Working with "SMB" technology

--chris----chris-- Member Posts: 1,518 ■■■■■□□□□□
Preface: I am very happy where I work. It pays well (for someone with two years of experience in IT), we get bonus's, we get flex time, vacation time, very family oriented, 35 minute drive, company car....

My concern:

90% of the work that I do is geared towards supporting your typical small business. That means single locations, a few servers, SMB firewalls (sonicwall, Watchguard, Cyberoam), 10-50 workstations, etc...

These are not multi-location, multi-billion dollar businesses with vast amounts of technology and hardware running the organization. Most of the problems I see are hardware failures (ports on switches dying, HD's dying), malware/virus related or sometime poor server configurations that I get to untangle (those are fun, you learn to do things the right way). Forget about replication, forests and VLANs (we have three customers with segmentation). 99% of our clients fall into the "VLAN 1, single domain controller, running a LOB app with hosted email" category. Some don't even have that...

Like I said, I am very happy where I am. My concern however is I am "painting myself into a corner" by limiting the scope of what I work with. While money isn't everything, it is why I work. I don't want to find out in 1-2-3 years that all this experience I am gaining is sub-par because it is "simple" in comparison to what other people might be working with on a daily basis.

Is this a valid concern?


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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I wouldn't stay there forever, but it's not a bad place to get some experience to add to the resume. The problem is if you stay in a small place like that a long time it's going to become harder to make a lateral move into a senior position at a large organization without the exposure to technologies and business practices (strict change control, reporting etc.).
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    UnixGuyUnixGuy Mod Posts: 4,567 Mod
    It's a good start. Get some good certs (like CCNP) or any good certs depends on your goals and move after 2yrrs or so

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    --chris----chris-- Member Posts: 1,518 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. I was fearing the skills I am picking up might not transfer to anywhere other than another MSP (which there are few of around here, especially "large" MSPs).
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    techfiendtechfiend Member Posts: 1,481 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm kind of in the same situation at a SMB doing pretty much everything and finding it kind of difficult to move into an enterprise environment. For sys admin positions, my server migration and P2V experience is talked about the most. Are you able to get this type of experience at the MSP?
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    adam220891adam220891 Member Posts: 164 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm currently at a mid-size company with 3 offices and about 50-60 switches, 50ish servers, and a 500k+ SAN environment with frequent replication over a leased fiber line and I am finding myself a bit out of touch when interviewing with larger companies (ranging from 500 to 7,000 employees). So, I can see very small business experience being valuable to get feet wet, but in the long run it likely doesn't compare with large enterprise policies, procedures, equipment, etc.
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