition for Nethesis NethSecurity, NethStorage, and NethService products and how that would impact Nethserver’s support and contribution from Nethesis.

Are there any modules that are excluded from the support tiers or will any and everything be supported so long as it’s with one of the “out of the box” modules?

Please don’t misunderstand me, I think it’s a good thing. I’m just being honest with the first few things that came to mind. As it stands I’d be all in with my personal servers at home if for no other reason to help give back as I’m not able to participate in the community as often as I’d like.

What would the pricing look like for resellers and how would that be structured?


(Jeroen Visser) #15

I would suggest limiting support to a per-installation license.
I would also like to see my subscription status (from free to premium or what you will call it), on the dashboard.

This would tackle the vm challenge and the second is a nice to have :stuck_out_tongue:

Define many … I am running 7 right now, with two more in the planning phase, and that’s before applying DTAP, which we will be required to do. Not sure if reselling to myself is a viable business model :stuck_out_tongue:


(Alessio Fattorini) #16

Consultants and Sysadmins that need/use NethServer to serve their companies and clients

I’d like to see it split it into “NethServer Enterprise Support” really focused on resellers and “NethServer Community Support” focused on supporting community members and roles mentioned above.

If you have a company and our like to become a “reseller” so NethServer Enterprise is the natural path. If you just need support for your installations as consultants or for your own company, probably the NethServer Community Support is a better choice. It’s a very new thing so bear with me if I’m not so clear, your questions are helping us to understand what is still tricky.
We have to do more work on that I guess

Asset portal is the reported in the images posted above, Monitoring Portal will send alarms on your installations in order to enable you to fix issues immediately. I guess that this part needs a wider explanation.

Looks a good advice. Thanks

I’m not worried if we all contribute to this proposal, attempting to create the best offer for everyone :slight_smile:

Yes, as I said Nethesis can’t support the modules included in the NethForge and Steph’s repo, just the things into the updates repo. I think that @giacomo or @davidep can list them.

Actually, I really appreciate your feedback!

Agree, good suggestion.

Indeed, that’s the idea.


(Alessio Fattorini) #17

That’s an interesting question. What do you think if I try to name these programs?

Nethesis Community Support Program

What we’re discussing here.

Nethesis Reseller Program

The purpose of the Nethesis Reseller program is to enable customers to purchase NethServer Enterprise Edition via a partner who provides fulfillment support as well as first and second tier customer support in local time zone and local language.
Companies who enter into a Nethesis Reseller agreement typically have existing relationships with customers and help them procure information technology products.

What do you think? Is it clearer now?


(Jeroen Visser) #18

I’m thinking about half my goal not being met with this solution. I want to support those that I lean on. But stephdl’s contributions seem a personal endeavor …

Could you please think about implementing something like a certified contributor who can use his/her own licensing model through the same interface, provided their contributions are there to stay, and thus both help them and businesses that need a tiny bit of assuring they can get help when stuck.

None of us want to freeload on their massive contributions, but I can’t find a good way to do that when all I can do is donate … businesses tend to not do that. My main concern is that I should be able to sell to higher-up as a form of peace of mind in order for it to fly. This would be the case in most businesses I would wager.

When on a tight budget, donations get cancelled first … this way, those with the biggest burden (developers doing something on their own) carry the most weight with the least compensation for their efforts. This feels wrong to me .

Also, I would not expect any of this support to include support on the actual packages. Just on their Nethspecific implementation.


(Alessio Fattorini) #19

I’d like to clear my mind :slight_smile:
We have two paths here:

  • Community Support Program
  • Partner Program

The first one, in my mind, is for consultant that has suggested/installed NethServer for clients, sysadmin that have installed NethServer in their companies. We’re talking about a few installations Anyone else?
The second one is for companies or people who want to sell and resell NethServer to other companies and offer their support. We can estimate at least > 5 installations

What do you think? Am I arguing right?

What do you mean? Without being a Nethesis partner? Why?
Because you have just a few installations? Or because you won’t sell NethServer?

Are you using NethServer just in your company?

I’d like to target the right audience with the right offer. I’m arguing that
Consultants + Sysamins in SBS + COmmunity members = Community Support Program
Resellers + IT Companies = Partner Program

What do you think? I’d like to know your thoughts

Prices for resellers are not public I guess.

Is this clear enough? How can we make it more straightforward?
http://www.nethesis.it/rivenditori/ please click on the language preferred above
http://www.nethserver.org/community-vs-enterprise/

Sorry, maybe I’m not understanding completely. Do you need support for all packages?

The problem is the know-how. Honestly Nethesis Support Team can’t know every package implemented here :slight_smile: @stephdl is doing already a great job offering his support on them
Regarding the certified contributor, I love the idea. I don’t know if we need it :-\ or we have so many contributors to certify but maybe I’m wrong


(Jeroen Visser) #20

So, let me outline my use-case, it will clear things up.

First of all, I am responsible for everything IT in our 13 (and rapidly expanding) people company. (Helped by @ihoutzagers as partner in crime)

We are a software house and even tho we are small, we have a huge percentage of the market in our country and are venturing abroad.

IT was that mess on the table in the corner of the coffee room when they hired me, and consisted of a single m$ 2003 small business server doing everything. Not counting the workstations with server roles.

This has been replaced by open-source products and we can now say we have a small data center and proper (industry best practice) segregation of services into different servers. Due to our requirements, this means a different server for the following roles:

  • AD account provider
  • SOGo mail server leaning on Stephdl’s work
  • samba file and vsftpd ftpes server
  • web server for intranet/public website and as reverse proxy for other to be exposed sites.
  • 3 different sme web apps that will be integrated through API in the future, leaning on Stephdl’s work (typo3, otrs, redmine and maybe odoo soon as well)

I am saving a shitton on licenses this way and run a M$ compatible shop. I am still below $35.000 spend at this point, including dual backup nas, switch, sound proof cabinet, etc.

We can store 40TB and have 256GB RAM and 40 cores to our disposal. This includes the Igel thin clients, but excludes the M$ licenses for the vm workstations. Those are $3500 or so for 10. Not including office (another 3,5k) etc.

As a business, we do not donate, unless I pull off a stunt. This can be done sparingly but will not sustain those I lean on, Nethserver and Stephdl at this point.

I need a proxmox like thing to pay for something I don’t need in order to sponsor you guys on a regular basis. And I want to sponsor Stephdl as well. The rare case I do need yesterday support, this is a nice to have an makes it sellable in light of ISO certification which requires me to have certificates myself or a contract with a supplier.

So, in my ideal world, you create a proxmox like scheme so I can support Nethserver (I have no use yet for Nethesis , looking at the pbx edition) AND I would love for me to be able to do the same for Stephdl.

I would not expect support ever to cover his to configure a vsftpd server or how to install SoGo correct, but more the service of explaining what is different on nethserver or the specific implementation on nethserver.

I can not replicate Stephdl’s work. If he where to erase it tomorrow, I would be royally fucked. I would like to be able to tell higher ups that I have this support contract that enables me to at least fall back on Stephdl in that case to either pay him for prolonged support or get a heads up that enables me to adapt in time.

Of course I do not really really need this, and it can be as loosely defined as is safe for those involved to not end up liable in any scenario, but would be the sales pitch to allow me to get a stream of support going.

Given my scenario, this means a good 7 nethserver installations, 4 of which where Stephdl should share in that stream. IMHO.

I do not intend to install nethserver for others, yet.

It’s not so much about support, tho it is useful at times. It is more about continuity for everybody :stuck_out_tongue: