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Managed Services / Maintenance Services

We provide monthly and daily system maintenance services (managed services) to help support Unix servers. This is useful for companies and individuals who want the benefits of using Unix and open source servers, but don't have the time and/or knowledge to monitor the system and to keep it up to date. This professional work covers:
  • remote network services monitoring
  • daily security audit (of important system files, etc.)
  • daily system maintenance (and reporting)
  • daily logfile monitoring
  • daily backup of important configurations
  • daily mail (or other applicable software) traffic analysis report
  • daily bandwidth traffic analysis report
  • daily security release updates or fixes (if applicable)
  • weekly software (package) release updates (if applicable)
  • minor system administration tasks
  • generic consultation

This basic maintenance service is not for continuous consultation, frequent troubleshooting, software performance tweaking, nor general "user" administration. It is a "generic" maintenance service for reviewing the system's security and performance, and for keeping the system's software up-to-date with recent stable software releases. For example, this maintenance contract is not to be used to request email accounts to be added daily, or to be used to build customized mail blackhole lists or to manually update spam filter lists (unless based on a standard package as provided by the open source operating system vendor). If you'd like advanced or more customized services, please consider using our other support contracts.

The service does include basic consultation to help provide information or define tasks that should be done. Larger projects will be explained and need to be contracted before completed. (You may want to use pre-paid hourly or per-incident contracts in addition to this monthly maintenance contract.)

The maintenance service is for open source Unix systems that are running a recent stable operating system and recent and stable software available via the operating system's packages collection. This services is not for closed-source Unix systems -- due to the need for source availability for quick bug and security fixes. (If you need support for proprietary systems and software, please contact us to discuss our customized support contracts.)


The following is an example of the work done for this maintenance service for a mail server:
  • outside monitoring service attempts to connect to mail server every fifteen minutes; if it is not successful, we will manually check your system and, if possible, we will fix the problem.
  • we will install and configure tools to do daily security audits of your system; these audits will include checking changes of important system configuration files and changes of installed software; we will manually review the results of the security tests for every day.
  • we will install and configure tools to check miscellaneous system settings and resources, such as hard drive space; we will manually review this information for every day.
  • we will install tools to monitor your important log files to help notice any minor or important problems; we will manually review the results for the log file checking for every day.
  • we will install tools to provide backups of important system configurations; the backups will be done over the network to one of our own servers; configurations will be checked daily for changes for an incremental backup. Please note that this maintenance service doesn't include a full system (software and data) backup; it is suggested that you also set this up at your location. We can help with this and our maintenance service can include (at no further cost) monitoring of your own backups.
  • we will install a mail log analysis tool; its daily reports will be manually reviewed to help monitor system performance, reliability and use.
  • we will install network card interface traffic analysis tools; we will manually review this information for every day to help see trends and to verify major changes or problems.
  • we follow all major, open source Unix software security announcements lists; if your used software is updated due to a security release, we will update it within one day; if an updated version is not available, we will attempt to work-around the problems or possibly build our own security patch.
  • on a weekly basis, we will review for updated software (that you use) and install the latest "stable" versions; we will usually included minor configuration changes if necessary. (Please note that we prefer to not follow "current" testing, or beta releases.)
  • we may do minor system administration tasks, such as making sure log files are rotated, and disabling services that are not needed.


The standard rate for this maintenance service contract is based on the operating system and version used. The rate is for one system. Please note that different operating systems provide different tools and software package systems -- and so they may be more or less time-consuming to maintain. In addition, some operating systems are historically-known to require more maintenance and updates or slower updates. (The rates are in United States dollars.)

For recent stable NetBSD, Debian Linux, OpenBSD, or FreeBSD: US$295 per month.

For recent stable Red Hat Linux, Mandrake Linux, Slackware Linux, SuSE Linux, or BSD/OS: $US340 per month.

Contact us to discuss rates for other operating systems or for non-stable or non-packaged software releases. In addition, we can help with updating older releases to recent stable versions.

Discounts are available for pre-paid long-term contracts.

We can offer discounts for multiple systems; contact us to discuss your needs.

The basic remote monitoring is done every fifteen minutes; we use at least two different monitoring hosts. Please contact us for more monitoring hosts or to change the number of times per hour or day we should remotely monitor your box.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why does it matter if I have continuous maintenance? Can I just have it maintained once each month or once every three months?

Usually, most open source Unix systems are quite stable and very reliable. But in many cases, software may have simple bugs that may have drastic consequences. Security holes can be used to break into systems and then important files can be removed or stolen; or often chat or ftp servers are installed (but hidden). Our service watches important files to see if changes to the system are made.

In addition to keeping up-to-date with security fixes, our maintenance services provide remote monitoring to let you know if your connection or server is down, detailed analysis of mail or http logging and network interface traffic, and important configurations are backed up. It will cost more money to install, configure or use other individual services that provide all of our packaged tasks.

Systems that are not kept up-to-date become harder to upgrade. You can choose for us to only update your system once per month or less frequently, but you'll lose the benefits of our continuing services. Plus the software upgrades may be more intensive. It may cost more money to do the service less often. (Nevertheless, contact us to discuss your needs.)

What does "recent" or "stable" mean? How can I find out if my operating system is "recent" or "stable"?

The "stable" release is the operating system and software that is suggested by the vendor for system usage. "Stable" releases are only updated with software that has been thoroughly tested and for important security fixes. Again, this is through the vendor's (or project's) supervision.

We suggest you use a recent version of the stable release. It makes no sense to use a stable release if it is three years old, for example. You can find out what release you have by using "uname -a" and also looking at /etc/*version or /etc/issue files. Feel free to contact us if you need assistance. The main webpage for your operating system should indicate the latest stable release.

A "current" release contains newer software versions, but is less tested and usually not trusted for important servers. A "current" release is continuously updated and is usually only considered for development systems or computers that need specific software.

What if we need regular Unix administration, such as daily tasks of modifying TCP wrappers rules, adding and modifying users and passwords, or configuring new printers, and et cetera?

The maintenance service is primarily for systems that have a set configuration and a defined task. The low cost of this maintenance contract is based on several factors -- primarily because of our monitoring (remote and local) scripts.

If you need continuous and undefined or broad Unix administration, you may need to consider hiring a full- or part-time Unix admin. Contact us -- we can probably provide you with lower cost services by using our pre-paid hourly, per-incident or yearly support contracts.

Puget Sound Technology provides Linux Managed Services and Managed Unix Services.

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