I am responsible for an enterprise datacenter environment which includes many Windows based servers running on VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2. Like many administrators of large and complex systems I have run into a few issues which require the assistance from a vendor to resolve (in the case of Microsoft it's one of those "undocumented features" we're trying to resolve). Over the past three months we have run into three seperate issues which required a call into Microsoft product support. All three issues were related to Windows Server 2008 and all three issues were on Virtual Machines running on VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2. In all three issues, once Microsoft ran their diagnostic tools which generate reports for them (which they always do first) they see the system is running virtualized on VMware ESX they basically end the support call with the statement "we can only provide best-effort help with Windows servers running on VMware products." Basically, we are left to resolve the issue on our own which in two of the cases the issue is still unresolved.
As the result of my dealings with Microsoft and my understanding that my particular shop is moving more and more towards Windows products I am highly concerned and alarmed that we are not getting support from Microsoft on Microsoft products hosted on VMware ESX. This is a show stopper for me and for many IT professionals responsible for production systems. I have been a VMware customer for a long time and absolutely believe VMware provides a superior product over Microsoft's Hyper-V; however, I can't help but think that we won't be dumping VMware ESX for Hyper-V solely based on the fact the Microsoft will FULLY support its products running virtual on Hyper-V. I believe Microsoft's support practices could certainly unseat VMware moreso than the percieved price differences between the products (ESX and Hyper-V)--VMware has no control over Microsoft's support policies.
I can't be the only one with this issue; do most of you experience the same issue when attempting to get support from Microsoft?
I have never been turned away from Microsoft PSS just because we run most of our Windows boxes on VMware. Having said that, we do have a Premier Support Contract - they seem to take the stance that they will only ask you to reproduce on physical hardware if they really do suspect that the issue is VMware related. All issues I have logged with them have clearly been Microsoft software issues so they have never gone down that track.
The issues around support are changing quite a lot at the moment with the Microsoft SVVP program. Check out the following links:
The SVVP program means that Microsoft now officially support various versions of Windows (2000 SP4, 2003 SP2 and 2008) on VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2 on AMD servers. Intel CPUs will be validated next. The issues you are getting with support should hopefully disappear as the SVVP program gains traction over the next 6 months or so (with lots more validated configurations etc).
in our case, most of the time, we direct log call to dell and VMware to get the immediate assistant from Vmware. The support from VMware is impress with verify the possibility of the bugs they have and release the bugfix on the patches release.
At the same time, of course we try to troubleshoot from our end to
This is honestly the first time I've heard of this lately.....It's not been a problem for my fellow geeks in a long while.
The worst I've heard of is them having you reproduce the error in the physical world, but even that is sporadic. I think they finally understand that the virtualized layer makes no difference.
I guess it's going to come down to the laziness of the support guy you get.
Moved to the Enterprise Strategy and Planning forum.
If your Microsoft products are covered under SVVP then I would insist they help in the virtualized environment.
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator
Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.
CIO Virtualization Blog: http://www.cio.com/blog/index/topic/168354
As well as the Virtualization Wiki at http://www.astroarch.com/wiki/index.php/Virtualization